Hong Kong

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Mention Hong Kong, and what springs up in the minds of most are modernist skyscrapers, shimmering cityscapes and labyrinths of bustling streets. To many, it is the perfect marriage of east and west, blending contemporary western aesthetics with exotic eastern mysticism.

The world’s fourth largest financial center is a product of both its Mainland Chinese roots, as well as its past colonial ties, resulting in one of the most unique destinations in Asia. 

Trek along the winding, cobbled streets of Sheung Wan, hop on a ferry to boisterous Kowloon, indulge in some of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants (yes, there are quite a few), relive scenes from the ineffable Chungking Express, or simply play observer to the exuberant sounds of Cantonese being shouted down every street corner - there is no lack of energy in this city.

Getting Around

There are a myriad of ways to explore the bustling metropolis and its outlying territories. Chart your course by train, tram, car or ferry, depending on where your journey takes you.

Walking is a great way to under the skin of the city too. Travellers with time on their hands can make their way around the main districts by foot. Many of these areas house charming little boutiques and eateries, all tucked away from plain sight, in smaller offshoot lanes.

Buses are also an option for visitors, albeit a slightly more confusing one, given the lack of English instructions.

By Metro Train

For visitors travelling within Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories, the quickest and most efficient way to get around is by train, more affectionately known to locals as the MTR.

Located conveniently within most major areas, the pristine MTR trains may be slightly pricier than buses and trams, but are still a clear choice when there isn’t time to burn. The MTR consists of 5 underground lines (Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island, Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O), 3 suburban rail lines (West, East and Ma On Shan lines), and the Airport Express.

While service times vary from line to line, the majority of them begin operations daily at 06:00am and run all the way to 01:00am the next morning.

Purchase a prepaid card (the uniquely monikered Octopus Card), that can be used to pay for most modes of public transport. You’ll also enjoy a discounted fare on the MTR when using the Octopus Card. These can be purchased and refunded at Customer Service Centers at all MTR stations.

By Taxi

Taxis are a dime a dozen, and flagging one down in Hong Kong isn’t quite as financially terrorising as in other major cities. With a significantly lower price point, it’s no wonder taxis are an oft-used mode of transport.

However, be alert when hailing one - some cars only drive within specific territories. There are 3 types of cars - green, blue and red. Opt for the red vehicles, which, while the priciest, have drivers that wouldn’t bat an eyelid about bringing you anywhere within the island.

By Car Rental:

With your hands at the wheel and the wind in your hair, the world is yours for the taking.

Whether you find yourself in Asia Pacific, the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East or Africa, make your car rental bookings through Ascott’s website and enjoy up to 5% off on self-drive car rentals (minimum 3 consecutive days rental) through AVIS and BUDGET - two of the world’s most renowned car rental companies.

Additionally, Ascott Online Advantage members are entitled for up to 10% off car rentals in the same countries with no minimum rental period, and can enjoy special member benefits at Ascott’s serviced residences. Sign up today.

For guests of Ascott’s serviced residences in Singapore, enjoy up to 20% off car rentals, valid for a more than 28-day self-drive period.

For more information on car rentals, visit the AVIS or BUDGET website.

 

By Ferry:

The ferry reigns as one of the locals’ main modes of transport. Ferries provide a cheap alternative to traversing the various islands, as well as offering great scenic views of the city skyline.  

Responsible for shuttling thousands of people in and out of the main Hong Kong Island every day, it is sacrilegious not to experience at least one of these rides when visiting.

The iconic Star Ferry offers many routes, the most popular being the journey between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central. The entire trip takes approximately 11 minutes and is a great way to break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

By Trams:

For a romantic amble through town, hop on board the double-decker trams, famous for peppering the roads with their colourful facades and rustic, dawdling sounds.

Affectionately known as to locals as ‘Ding Ding’, the trams have been running Hong Kong’s roads for more than 110 years. This charming mode of transport moves only in two directions - east and west, making it extremely easy for visitors to plan their route. And with its pocket-friendly flat-fare of HK$2.30, you can indulge in some very affordable sightseeing.

Be warned though, trams can get very packed during peak hours and it may be tricky to both to jump on, or alight

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