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29/09/2013

How much do you know star ferry of Hong Kong

1. star ferry

As much a part of HK as the red double decker is of London. The ferry plows the waters between HK Island and Kowloon throughout the day and night, leaving the moorings every few minutes, contributing to making the harbour the busiest in the world.

Surprisingly, there are only 12 ferries in service - but so frequent (and very short journeys), there seems a lot more. Between them they carry some 70,000 passengers a day!

Two piers on HK Island (houses some famous Hong Kong attractions) and two on Kowloon. The Central to Tsim Sha Tsui is the shortest and most popular, but Wan Chai (HKI) and Hung Hom (Kowloon) further to the east are also served.

Two levelled decking, with lower decking the cheapest. But top deck provides the views of those skylines...

2. Take a Ride on a Piece of History

26 million passengers make use of the Star Ferry to cross Victoria Harbour every year. Although there are four different routes the one from Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon to Central, Hong Kong Island is the route most often associated with the Star Ferry.

Before 1870 people had to use sampans to cross the harbour. In that year a single steam ferry started to run an irregular service. In 1888 the Kowloon Ferry Service started with the original vessel and two more – the Morning Star and Evening Star. The service was so popular it soon had 4 ferries all of which had names ending in ‘Star’. The business became the Star Ferry Company Limited in 1898. After some changes in fortune and surviving WWII the service now operates 12 ferries. Until 1972, when the harbour tunnel was built, Star Ferries were the main way to cross the harbour.

The Star Ferry is now an icon of Hong Kong (learn more via Hong Kong travel guide) and remains popular with locals and tourists alike. One of the best views you can get of the harbour and the famous skyline is from the ferry.

The trip from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central costs $2HK one way for the lower deck. Tokens can be purchased from vending machines at the piers.

3. The Star Ferry - Harbour Tour.

The star Ferry offers a harbor cruise that takes one hour to complete.

For a reasonable HK$40 you are provided with a modern ferry that is fully air-conditioned. This is a perfect way to get a fully narrated overview of the city for your Hong Kong tours, with a cold drink in hand from the bar.

The "Shining Star" ferry is a re-creation of the ferries that were common on Victoria Harbour during the 1920s and 1930’s.

There are also outside viewing areas at the bow and stern of the vessel for those who wish to enjoy the “outdoors” a little more!

4. The Star Ferry - between Kowloon and Hong Kong Is.

The Star Ferry was a quick trip that took us between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in approx 5 minutes. Although views were excellent, with the massive skyscrapers dwarfing the container ships, ferries and other water craft, I was a little disappointed with the ferry ride as I thought the ride would go longer! (Just one of those things you picture in your head before traveling to a particular destination.)

Although the star ferry has 2 levels, first and second class, we paid for a second class ticket and sat in the first class seats. Nobody approached us and we simply enjoyed the breeze and the excellent views.

Hong Kong is a must-see for your China tour deals.

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