Mass Transit Railway MTR, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Subway, officially known as the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), is my favorite way to travel around the city. There are 49 stations located in every major neighborhood, and over 2.4 million people use the system each day. There are only 4 different subway lines, so it is very simple to use. Costs vary by distance of your journey and prices range from about US$1.50 to US$2.40. The subway is the quickest way to get across the harbor between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
Most of the tourist sites on Hong Kong Island are located on the Blue Line (Central, Admirality, Wanchai, Causeway Bay). The tourist areas in Kowloon are located primarily on the Red Line (Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, Yau Ma Tei). The Blue Line and Red Line cross on Hong Kong Island at Central Station and Admirality Station.
The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is a modern, 20 year old, subway system. It's clean, air conditionned, has massive stations, and offers the best and easiest way to get around the city.
The MTR runs from 6am till around midnight every day. The cost of a ticket is based on how far you are going. However, as a tourist, I reccomend you purchase a tourist "Octopus" card (available at the airport, or any other station). This is like a transit debit card and allows you to simply swipe your pass and keep on walking. No fumbling for tiny tickets or gazing at a map with a bewildered look on your face. You can purchase various types of passes depending on your needs. I purchased a 3-day unlimited pass, with 2 Airport Express tickets, and 20 HKD on the card for use at various stores, all for roughly about 300 HKD.
The MTR itself covers the city pretty well. You can usually get to where you need to be, by riding the MTR, including connection to and from the Airport on Lantau Island.
The stations and subway themselves are well indicated in English so non chinesse speaking people can also get around easily.
By far the easiest way to get around Hong Kong.
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) has 5 lines that run through most of Hong Kong and Kowloon. MTR has a zone based fare system (like that of Washington DC's Metro) so you pay according to how far you are going. Fares tend to run about HK$5-HK$20, none of which are more than $5 US. This is probably the best choice of transportation for those who don't know their way around, as all stops are clearly marked.
The MTR is the quickest way to hop between shopping areas and between Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui; for access to the New Territories use the interchange station at Kowloon Tong and change to the KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway), which travels north to the border at Lo Wu.
It is more expensive than the ferry, but quicker, particularly for those travelling further into Kowloon than Tsimshatsui or to Lantau Island.
Trains run between 0600-0100.
A single ticket cost HK$4-11.
The Hong Kong MTR has to be one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world. With more than an estimated 4 million trips a day travelling over 200kms of track and 159 stations, it needs to be!
First introduced in 1979, it certainly has the advantage over the older underground systems of Europe, with the Airport Express (half above ground) inaugurated in 1998 with the opening of the new airport.
A whole swathe of ticketing options exist - from single journeys (prices according to the number of stations), day passes through to the Octopus Card where you purchase credit. Buying tickets is incredibly straightforward and, once on the trains, each station and which side of the train to exit is announced.
Metro Travel in Hong Kong is perhaps the most convenient Metro Travel anywhere in the world (at least from what I have seen, even better than the MRT in Singapore). There are 5 or 6 lines which cover the entire city of Hong Kong. While you can pay for every journey by cash, it is not economical at all and it is highly recommended that you buy an Octopus Card as soon as you arrive in Hong Kong.
This Octopus Card works in all metros as well as in McDonalds and at some other merchants as well and if you use the Octopus Card you get decent discounts as well. At the time of taking the Octopus Card you need to pay a refundable deposit of HKD 50 and also load money onto the Card. For a stay in Hong Kong in excess of 4 days it is recommended that you load the card with at least HKD 500 per person. The loading machine is there at every MTR station and you can get the card refunded / unloaded at the MTR Station or at the airport as well.
You need to tap the card before starting any journey and again at the time of getting out of the destination station. At the time of tapping at the time of exit you get the amount deducted for the trip as well as the balance available.
On every line in the Hong Kong MTR you have trains in either direction every 4 minutes, and you will not find them crowded at all other than at peak hours (even at that time they are not very crowded if you go by Mumbai local standards). Above every door there is a map of that line which gives you how that line is connected to every other line and there are flickering lights which indicate which MTR station you are at. From this board above every door, you also get to know which side the next station is going to come on. There is continuous voice commentary in Chinese and English as well on the approaching station. This I found very convenient for disabled people and I could not help thinking how unfriendly India is for travelling for people at large and for disabled people in particular.
Almost every MTR station has an elevator and escalators and convenience stores which accept the Octopus Card. The only problem you may face is that the MTR Service Desk executives are usually not fluent with English and I had to use sign language to get my point across. When you reach your destination MTR station there are different exists to the station such as Exit A,B, C …… and a suitable labeled board as to where this exits take you.
