Taking a Hong Kong taxi is a bargain compared with prices in other major cities, such as London and New York, and you’ll find people hopping in a taxi far more frequently. And, with nearly 20,000 roaming the city’s streets, you shouldn’t find it hard to hail a Hong Kong taxi. Add to the mix that they’re safe, reliable, honest (for the most part) and air conditioned, and you’re more than likely to end up in a cab at some point.
Types of Taxi
The first thing to note is that there is only one taxi firm in Hong Kong, run by the Hong Kong government. There are no private mini cab firms in Hong Kong. Hong Kong taxis come in three colors and are only allowed to access certain areas
Red- Are Urban Taxis; they have the right to operate throughout Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories, including Hong Kong Disneyland. These are the taxis you’re most likely to see. Be warned, although the taxis have the right to travel throughout the territory, many won’t cross the harbour between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. You’ll need to go to the Cross_Harbour taxi ranks, such as at the Star Ferry terminals.
Green – Are New Territory Taxis; they only have the right to operate in the New Territory area, including Disneyland
Blue - Are Lantai taxis; they only have the right to operate on Lantau Island.
Prices of a Taxi
In an urban taxi, the first two kilometres cost HK$18, with every 200 metres that follows priced at HK$1.5. Prices in New Territory and Lantau taxis are slightly lower. Large baggage, meaning anything carried in the trunk, is charged at an extra HK$5. Passengers are also responsible for paying tolls at any bridges or tunnels, this includes the return toll for the driver.
Call or Hail
Aside from rush hour 5pm-7pm, and late night weekends, there is alost always an abundance of taxis to be hailed from the street. Just stick out your hand. If want to arrange a taxi in advance, call 2574 7311.
Are Taxi Drivers Honest?
Compared to most taxi drivers around the world, Hong Kong taxi drivers are incredibly honest; they are so heavily regulated and monitored by the government it’s hard for them to pull off any scams. Just be sure they turn the meter on.
Do Taxi Drivers Speak English?
In general, no. If you’re heading for a major landmark or destination, say Disneyland or Stanley, then drivers will generally understand, and some drivers understand English well, however, for the most part they rely on someone speaking English at their base. This means you simply speak your destination into the radio and they’ll translate for the driver.