I wanted to share with you all my taxi experience while being in Hong Kong 3 weeks ago. I usually take a lot of public transportation aside from taxi, but being that I was in Shanghai the week before I departed to Hong Kong I wanted to compare both services. I will share my thoughts on Shanghai taxi drivers on a later post, so lets stick to discussing Hong Kong taxi drivers. Throughout my stay, I only used the taxi service twice, and those occasions were: Arriving into Hong Kong International airport at 10:30pm to the hotel and my last day from hotel to the airport.
Arriving into Hong Kong airport was a thrill, it’s big and futuristic. I walked up to the information desk and asked them which taxi I should take since I saw two different colors of taxi and one separate line for each (Red & Green). She advised me to take the red taxi because that’s the one that goes to where I was staying, which was Causeway Bay, the new territory of Hong Kong. The ride was about 35-40 mins away from the airport. The staff member told me it was going to be at least 350 Hong Kong Dollars, at the time of arrival the choice of taking another way of transportation was not something I wanted to go after, I was tired after a 15 hour flight that I just wanted to get to my hotel and rest.
Things to keep in mind before getting in the taxi:
- Have the address of your location in hand right away. Before boarding the taxi the gentleman’s standing directing the traffic will ask you for it and pass the information to the driver.
- The staff will hand you a little ticket that gives you a few pointers on taxi’s, numbers to call and how does Hong kong taxi drivers work.
- Rules and regulations to follow while being on board.
The taxi driver welcomed me on board and was letting me know his english is not too good but if I had any questions, just to ask him. I went ahead and asked him a few basic questions. How’s the weather been?, How far are we from the hotel?, What tourist attractions do you recommend me? He was super friendly and helped me a lot to get familiar with HKG right away. We arrived to my hotel within 35 minutes and he was on his way. My first impression with the taxi drivers that they are friendly and talkative, rather than the ones in Shanghai that barely look at you when getting in the car.
My Hotel was located by Causeway Bay, an amazing location of Hong Kong and very close to Times Square, SoGo Causeway Bay, Lee Garden’s, etc. I had a goal to not take any taxi’s during my stay and just mainly walk around (careless if I would get lost) But If needed, I would use another way of transportation rather than a taxi. I started my adventure around Hong Kong by foot and with several phone chargers on me, just incase that I needed to charge my phone and use my map to guide me back to where I was staying. Throughout my walk approaching Times Square, I noticed the red taxi’s lined up and at every busy street or intersection, which comes in handy for the locals or tourist needing a ride right away.
It was time for me to leave Hong Kong and get in my taxi that was taking me to the airport to catch my flight to Japan. My driver was the coolest and super attentive. As soon as I got into the taxi, I wanted to know how the fares work, being that this was my second taxi I took while being in Hong Kong I was curious to know on how they manage their fares and toll chargers for us passengers. They also point out extra rules that I wasn’t aware of and wasn’t listed on the little arrival card that the gentleman gave me upon my arrival in HKG. As soon as we got into the highway, my driver turned on his cop radar to avoid him getting a speeding ticket. He also pointed me out the hidden speeding cameras on the highway and as he saw me taking pictures, he slowed down for me to get the best shots. His english was ok and I was able to understand a few of the questions he asked me. “How did you like Hong Kong?”, “Where are you from?”, just the basics.
Bottom line, if you have the pleasure to visit Hong Kong and willing to take a Taxi, this gives you an overview of what to expect when catching one. To be honest with you all, there are much better ways of transportation in Hong Kong such as the subway, busses, the link and trollies at a way cheaper rate than taxis. I always recommend that if you are wanting to be close to everything (tourist attractions, shopping, restaurants) booking a hotel at the right location will make a big difference and if you are wanting to explore further from where you are thats when public transportation comes in handy. I have zero complaints from the taxi drivers in HKG but instead of paying 350-400 Hong Kong Dollars, I would much rather pay 3.50 hong kong dollars for the busses that will take me to anywhere I want in Hong Kong.
For those who have visit Hong Kong in the past, have you used their public transportation? if so, which one?