Monday, April 23, 2012

Getting to Know the Hong Kong Subway MTR

The Subway (MTR) in Hong Kong is about the best, fastest way to get around the city.   It's cheap, fast, and for the most part, clean.  Here's what you need to know.

Honk Kong Subway Map, MTR
Hong Kong Subway Map
The MTR goes where you're going.   You can get back and forth from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, all the way up into the new territories and even onto Lantau to to the border crossing with China.  It's goes everywhere.

Here's how to find the Hong Kong Subway:

Hong Kong Subway Logo, MTR
MTR Logo
Just look for the MTR logo.  Most MTR stations have several entrances, so if you think you're near a station, just look around.  Odd are, you are only a few steps away from an entry way.

How to use the Hong Kong Subway:

Hong Kong octopus travel card

The MTR accepts the Octopus card.  Just swipe the card and walk on in.  You can buy the card at any subway station, at the numerous 7-11's around town or at kiosks around the city.  I think some hotels sell them as well.  The Octopus card is rechargeable, and can be used for buses, taxis, and at some grocery and convenience stores as well.  Whether you're planning on taking the Subway or not, an octopus card is a handy tool for the traveler or tourist.  

Be aware that the Hong Kong subway is several stories deep.  The subway you're looking for may be up or down a level.  Also watch the signs in terminals where two lines meet, the lines may actually be as much as a block apart from each other with tunnels connecting them.   You may end up hiking a ways between lines so plan accordingly.

Myself, I loved the Hong Kong subway.  It was clean and fast with signage and audio messages in both English and Cantonese.   When it got out into the New Territories and Lantau it even came up above ground giving you a good view of the countryside.  Here's me, on the red line headed for the border crossing in Shenzhen.

Hong Kong subway red line
Hong Kong Subway Red Line

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