Travel on the Star Ferry, a Real Hong Kong Icon

It ain’t about the cost, it’s about experiencing a slice of history.       

I have filched this quote from a very famous tour guide book which shall remain nameless:

“A buzzer sounds, you bolt for the gangplank. A whistle blows, the Star Ferry chugs forward. This vehicle carrying you belongs to a fleet of legendary ferries that plies passengers between Kowloon and Hong Kong. At only US$0.30, the ride, with its views of skyscrapers and tenements against a backdrop of jungle-clad hills, must be the world’s best-value cruise. At the end of nine minutes, watch as a hemp rope is cast, then caught with a billhook, the way it was in 1888 when the first boat docked.”

You know what, I wish I could write like this, I’m not joking, I am not a natural born writer, I struggle with writers block on a 140 character tweet! but this description of the Star Ferry is right on the button and it makes you want to travel on the ferry over and over again. 

Anyway back to reality, I am not limited to a 150 word description of one of the worlds greatest attractions, I tend to woffle on a bit and you can read my somewhat lengthier articles on my web site

9008629080?profile=originalOh... and I always believe that images bring an article alive.

My tip is simple, as the Star Ferry is pretty much on everybody’s wish list you may want to travel on the lower deck as opposed to the upper deck, let me make this clear this is not a cost thing as the ferry ride is agreeably cheap, HK$2.50 (US$0.32) for the upper deck and HK$2.00 (US$0.26) for the lower deck, travelling on the lower deck puts you much closer to the water, you can smell the engine oil and “feel” the engine thumping away and at the same time feel sorry for the poor captain of the boat who surely must be wishing for the old days when he actually had to captain a ship, the much shorter ride and lack of sea traffic must make the ride pretty boring for him.

I like the upper deck as well but it is a bit sanitised and completely lacking in atmosphere in fact in the old days you would never, ever see a Chinese person on the upper deck, this was for the gweilo (foreigners) only, thankfully such discrimination disappeared a long time ago.

Like I said for a much, much better experience travel the lower deck of what is surely an experience you will remember forever.


Jamie Lloyd

J3 Tours Hong Kong