There are four bus companies in Hong Kong, each having their own franchised service areas or routes. Buses are double-decker and regular buses, most are air-conditioned. Final destinations of routes are marked in English and Chinese on the front top panel of the bus.
There are four operators: Citybus, New World First Bus Ltd, Kowloon Motor Bus, New Lantao Bus.
Operation Hours: Usually from 6am-12 midnight; over-night buses available for selected routes.
Fares: HK$1.2-HK$45. Air-con buses cost more.
Bus fares are inexpensive but exact change is required to be put into the coin box when boarding the bus or use Octopus card.
Any bus number ending with 'K' (69K, 2K etc) means that routes connects to the Kowloon-Canton Railway. Bus numbers ending with 'M' (69M, 2M etc) they go MTR stations and the buses ending with 'R' (69R, 2R etc) are recreational buses and normally run on Sunday, public holidays or for special events.
Most people don't really know about it, others are afraid of taking a bus from the airport into Hong Kong. A real shame since the ride on one of HK's double-decker airport buses (Cityflyer) is firstly really exciting and secondly a nice way of getting an orientation-city-tour at the same time.
There are two kinds of buses providing services into main HK:
The "A"-buses provide luggage storage facilities and cost around 40HK$ (depending on your desination), while "E"-buses do not allow luggage (i.e. suitcases) and cost around 20HK$.
The Airport Express is definitely a good alternative as it's fast, clean and easy to use (you can board directly from the Airport Arrival Hall) but it's firstly much more expensive and personally, I always preferred the bus-ride as it is cheaper and (for me) far more interesting.
However, it mainly depends on your final destination as the buses are not serving every single hotel or, if they do, they do not necessarily stop right in front of them and you need to walk the remaining distance. Hence, especially if you are visiting HK for the first time, it might be a little tricky to get off at the right stop.
The bus terminus is just outside the airport Arrival Hall. Follow the signboards and keep right. You can't miss them! Detailed routing schedules with timetable are provided inside and outside the Arrival Hall but it's worth checking your destination via the below link up-front.
For an impression of the Cityflyer bus ride into HK, check out my Travelogue - Cityflyer
Updated: Feb 25, 2006
After my arrival in Hong Kong, if there was one thing that I was most surprised of, it was the excellent bus services, which include the vast network covering all parts of HK as well as the very efficient websites.
The main bus companies operating in HK are:
1. HK Citybus (yellow)
2. New World First Bus (orange-white-green)
3. Kowloon Motor Bus (cream-red)
Apart from the fact that all buses are operated as "icy fridges on wheels", they literally serve every part of Hong Kong, run from early in the morning until usually late after midnight (sometimes even 24 hours!) and provide a detailed plan of stops for each route at each station. And, of course, they are double-deckers!
I especially recommend to take bus no. 15 (departing at Central) to The Peak, where you can experience the skills a driver needs to bring his giant double-decker around those tiny roads winding up the mountain. In addition, the trips to either Stanley or Shek O are also extremely picturesque and exciting. Warning: Not every stomach's favourite!
As mentioned above, each company operates a fantastic and very detailed website, where you can easily check which bus to take, their respective schedules and bus stops:
Routes: These routes are specially for departing and arriving passengers with a few stops at all major hotels: A11, A12, A21, A 22, A31, A35, A41, A43
Operating Hours (1) Buses run from 5:30am—12:00 mid-night at 10 - 20 mins intervals depend on different routes
(2) Night-time buses available for selected routes
Tickets: (1) Purchased at the Customer Service Counter in the Airport Arrival Hall; or drop exact change into the fare box on board
(2) Fares range from HK$20-$45 depend on different routes
Getting around Hong Kong, is made easy by using as an alternative to the MTR, the Public Light Bus.
They offer an extensive network all over the city, and are very cheap to use.
As there are many of these buses around, please make sure you have the correct bus number before embarking on your journey to ensure you go in the right direction.
If you are fortunate enough to get a hotel that offers convienent transfers from the airport to the hotel, then you are in luck and perhaps out of a fair bit of money. For the rest of the saavy travelers out there, I offer you the following piece of advice... there are several ways to get to and from the airport that will be somewhat painless.
1. Airport Express Line - trains run every 10 minutes and take 20 minutes to reach Kowloon Station. It operates between 6am and 1am. It costs HK$90 to Kowloon and HK$100 Central. From Kowloon, there is a free shuttle service for those taking the Express Line that will deposit you at major hotels. If you aren't staying at a major hotel, the Kowloon Station connects to the MTR and that can probably take you within walking distance of wherever you want to go.
2. Airport Shuttle - this will take you from the airport to major hotels in Hong Kong...costs about HK$120. Purchase your ticket at the airport arrivals hall. Buses depart every 30min.
