Hong Kong Taxis are plentiful and cheap. You can always flag one down (except during rush hour or if it's raining) and they are the easiest for door to door transport.
Taxis in Hong Kong are clean and metered. Cab drivers must use the meters by law and this has always been our experience although occasionally there might be the rogue cabbie around.
Your best defense is to inform yourself and know what to expect. Just like anywhere else in the world, it is the unsuspecting tourist that is the most vulnerable to any scam.
There are many times when taking a taxi will make more sense than public transportation, if you have 3 or 4 people in your group for example, sometimes it is more economical and convenient to take a taxi than to navigate with the bus or the MTR and paying for 3 or 4 individual fares.
Hong Kong is known for its highly efficient and convenient public transportation system, but there are times when a taxi comes in very handy...
Here are some sample taxi fares, remember this is the cost per taxi not per person and the fares will vary depending on traffic conditions, included in the total is the tolls for bridges or tunnels if any:
Getting Around by Hong Kong Taxi - Sample Fares
|Attraction||To/From Central||To/From Tsim Sha Tsui|
|Hong Kong Airport||HK295||HK240|
|Hong Kong Disneyland||HK245||HK190|
|Ocean Park Hong Kong||HK70||HK120|
|Ngong Ping Cable Car (Tung Chung)||HK290||HK230|
|Cruise Ship Port at Ocean Terminal||HK100||HK30|
And here is a handy "fare calculator", just enter the "starting from" and "going to" info and it will compute the cost of the fare based on the distance. It gives you a range depending on traffic conditions, you still need to add any tolls for bridges and tunnels.
All taxis should use the meter, if your taxi driver wants to "negotiate" the fare or refuses to use the meter, take another taxi.
Waiting charges are HK1.60 per minute, if you are in a jam, it piles up quick. Waiting charges will be tallied by the meter.
There are NO special night rates or Sunday and Holiday rates.
In addition to the fare in the meter, sometimes there are extra charges you will also need to cover. Please be aware of these extra charges which the driver will add to the fare in the meter. There is potential for visitors to get ripped off or for visitors to feel they are being ripped off when they do not know about these charges.
Can I pay with a credit card? Don't count on it! Some taxis are able to take credit cards and/or octopus cards; however, this is not the standard yet and is better to have cash and in small denominations. You won't make friends with the cabbie if you hand him a HK500 or HK1000 note.
How much do you tip cab drivers? It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Hong Kong but it's certainly appreciated. You can round up the sum or give a small tip for helpful service. Our last driver from the airport did not charge us the HK5 per bag extra so we just added a bit more as a tip.
Count your change: If you get change back, count it. I have caught one time too many cabbies helping themselves to their tip this way. Get familiar with the currency, notes and coins.
Thank you for visiting www.hong-kong-traveller.com!
Here is to a wonderful Hong Kong travel experience!
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