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#tbt STAR FERRY

Hey there! I’ve noticed a lot of new followers lately, so welcome! I’m glad you’re here. I started blogging in 2012, to document my journey of living abroad. Despite occasional attempts to focus on specific subject matters over the years, I always come back to the personal blog format: I write about myself and the stuff I think is worth sharing. I thought it would be fun to reflect on this crazy journey by re-posting some of my favorite posts over the years. Check back every Thursday for #tbt (throw back thursdays) posts! I hope you enjoy.

Originally Posted:  July 25, 2012

The Star Ferry is not only an important means of transportation for Hong Kong residents, it’s also a must do for tourist. The National Geographic Traveler named the ferry crossing as one of the “50 experiences of a life time”. I’m pretty sure I can come up with 50 other experiences to visit in my lifetime, but I will say it’s my favorite way to cross the harbor.

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Although most passengers today are tourist, I find the commute a great way to start and finish my work day. There’s something relaxing about the motion of the waves, the sun reflecting off the water, the sound of the waves hitting the ferry, and of course that view.  It’s a reminder of what’s great about living in here.

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There are three Star Ferry terminals and only two routes.

Central Terminal:
Central Terminal only runs to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Ferry’s run from 6:30AM to 11:30PM seven days a week.
If you feel overwhelmed with what the island has to offer, jump on one of the city’s open top double deck bus tours. Just keep an eye out for tour guides handing out brochures as you exit the ferry.
If you would rather hit the streets solo, I suggest you follow the signs above head directing you to the footbridge as you exit the ferry. The foot bridge will bypass the crazy bus tour and taxi traffic and take you to the heart of Central’s financial district.

Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal:
Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal has two routes and each with their own boarding areas. Pay attention to signs overhead directing you to either Central or Wanchai. Once you enter you’re kind of stuck so pay attention. If you board the wrong one you can stay on the ferry and return back to TST for free.
Ferry’s run to Wanchai from 7:30AM to 11:00PM seven days a week.
Ferry’s run to Central from 6:30AM to 11:30PM seven days a week.
If you want help with what Kowloon has to offer, TST also has open top double deck bus tours. Just keep an eye out for tour guides handing out brochures as you exit the ferry.
If you want to explore on foot you will find shopping, eating, museums, and promenades within feet of exiting the ferry terminal.

Wanchai Terminal:
Wanchai Terminal only runs to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Ferry’s run from 7:30AM to 11:00PM seven days a week.
There are no bus tours and very few taxis at the Wanchai Terminal.
If you’re a tourist, I would avoid going to the Wanchai Terminal.

Fares for all routes:
Adult fare is HKD$2.50 Monday-Friday and HKD$3.40 on weekends and holidays.
Children ride for HKD$1.50 Monday-Friday and only HKD$2.10 on weekends and holidays.
Seniors 65+ ride free everyday.
You may purchase an unlimited use 4-day pass for HKD$25.00
Tickets are sold in forms of tokens. Look for green vending-like machines near the ferry entrances. I suggest you have coins with you, but HKD$10 bills are accepted too. There is no staff, but the machines are easy to understand with English noted.
The Octopus Card is also accepted for fare. Simply tap your card at the gate to enter the ferry. You can purchase an Octopus card at any MTR station for a minimum of HKD$100 credit. The Octopus Card can be used on all trains (MTR and Airport Express), trams and buses. You can also use the Octopus Card at grocery stores, 7-11’s, Starbucks and McDonald’s. In other words, you’ll easily find ways to spend that HKD$100 credit.

As with anything outdoors in Hong Kong, be prepared to sweat! There are two levels on the ferry. The upper deck has air conditioning during the summer months (in the windowed cabins on either end of the ferry) or you can enjoy the ocean breeze and open view on the lower deck. Even with the air-conditioned cabins, I still sweat.  A lot.  Just take a look at my pictures!

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Interesting Facts:

Prior to the first cross harbour tunnel opened in 1972, the Star Ferry was the main means of transportation between HK and Kowloon.
Approximate travel time is 10 minutes, with ferry’s running every 5-10 minutes.  You can transport your bicycle across the harbour on the lower deck.
Over 70,000 daily passengers ride the Star Ferry.

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