The finest public transport in Hong Kong: from double-decker ferries to funiculars | Travel

In Hong Kong, there’s at all times a luxe method to get round. You might go all-out by chartering a superyacht, or hopping on a helicopter tour of the harbour. But a number of the finest rides on the town are true bargains that exhibit town’s hidden corners and well-known sights. Grab an Octopus card ­– that’s the native model of London’s Oyster card – and embark on a sequence of unforgettable public transport journeys throughout Hong Kong.

Star energy

The trip: The Star Ferry
How a lot? From HK$2.20 (20p)
Hong Kong was constructed round its harbour, which was each deep sufficient to permit giant ships to moor, and sheltered sufficient to guard them from the typhoons that savage the area within the wetter months. There’s no higher method to see this geographic godsend than the double-decker Star Ferry. Since 1888 the ferries have plied the harbour, providing extraordinary views of town’s frankly implausible skyline. It takes simply eight minutes and prices as little as 20p nevertheless it’s an important piece of town’s life: greater than 50,000 Hongkongers nonetheless use them every single day to cross between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon peninsula. You’ll need to make the journey at the very least twice: as soon as on the marginally dearer higher deck, with its air-conditioned part and expansive views, and as soon as on the decrease deck with the common folks, the place the scent of diesel is in all places and the hum of the engine thrums via your bones.
All aboard: Central Ferry Pier No 7, Central

Peak travel

The Peak Tram funicular reveals beautiful views of town. Photograph: leungchopan/Getty Images

The trip: The Peak Tram
How a lot? HK$52 (£four.80)
On Hong Kong Island, altitude is wealth. The larger you reside, the higher off you might be. So it stands to motive that town’s wealthiest inhabitants stay in mansions on Victoria Peak, the island’s highest level. In the previous, it was home to the British colonists – Chinese have been truly banned from residing there till 1947 – who took benefit of the cooler climes and beautiful views. Back then, the one lazy approach up the mountain was to summon a sedan chair. But that modified in 1888, with the opening of the Peak Tram funicular. Nowadays, these who stay on the Peak principally drive – or are pushed – into city, and the Peak Tram has change into extra of a vacationer attraction than a day by day type of transportation. But fairly rightly so: the tram ascends 368 metres (1,200ft) in seven minutes, hitting a most gradient of 27 levels. The tram runs via dense vegetation, at instances bursting out of the cover to disclose beautiful views of town, which appears to fall away under you. And that’s earlier than you even attain the highest, the place town’s very most interesting views await.
All aboard: Peak Tram Lower Terminus, 33 Garden Road, Central

Ding while you’re successful

Enjoy the world’s only double-decker tram system, in Hong Kong, China.

Enjoy the world’s solely double-decker tram system. Photograph: Pavliha/Getty Images

The trip: Hong Kong Tramways
How a lot? HK$2.30 (21p)
Hong Kong’s trams are nicknamed “ding dings” after the distinctive double-bell ring that heralds their arrival. The world’s solely solely double-decker tram system trundles at its personal leisurely tempo alongside the whole size of Hong Kong island. Board a tram at its terminus at Kennedy Town, headed to Shau Kei Wan on the different finish of the road. This journey of about an hour and a half is the proper method to get a way of town, soundtracked by the gradual groaning of the tracks and that ubiquitous “ding ding”. Districts slide previous the open home windows, from the pungent dried seafood stalls of Sai Ying Pun to the towering places of work of Admiralty and the standard properties of North Point. It’s value remembering as you glide previous markets, skyscrapers and low-rises that the tram tracks have been truly laid alongside the waterfront: the 500-metre (1,640ft) or so strip of land from the tram to the present shoreline has all been reclaimed from the ocean. At the tip of the road, Shau Kei Wan is without doubt one of the island’s sleepier, lesser-seen districts. Just subsequent to the tram terminus is a bustling open-air produce market, and close by On Lee Noodle (22 Shau Kei Wan Main St East, Shau Kei Wan) would possibly simply serve up one of the best bowl of fishball noodles within the metropolis.
All aboard: Kennedy Town Tram Terminus, Catchick Street, Kennedy Town

Beach bus

Hong Kong China Stanley Market shops with tourists buying souvenirs at famous village shops

Take the quantity 6 bus and go to Stanley village’s busy clothes market. Photograph: Alamy

The trip: Number 6 bus to Stanley village
How a lot? HK$7.90 (72p)
What’s so spectacular a couple of double-decker bus? In Hong Kong, an terrible lot. For the quantity 6 bus will take you from city confusion within the coronary heart of Central to beautiful sea and sand in about 20 minutes. Grab a seat proper on the entrance on the higher deck, and watch town shift from concrete to inexperienced in entrance of you. As you crest the ridge that runs alongside the island, Hong Kong’s southside is revealed: a lush, forested space that feels fully faraway from town. The street winds down the hillside, and branches smack into the perimeters of the bus as you appear to teeter over the sting of street. Every at times you’re handled to a glimpse of the glowing water and pale sand of Repulse Bay seashore. If you weren’t planning on swimming, then keep on board for one more 20 minutes to Stanley village, the seaside city with its busy clothes market and strip of open-air eateries.
All aboard: Exchange Square Bus Terminus, Central

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