Hong Kong public transport is fairly cheap and fast, widely used by both residents and visitors and generally efficient. The most densely populated areas, which are also built up on fairly flat land, are served by the MTR (Mass Transit Railway, or subway train). The KCR (Kowloon-Guangzhou /Canton Railway) runs to the Chinese border at Lo Wu and is a quick way to get to the New Territories. Light Rail Transit (fast, modern, air-con trams) also run in the New Territories, connecting the city of Tuen Mun with Yuen Long.
The Hong Kong bus system is extensive and a little confusing, serving the south side of Hong Kong Island and the New Territories in addition to most urban areas. Minibuses run set routes more quickly than standard buses and minibus passengers can embark and disembark more or less at will along these routes. Metered taxis are red and silver on Hong Kong side, green and white in the New Territories. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other big-city cab rates, starting at HK$15. The Star ferries linking Hong Kong island and Kowloon are a well known tourist attraction, as are the double-decker trams, running along the north coast of Hong Kong island. Three tunnels also link Hong Kong island with Kowloon side. Outlying islands such as Cheung Chau or Lamma have regular ferries which are fun to use, with stunning harbour views. In June 1998 Hong Kong opened its new international airport - Chek Lap Kok - on Lantau Island. The Airport Express train connects Chek Lap Kok with Hong Kong station in Central, stopping in Kowloon along the way, in just 23 minutes. Conveniently, you can check your bags in at the train station when heading out to the airport. There are also express and normal public buses, hotel shuttle buses and taxis to take air passengers into the city.
Finally, Hong Kong has the longest escalator in the world, the Central-Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system, carrying people from sea level to their homes on the steep slopes of the Peak. The best way to pay for all this transport is with the rechargeable 'Octopus' smart card, acceptable on almost all forms of transport except taxis. However, pedestrians who like to walk will probably be disappointed with Hong Kong's poorly designed pedestrian crossings, crushing crowds and confusing pedestrian flyovers.
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