3. Cityflyer Airbus - bus number A21 will take you to Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, through Tsim Sha Tsui via Nathan Road and end up at Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) Station in Hung Hom. There is also a bus that goes the opposite direction starting in Hung Hom and ending at the airport. Airbuses A11 and A12 will take you to Central and Causeway Bay. It costs HK$33 from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui. It costs HK$40-HK$45 to get to Central and Causeway Bay respectively. You can purchase tickets at the arrivals hall or you must have exact change if you pay on the bus. There is a schedule and the buses come relatively often.
4. Taxi - can be attempted, but not recommended. Taxis are relatively cheap, but depending on the traffic and such, they may not be faster. Also, because the taxis incorporate the toll charges into the rates, it can get pricey...for Hong Kong rates that is. To Tsim Sha Tsui it will cost about HK$300. To Central District it will cost about HK$350 to HK$400. There's also a luggage charge of HK$5 per piece.
Kowloon bus is one of Hong Kong's biggest bus companies, serving Kowloon, New Territories, & parts of Hong Kong Island.
On many busy routes (eg. Nathan Road), you have the choice of air-conditioned & non air-conditioned buses. The ones without AC is cheaper, but they can get really hot & smelly sometimes, especially in the summer!
Though the prices are the KMB are fair, be prepared to spend a lot if you are switching routes all the time! The prices for each route varies, so if your budget is tight, make sure you check the price of the ride. It will be listed at each bustop!
KMB has recently installed Hong Kong's first Tourist Cyber Bus Stop at Tsim Sha Tsui, & the Tourist Cyber Bus Stop will bring convenience to tourists travelling in Hong Kong.
The CS hotline is a phone number setup by the KMB for customers to directly ask customer service for route numbers to the desired location. The phone number is 2745 4466, & remember to press 3 for English. After, press 0 for operator service. For more information regarding this hotline, please go to KMB CS Hotline
The most important route in Kowloon:
MongKok to Tsim Sha Tsui - 1, 1A, 2,2C,3C,6,7,8
KMB was established in 1933 after obtaining a franchise to operate bus services in Kowloon and the New Territories. 'Pursuit of excellence' has been the corporate objective since the company's inception. KMB delivers this objective by providing safe, reliable, comfortable, friendly and value-for-money bus services.
When KMB was founded, its bus fleet consisted of 106 small, single deck buses. Today KMB is the largest bus operator in Hong Kong with 4,295 buses, of which 82% are air-conditioned. With 13,689 staff, KMB operates a network of 411 bus routes transporting 2.91 million passengers every day. Having played an active part in the development of Hong Kong over the years, KMB has became one of the world's largest privately run public bus companies and gained recognition as an international leader in public bus transportation.
Buses run over 100 routes covering most of the destinations. Prices are reasonable.
check the official website - route search
check the official website - route search
Services will be stopphed under the typhoon No. 8 and bad weather. But service will be extended during the special events/festival.
The buses are all air-conditionned and most of them are equipped with TV sets on which continuous ads are broadcast. (see picture). Usually, there are a bus every 10 minutes.
Most buses have a night line which run throughout all the night.
The main problem is that there is no map of the route on the bus. It means that you will have to get off when you recognize the place. But you can still have a look at the bus' routes, which are posted at every bus stop.