The main MTR Stations where most of the tourist attractions are located are Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Side and Central on the Hong Kong Island side. The Airport would be the main MTR station on Lantau island.
Getting from one place to another is such a zip with the MTR. You can really get to so many places - popular areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Tung Chung and Disneyland.
The trains are also well maintained and comfortable.
The cost of travelling on the MTRs is slightly more expensive than in Singapore but still definitely affordable. Fare starts from HK$4 onwards.
It's not too difficult to get from Disneyland to the outside world. It' about a 7-10 minutes ride from Disneyland Station to Sunny Bay MTR Interchange. From this station, you can choose to head towards Tung Chung to shop, take a ride on the Ngong Ping cable car, and visit Asia's largest Buddha.
You'll just have to travel the opposite direction to get to Hong Kong Island and the city.
Hong Kong has one of the world's best transport systems and it needs to be the best, what with a population of 7 million and being one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) relieves some of Hong Kong's transportation woes by means of an underground metro system, overland light rail and regional rail systems plus feeder buses.
The metro is fast, efficient and convenient and links all the main areas of Hong Kong except those on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. It has 8 lines plus an Airport Express line that connects the International Airport with Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and the Disneyworld line on Lantau Island. Fares vary depending on where and how far you want to travel and tickets are available by vending machines and can be purchased with cash. A useful alternative, (if planning multiple trips), is a rechargeable smart card called an Octopus Card which can be topped-up at any vending machine and which offer cheaper fares.
The KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway) West & East Rail lines are now operated under the MTR flag and link the New Territories with Kowloon. The East Rail Line follows the path first laid down in 1910. It connects the Hong Kong/China border to Hung Hom in Kowloon whilst the West Rail Line opened in 2003.
The Airport Express MTR Line links Hong Kong International Airport with Kowloon and Hong Kong stations and is the best way to get from the airport to Kowloon or Hong Kong Island. Trains leave every 12 minutes and fares cost HK$90 to/from Kowloon and HK$100 to/from Hong Kong station.
Costing about 2.20 HKD's, the MTA is extremely efficient, clean and easy to navigate.
Signs are available to point you in the right direction with maps to the outside streets at every exit
Buy tickets from machines or buy an Octupus Card from the ticket/info booth. There are separate machines where you can add value to your Card if it is running low.
From tsim sha tsui, we had to go to the ladies night market. Good thing one of the bosses knows his way around HK, so he took us to Mong Kok.
He taught us how to use the vending machine, where we are located and where we are heading, etc. (one way costs $5 HKD) We went to the night market and shopped till 12 midnight, and had to go back to the hotel by ourselves. We made it. :-) the MTR is I think operational 24/7
The easiest way leaving for Hong Kong from Shenzhen is to take train, or MTR. There are two boundry between SZ and HKG. One is old and fully-packed Luo Hu/ Lo Wu station, the other is Huang Gang/ Lo Ma Chau. It costs HKD34 from both boundry checkpoints to downtown East Tsim Sha Tsui. But you can buy a package train ticket that includes one downtown daily pass and round trip train ticket from boundry to D/T. The one day pass is valid for 24 hours while the round trip boundry crossing ticket is valid for one month since the first day of usage.
The MTR is the easiest way to get around Hong Kong with its extensive line. With your Octopus Card, you can go to Disneyland, Macau Ferry Terminal, Central and even Shenzhen.
Do take note of the line you need to take or transfer to as there may be many way to get from point A to point B. When you've reached the station, take note of which exit you should use as a wrong exit may lead you miles away from your original destination. And when you transferring lines, you might need to walk a while to reach the other line. And the underpasses could be a very long walk with nothing to see.
One weird thing is when you enter the MTR station, you will see a lot of shops, selling food etc. Firstly, I thought you cant eat in the station and would people actually stop to visit these shops as people would just rush to board their trains.
There is no point in taking one day pass with MTR which is costing 50 HKD, as it is difficult to spend 50 HKD only in MTR in one day. I felt going with various cities underground, one day Pass in HK is very expensive. It should have been half i.e. 25 to 30 HKD for its usefulness.
Wow! Within each MTR station, there are free internet stations for commuters at the concourse paid area. This is fantastic. The terminals are fast and comes with the LCD display, keyboard and mouse.
Getting around with the MTR is easy with clear directional signs and maps at each station.
Within the train carriages, there are LED display showing the direction and locations and destination of the next stop. Announcements over the speaker systems are in Cantonese, PuDongHua and English.