Visit to Hong Kong

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by hwpa46, 10 Aug 2018.

  1. hwpa46

    hwpa46 Member

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    I am visiting HK for a week, and was wondering whether there are any stand-out railway things I should be trying to see (without risking arrest, etc.!)? I know there's a "tramway" up to the Peak and will certainly do that. Is there a transport museum?
    Many thanks in anticipation
    Graham
     
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  3. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    Definitely take a ride on one of the old double deck city trams. The Peak Tram is worth doing but expect a queue of at least an hour for tickets, most likely longer.

    The new South Island MTR has driverless trains, and you can ride old Metro Cammell units on the Island and Tsuen Wan lines.

    Also the ferry ride between Kowloon and Hong Kong is a must do. Especially try to do it at night - the skyline is quite amazing.

    The Hong Kong railway museum is in Tai Po in the suburbs, which you can reach by the East Rail MTR line. I've never been there, but it seems to be in an old colonial railway station and has old rolling stock and displays. Closed Tuesdays.

    Hong Kong is one of those cities that have a great centre and then pretty horrendous suburbs - so try to stay central. All of it is safe though.

    At the end of the year the proposed Chinese bullet train service should reach Hong Kong, but I assume it would be difficult to view or ride without a Chinese Visa.

    I don't think you'll get arrested. Enjoy your trip!
     
  4. TheAlbanach_

    TheAlbanach_ Member

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    If you want to escape the city, take the boat out to Cheung Chau! Beautiful island to walk around! Take the ferry over to Macau too to visit the casinos. The line to Disneyland has their own special trains that are Mickey mouse themed too! Ride the Ding Dings (trams). The airport line trains are nice too but expensive compared to the rest of the MTR.
     
  5. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    I loved Hong Kong.

    The Hong Kong Railway museum is small but a nice collectiom. Nice way to get out of the city for an hour or so.

    Second getting the ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

    Also:
    -Bus ride along the beaches to the south side of Hong Kong Island (e.g Repulse Bay)
    -Ride the trams end to end (23p single!)
    -Get the ferry out to Lantau Island (from main Hong Kong Pier)
    -Look across the Harbour from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island at night

    And if you're into your aviation history, go seek out Checkerboard Hill
     
  6. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Loved Hong Kong .

    The trams , sitting on the top deck in the humid air .
    How easy is it to cross the border ? The metro runs right up
     
  7. flymo

    flymo Established Member

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    Lived in HK for nearly 25 years now and no guesses what my local station is ( <------ ). The South Island line is OK, if a little crowded at peaks, like all HK transport but as it is driverless there are good views out the front or back windows on the 11 minute ride. Some overground, some underground. Admiralty Station is a pain in the proverbial and is getting worse.

    The MTR goes up to the Chinese border at two stations, Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau. You'll need a China visa to go across the border but some people have suggested it is possible to get one at the border but with a UK passport I wouldn't try that myself. There are MTR lines in Shenzhen too which can be accessed fairly easily from both border crossings.

    The high speed rail to China is slated to open around Sept 25 but this is subject to a court ruling next week concerning whether Chinese officials can operate in HK without breaching the one country - two systems principles. I find the whole thing laughable beyond belief. If it does open in Sept, best to leave it for a while as it will be a zoo for the first few weeks. There are mainland trains on the line up to the Lo Wu border too, the daily one to either Shanghai or Beijing heads north at around 3:15pm from Hung Hom Station. There are the regular trains to Guangzhou also, some of them double deck KTT throughout the day.

    The Macau-Zhuhai-HK bridge should open later in the year too, another white elephant with construction issues, falsified concrete testing records which people have been jailed for, pilings that had to be dug out and redone (on the HK side - not China) due to falsified depth records, reports of protection dolosse blocks around the islands where the bridge goes into a tunnel for a bit, being displaced all makes me think I'll leave these major infrastructure project alone. I'll still take the ferry to Macau or Zhuhai thanks.

    the MTR is under a massive media spotlight here due to reports of alleged shoddy construction, variance of build plans and subsidence all over the place in the construction if the Shatin-Central link. This is going to run and run in the media and courts as this is how HK works.

    On the brighter side the LRT in Tuen Mun/Tin Shui Wai/Yuen Long is always worth a ride, buses are plentiful and frequent for the most part. Citybus/ NWFB/KMB all now have next bus arrival time apps which are invaluable for planning interchanges, downloadable from your favourite app store.

    Lantau island is very busy weekends, as is Cheung Chau, ferries fill up fast. The bus ride along the south Lantau shore is pretty scenic, NLB (New Lantao Bus) should be introducing new E400 on the 3M soon from Tung Chung to Mui Wo. There is also the cable car to the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping if you feel like a change of transport mode.

