Although Hong Kong is one of the world's easiest cities to tour on your own, open-top "Hop-on Hop-off" sightseeing bus tours are still a fairly popular way to discover the metropolis, especially if you are on a stopover and don't have all the time in the world...
But even if you do have the time, you can still jump on one of these buses and get some great photo ops from the open top...
Currently, there are two major hop-on, hop-off bus operators in Hong Kong, namely Big Bus Tours and NWFB: The first one is an international operator of open-top bus tours, while the second is one of Hong Kong's largest public transport companies.
Big Bus Tours operates its open-top buses on three routes: One runs through Kowloon, while the second focuses on Hong Kong Island and the third covers Stanley and the south coast (Their single "open day ticket" includes them all, as well as some other extras, like a ride on the historic Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and a short cruise aboard a traditional Sampan boat in Aberdeen.
All in all, the three routes cover most of Hong Kong's must-sees, including the Star Ferry Pier, Jade Market, Mong Kok markets, Nathan Road, Avenue of Stars and the major museums on Kowloon side, and SoHo, Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), Peak Tram Lower Terminus, Wanchai and Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, as well as attractions and places-of-interest on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island, like Stanley, Aberdeen (Sampan ride), Ocean Park and the picturesque Repulse Bay... (Click here for the exact routes)
There are commentaries in eight languages, including English, French and German...
Click here to get a glimpse of what you are going to see along the routes...
At the time of writing, a full-dayticket costs US$ 41 for an adult and US$ 26 for a child and includes unlimited rides on the three bus-routes, as well as a free return ticket on the Peak Tram (and an entrance to the "Sky Terrace"), a free upper-deck return ticket on the Star Ferry and a ride on a traditional Chinese Sampan boat in Aberdeen. Moreover, you can upgrade to a 48-hour Ticket for a small extra charge (which you should, as there is no way you can cover all these places in 24 hours).
Big Bus Tours also offers a one hour Open-top Hong Kong Night Tour which takes passengers through Kowloon's major evening-spots, like the Avenue of Stars (where the tour starts from), Hong Kong Coliseum, Temple Street's Night Market and Mong Kok... Ticket costs US$ 25 for an adult or a child, which is not such a bargain as you can easily explore all those places on your own, for much less...
Well noted for its bright Bazooka-pink color, the "Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus" is also a "hop-on, hop-off" double decker, operated by NWFB, one of Hong Kong's biggest public transport companies.
They currently offer two routes that pass through most of the attractions within the central part of Hong Kong Island (Central, Sheung Wan, Wanchai and Causeway Bay), but don't go to Kowloon, or to places like "the Peak", Ocean Park and Stanley on Hong Kong Island.
Buses leave from Central (Star Ferry) every fifteen minutes, between 10am and 6pm, and passengers can listen to an English commentary about the various sites along the route... (you also get a small complimentary map)
One Day Pass costs HK$ 50 for an adult and half of that for a child (under 12) or a senior (over 65), and allows unlimited rides throughout that same day.
Small kids and babies (below the age of 4) don't have to pay, so long as they seat on their parents laps.
Tickets can be bought on board by either Octopus Card or Cash (You'll need the exact amount though, just like on any other bus in Hong Kong)
All in all, the "Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus" covers only a small part of Hong Kong and although it is the cheapest among the two, Big Bus Tours seems to be giving much more value...
Do you know ?Taking a hop on hop off bus tour is one the best ways to see any large city, as it saves you plenty of precious holiday time and takes you EXACTLY where you want to go... (Not to mention the great cityscape views you can enjoy on the way...).
1. Central Star Ferry Pier (IFC and other glitzy shopping malls) 2. Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and Golden Bauhinia Square 3. Causeway Bay (SOGO and Times Square) 4. Causeway Bay (Fashion Walk shopping area, Typhoon Shelter/Noonday Gun & Victoria Park) 5. Wan Chai Computer Centre (and a good starting point for those who want to explore Wan Chai) 6. Peak Tram Lower Terminus (You should also visit Hong Kong Park, before or after "the Peak") 7. No. 138 Queen’s Road (For the "world's longest escalator" and SoHo). 8. Hollywood Road (Man mo temple, antique galleries, and knick-knack stalls on Cat Street).
9. Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) and SoHo: Hong Kong's best dining and nightlife percincts.
The "Blue Route" : Kowloon
10. Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade ("Avenue of Stars" and the museums) 11. The Peninsula Hong Kong 12. Langham Place (Ladies' Market and Mong Kok) 13. Temple Street (Night Market, Jade Market and Chinese streets of Yau-ma-tei) 14. Sky 100 (and "West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade") 15. Hankow Road (1881 Heritage, Harbour City & Canton Road) 16. Museum of History & Museum of Science & HK Colliseum.
The "Green Route" : Aberdeen, Ocean Parl and Stanley
17. Central Star Ferry Pier (Where you can interchahnge to the "Red route") 18. Peak Tram Lower Terminus: Interchange point for the "red route" HK Island Tour 19. Ocean Park 20. Repulse Bay Beach and the Tin Hau Temple 21. Stanley (Market, waterfront promenade and beaches) 22. Aberdeen (Floating restaurants, Sampan ride) 23. St. John's Cathedral (Hong Kong Park and Pacific Place Mall)
Sights and scenes along the Hong Kong Island Route
Causeway Bay, near SOGO
The firing ceremony at the "Noon-day gun", Causeway Bay
Riding Hong Kong's historic "Peak Tram" up to Victoria Peak
Stunning views from Victoria Peak ("The Peak")
The internationally-famous "Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System"
Hollywood Road, Cat Street and the SoHo: Antique galleries, knick-knack stalls and cosy cafes
Sights and scenes along the Kowloon Route
The "Avenue of Stars" on Tsim-sha-Tsui's waterfront promenade
Ladies' Market, in Mong Kok, is one of Hong Kong's most popular open-air markets
Sky100, Hong Kong highest man-made observation deck, overlooks the city from the 100th floor of Hong Kong's highest skyscraper.
Although it is best known for its thriving market, the pituresque seaside town of Stanley has a lot more to offer to its visitors, including some lovely beaches and a beautifil waterfront promenade with plenty of alfresco cafes, bars and good restaurants.
A Sampan cruise in Aberdeen's Typhoon Shelter... You can also see the world's-famous floating restaurant.
And here is a small tip: Taking a hop on hop off tour on a sightseeing bus is one the best possible ways to explore a large city, as it saves you plenty of precious holiday time and takes you EXACTLY where you want to go... (Not to mention the great views get to enjoy on the way...). Our "Hop on hop off guides" cover quite a few cities across the world, including Singapore, Sydney, Perth, Canberra and others...