Biking in Hong Kong

If you want to bike in Hong Kong, the best place to rent a bike is the Tai Shui Hang bike park near Tai Shui Hang MTR station on the Ma On Shan line. In the park, there are three bike shops, all of them offering a full-day bike rental for HK$20 (US$2.6), from 9:30am to 6:30pm (the official opening hours of the park are 9am to 6pm). For that moderate price, don’t expect the bike to be very a professional one. If you want a better quality bike, pay more.

a bike shop in the park

Before you reach the park, you will also find a bike shop which offers bike rental from 9:30am to 8pm for HK$20, and sometimes HK$15. The opening hours are slightly longer.

Hong Kong’s best bike paths are located in the Tai Wai / Ma On Shan / Shatin /Taipo areas in the New Territories. In all these areas, near the MTR stations, you can probably find bike shops for bike rental. But it is sure that you won’t be able to find the rent as cheap as HK$20 for a whole day.

The bike park in Tai Shui Hang is in the Ma On Shan area, from where you can bike to Tai Mei Tuk in Taipo (a place close to Plover Cover Reservoir), passing through the Hong Kong Science Park. Be assured that the scenery along the route is beautiful. You will find yourself biking along the sea or surrounded by hills at times. Well, you will also find yourself biking in the Taipo Industrial Estate area, where some of Hong Kong’s factories are located, including the fast food chain Fairwood. You can smell curry in the air.

the section of path next to science park

If you don’t know much about Hong Kong, biking is a very pleasant way to experience the city. It is a shame that Hong Kong has a very limited number of bike path – there is none on Hong Kong Island.

How to go to Tai Shui Hang bike park

Take exit B of Tai Shui Hang MTR station. Turn right where you see a cement road leading to trees. The park is 2-minute walk away.

More information

It is about 18km from Tai Shui Hang bike park to Tai Mei Tuk. A return journey would be 36km. For a rent of HK$20, you have to return the bike to the bike shop on the same day. Or you pay a little more, to return the bike at Shatin or Taipo at a designated bike shop.

the thai restaurant I went to

It takes 1-2 hour bike ride to finish one way journey, depending on how strong you are and how good your bike is. In my case, it took me almost 4 hours to bike from the bike park to Tai Mei Duk and return, in sweltering heat.

Tai Mei Tuk is famous for Thai food. It is such a pleasure to sit down for some delicious Thai food after some hard biking.

Ferry to/from HK airport

If you come to Hong Kong via Hong Kong International Airport and are en route to Pearl River Delta cities, or vice versa, do consider using the SkyPier at the airport.

The pier, soft-opened in December 2009, is a cross-bounder ferry terminal situated at the eastern tip of the airport island. The airport’s Automated People Mover system has extended to the pier, resulting in only 4-minute travel time to Terminal 1. There are 20 airline check-in desks and five security screening channels inside the ferry terminal.

The SkyPier has ferry going to/from Shenzhen’s Shekou (40 minutes), Shenzhen Airport (45 minutes), Dongguan (Humen)(1 hr 20 minutes), Zhongshan (1 hr 10 minutes), Zhuhai (50 minutes) and Macau (50 minutes).

For ferry schedule and more information, check out here.

Ferrying About

Travellers to Hong Kong may know the ferry service from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui. This is the most popular ferry route for visitors to Hong Kong. Other than this, you may also have learnt about the ferry service to the outlying islands, such as Lama Island or Cheung Chau.

If you want to see more of Hong Kong from the sea, or venture to new parts of Hong Kong by ferry, there is actually more choice. Hong Kong’s Transport Department maintains updated and complete information on the city’s ferry service, including information on schedule and fare. Please refer to here.

One route I recommend you take is from Sai Wan Ho to Tung Lung Island. The scene from the Tung Lung Island is spectacular.

Taking Hong Kong MTR

Hong Kong’s train system MTR dedicates a compartment for first class for each train service on its East Rail line (the line going from/to Lo Wu /Lok Ma Chau). To take the first class, you must pay extra. On the platform, where the first class compartment will be parked is marked and there is a machine for passengers to pay the extra. You must swipe your Octopus Card (a smart card used on all Hong Kong’s transport) there before boarding the train.

In other words, when you enter any East Rail station using an Octopus Card, you pay the normal non first class price. Once you are on the platform, you can decide if you want to take the first class or not.

Be sure that you pay the extra if you take the first class. If you are caught, a fine of HK$500 awaits you. From last year to now, a total of 22,000 passengers taking the first class were caught not paying the extra. I am sure some of them were visitors who did not know the rule.

If you are not using an Octopus Card, simply buy a first-class train ticket from a service counter before boarding.

What to note taking HK MTR

Hong Kong's MTR systemHere are small notes regarding some MTR stations in Hong Kong. If you are new to the city’s train (MTR) system, you may be interested.

First, if you want to go from Tsim Sha Tsui station to East Tsim Sha Tsui station, or vice versa, you have to buy a new ticket (meaning you have to leave the gate of one station before entering the gate of another), though the two stations are connected by a long subway and a long walk of at least 5-10 minutes.

Second, Hung Hom station, one of the busiest stations, is the only station of the whole MTR system where electronic information is displayed to show which train to depart from which platform, and at what time. The station is busy because it is the starting point and the final stop for two MTR lines (the West Rail Line and the East Rail Line that goes to Lowu or Lok Ma Chau). There are four platforms in the station so look out for the electronic information before going to any of the platforms.

Kowloon Tong is another busy station because here the East Rail Line and the Kwun Tong Line intersects. Previously, to transfer from one line to another, you had to buy a new ticket, just like the situation mentioned above regarding Tsim Sha Tsui station and East Tsim Sha Tsui station. But it is no longer the case. The walk from one line to another is long though, taking approximately five minutes. So be prepared. If you come from Lowu, Kowloon Tong is usually the transit point for going to the city.