    Make sure you get an Octopus card and keep it topped up. These cost minimum $150 to buy from MTR stations with $100 credit and $50 refundable deposit and can be topped up at the ubiquitous 7-Eleven or Circle-K stores. All buses/MTR ticket machines still take cash, exact change only.

    Where I live on HK island, there are scenic bus rides to the south of the island, numbers 6, 6X, 260 from Central to Stanley or if you prefer a more white knuckle ride, the 14 from Sai Wan Ho to Stanley is fun too, especially if there is a jam on Tai Tam dam. (6 goes over the hill whereas 6X/260 go via Aberdeen tunnel and Deep Water Bay).

    Anyway, have fun, take a brolly in the summer as it is usually very wet and beware of typhoons as there is one close by now. Late Autumn/Spring is the best time of year.
     
  8. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Excellent write up, I agree with everything and hope to get back there again soon. It's a wonderful place to visit if you're interested in trams/LRT/buses/planes/ferries - there's not many other places like it anywhere else.
     
  9. Foxhunter

    Foxhunter Member

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    Yes, some excellent advice on here, agree with it all.

    +1 for the Peak Tramway, my favourite time is to go up in the late afternoon and watch the transformation below as the sun goes down and the lights of Hong Kong come on. To get to the lower station take the Mid Levels Escalator up from Central, itself a glorious and unique travel experience. (Work out where to get off before you start or you'll find yourself having to walk back down a lot - don't ask how I know).

    Also +1 for the 6 bus to Stanley, and tram riding end to end (though you will quickly realise that the trams have no suspension and will be wondering if you have anything in your backpack you can sit on).

    The railway museum at Tai Po is modest but well worth a visit, I'd choose to go on a Sunday morning when in my experience the suburbs of Chinese cities are at their relaxed best.

    Though seen as expensive (c.f. Heathrow / Gatwick Express), the Airport Expressway is not only efficient / convenient, it also shows you some of outlying Hong Kong before heading downtown through a tunnel.

    A quick mention of taxis, in my experience they are always safe and honest, in fact probably the best I have used in the world. However I don't use them much, prefering bus and MTR because I think that to see Hong Kong at its best you need to be in the crowd on the streets.

    Finally, cannot emphasise too much what a pleasure the Star Ferry is at night - the best value travel experience in the world.
     
  10. flymo

    flymo Established Member

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    The savvy HKer will take the S1 or S56 bus from the airport to Tung Chung and then the Tung Chung MTR line downtown, costs about $26 in total compared to $110 to HK Island. Unless you're sure take the Airport Express or one of the many 'A' Airport bus routes to a variety of locations or the 'E' External routes which are a bit less Expressy....

    HK taxis have developed a habit of ripping people off when coming from the airport to the extent that you'll likely receive a card at the taxi rank with the expected approximate fare. Wouldn't advise anyone to get a taxi from HK airport unless you can speak to the driver fluently enough in Cantonese to tell them where you're going and also fluently swear at them when they try to overcharge you. Stick to buses and trains.

    One other thing I forgot before, all of the trains here run on the left, except the Ma On Shan line from Tai Wai to Wu Kai Sha which runs on the right. Feels weird......o_O:p
     
  11. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    The other huge benefit of the Airport Express is the ability to check in for your flight (including dropping your bags) in town, up to (IIRC) 24 hours before your fight. Very useful if you have to be out of your hotel but your flight is in the evening.
     
  12. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    Also, second the advice to check where you're going on the escalator! They run downhill for commuters during the morning peak, then uphill for the rest of the day.
     
  13. jmh59

    jmh59 New Member

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    If you do go on the cable car to the 'big buddha' pay the extra for a glass bottomed car - unless you're scared of heights (!). One thing that almost caught us out last time is they needed photo ID to get onto the cable car and we'd left the passports in the hotel - got on though they could have turned us away. I believe one is supposed to carry it anyway being a foreigner... but I never do.
     
  14. hwpa46

    hwpa46 Member

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    Thanks to you all for your really helpful and interesting replies!
    Graham
     
  15. TheAlbanach_

    TheAlbanach_ Member

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    Oh if you go up the peak tram, make the journey again but by double decker bus at night. You'll get amazing views from the top deck, and the skyline is just beautiful at night! Make sure and get a good spot for the light show too, was at 2000 when I was there.
     
  16. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    In all of China, including Hong Kong, it is a requirement by law to carry your ID card at all times, or your passport if you don't have an ID card. I got caught in a police blockade without one in Beijing once and it quite intimidating. I doubt this would happen in HK but make sure you carry it just in case.
     

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