"A" Routes - Airbus Services
A11 North Point Ferry Pier 0610 - 2400 40 Citybus
A12 Siu Sai Wan (Island Resort) 0600 - 2400 45 Citybus
P12 Siu Sai Wan (Island Resort) Twice per day
1735 / 1755 45 Citybus
A21 Hung Hom KCR Station 0600 - 2400 33 Citybus
A22 Lam Tin MTR Station 0530 - 2400 39 Citybus
A31 Tsuen Wan (Discovery Park) 0600 - 2400 17 Long Win
A33 Tuen Mun (Fu Tai) 1645 - 1945 25 Long Win
A41 Sha Tin (Yu Chui Court) 0600 - 2400 20 Long Win
A41P Ma On Shan (Yiu On) 0705 - 2400 25 Long Win
A43 Fanling (Luen Wo Hui) 0700 - 2400 28 Long Win
A35 Mui Wo 0630 - 0015 (Mon-Sat) 14
(Sun & PH) 23 New Lantao
"N" Routes - Overnight Bus Services
N11 Causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace) 0015 - 0445 31 Citybus
N21 Tsim Sha Tsui (Star Ferry Pier) 0020 - 0500 23 Citybus
N23 Tse Wan Shan Twice per day 0015 / 0110
(from Tung Chung) 23 Citybus
N26 Lam Tin (Yau Tong) Once a day 0020
(from Tung Chung) 23 Citybus
N29 Tseung Kwan O (Po Lam) Twice a day 0015 / 0110
(from Tung Chung) 24 Citybus
N30 Yuen Long (East) Twice a day 0020 / 0110
(from Tung Chung) 26 Long Win
N31 Tsuen Wan (Discovery Park) 0020 - 0500 20 Long Win
N35 Mui Wo 0130 - 0500 (Mon-Sat) 20
(Sun & PH)30 New Lantao
N42 Ma On Shan (Yiu On) Once a day at 0020
(from Tung Chung) 25 Long WIn
"S" Routes - Shuttle Bus to Airport
S1 Tung Chung MTR Station to
Passenger Terminal # 0530 - 2400 3.5 Citybus
S52 Tung Chung MTR Station to
Aircraft Maintenance Area 0528 - 2328
(from Tung Chung)
0550 - 2350
(from Maintenance Area) 4 Citybus
S52P Tung Chung MTR Station to
Asia Airfreight Terminal # 0718 - 0858 / 1634 - 1814
(N/A on Sun & PH) 3 Citybus
S56 Tung Chung New Development
Ferry Pier to Passenger Terminal # 0600 - 2320 3.5 Citybus
S64 Yat Tung Estate to
Passenger Terminal # 0525 - 2400 **3.5 Long Win
S64P Tung Chung MTR Station to
Largo & Catering Area 0553 - 2300 **3.5 Long Win
As a rule I travel on the MTR to mostly everywhere I want to go in Hong Kong, but buses, particularly on routes up to the Peak, along Nathan Road or out to Stanley are a good alternative.
The best thing about travelling by bus is that you get to look at the streetscape on the trip. This is best seen from the front seats on the upper level but everyone has the same idea so unless you get on at the bus terminus (1st stop) its unlikely you will get those seats. But pop upstairs and have a look anyway. I've noticed that the modern double deckers (like London) have a safety bar right in my line of sight so I have to peer over that. Depending on the route buses can get quite crowded. You can stand downstairs but not on the upper level. On a recent trip through Wan Chai the bus actually pulled into a bus stop and the driver waited until standing passengers on the upper level had gone back downstairs, so be aware of this.
Most buses are airconditioned, modern and comfortable. Fares can be deducted from your Octopus card which is great as you dont need to find exact change in your wallet. Just swipe your card at the reader located at the front of the bus close to the driver. A flat fare is deducted regardless of the number of stops travelled.
Bus routes cover pretty much all of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and into the New Territories. There are five privately owned "public" bus companies each serving a different part of the city. New World First Bus, Citybus and Kowloon Motor Bus are the ones tourists will most likely use. If travelling by bus on Lantau Island it will be either a New Lantao bus or a Long Win bus. Bus numbers are displayed on the front of the bus.
Here are some popular tourist bus routes and corresponding Bus numbers:
- Between Central Pier and the Galleria Shopping Centre Terminus at the Peak - Bus 15
- Between Central Ferry Pier and the Garden Road Lower Peak Tram Terminus - Bus 15C
- Between Exchange Square Bus Terminal (Central) and Aberdeen - Bus 70
- Between Central (exchange Square) and Stanley - Bus 6 6A 6X and 260
- Between Central and Ocean Park - all 629 Buses (S & A are Express)
- Between Mui Wo Pier and Ngong Ping Village - Bus 2
- Between Tung Chung and Big Buddha - Bus 23
Its hardly difficult trying to get some kind of public transport to travel around HK.
Admittingly, mine was just walking around but when fatigue hits, the double decker bus provides a great alternative.
I would suggest getting an Octupus card immediately after arrival as this card is used for all public transport fares charges. Card values can be refilled at all 7-11's and metrostations.
There are plenty of bus around the Island wether you will take it to the neighbooring areas like Shenzen or Macao as this is always the case if you're here by a package tour. And if you're going to let say, Lantau Island by a tour group most of the busses are double decker to save the space and to be in one company...
This bus is from the Star Ferry terminal to The Peak Tower.
As a tourist I waited specially for this bus for my ride to take me to the Peak Tram, I thought I would also have a look around from the top of the bus.
Unfortunately its really only around the corner only a few minutes trip, with a map in hand you could probably walk although with heat etc not such a good idea.
I was a bit dissapointed with this ride, but in reality it was a ride to the Peak Tramway and it delivered, I just wanted more.
Disneyland Resorts offer a free shuttle bus that travels from the Disney and Hollywood Hotels to the park.
Near the park entrance you will find the MTR and Bus station located next to each other which makes it convenient for travels to and from downtown and the airport.