OPEN-TOP SIGHTSEEING BUS TOURS
Until late 2008 the only way to see Hong Kong from an open-top bus was either to take the Citybus service 15C bus operating on the short journey from Central to the Lower Peak Tram Terminus to connect with the Peak Tram or join a group tour on a specially hired bus. However there are now three companies operating “turn up and go” open-top sightseeing tours. UK-based THE BIG BUS COMPANY introduced a “hop-on, hop-off” service on two routes serving Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in December 2008. A third route was added from April 2010. In May 2009, local operator CITYBUS commenced its CITYTOURS non-stop sightseeing tour of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay districts of Hong Kong Island and in October 2009 its sister company NWFB (New World First Bus) RICKSHAW SIGHTSEEING BUS introduced its “hop-on, hop-off” service along two routes on Hong Kong Island;
"NWFB RICKSHAW SIGHTSEEING BUS" OPEN TOP "HOP-ON, HOP-OFF" TOUR;
During October 2009 New World First Bus introduced its "NWFB Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus". The "hop-on, hop-off" service utilises open-top double-deck buses decorated in a rickshaw-themed livery and mock rickshaw style canopy at the rear of the top deck. The rickshaw branding is intended as a reminder of the early 20th century when the Chinese rickshaw was an important form of public transportation around Hong Kong and gradually replaced by buses as the most popular public transport. There are two routes, the "Heritage Tour" and "Metropolis Tour" each departing from Central Star Ferry Pier at 30 minute intervals and taking about 50 minutes from start to finish. The routes serve a total of 25 stops and pass numerous scenic locations including 18 declared monuments, 9 grade-one historic buildings and several prominent shopping malls;
H1 HERITAGE TOUR daily 10am to 5-30pm at 30 minute intervals. Departs from Star Ferry Terminus then via Exchange Square, Western Market, Queen Street, Man Mo Temple, Old Central Police Station, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum, Caine Road and Bonham Road to Hong Kong University East Gate Terminus, omitting Pokfield Road, then via
Pok Fu Lam Road, Water Street, Macau Ferry and return to Star Ferry Terminus.
H2 METROPOLIS TOUR daily from 10-15am to 9-45pm. The tour has Day Scene and Night Scene services;
Day Scene service (10-15am to 6-45pm daily every 30 minutes) departs from Star Ferry Terminus to the Monument in Commemoration of the Return of Hong Kong at Golden Bauhinia Square then Hennessy Road to Percival Street (Times Square), then via Leighton Road, Happy Valley Racecourse, Queen’s Road East, Pacific Place, St. John’s Cathedral and Statue Square and return to Star Ferry Terminus.
Night Scene service (7-15 pm to 9-45pm daily every 30 minutes) departs from Star Ferry Pier to the Monument in Commemoration of the Return of Hong Kong at Golden Bauhinia Square then Hennessy Road to Percival Street (Times Square), then via Leighton Road, Happy Valley Racecourse (then omits Queen’s Road East) and runs via Hennessy Road and Southorn Playground after Leighton Road then follows the Day Scene route to Pacific Place, St. John’s Cathedral and Statue Square and return to Star Ferry Terminus.
Buses are equipped with a bus stop name announcement system and a video system with bilingual journey commentary in Mandarin and English. A One Day Pass costs HK$50 for adults and HK$25 for children under 12* and seniors 65 or over and can be used an unlimited number of times on both routes. (* children under 4 can travel free if accompanied by an adult and not occupying a seat). Purchasers of One Day Passes receive a complimentary route map. Single journey tickets cost HK$8.70 for adults and HK$4.40 for child/senior. Octopus Card or exact cash can be used to purchase passes or single journey tickets. Further information can be obtained here;
NWFB Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus
THE BIG BUS COMPANY OPEN-TOP "HOP-ON, HOP-OFF" SIGHTSEEING TOUR;
The Big Bus Company, one of the largest sightseeing tour operators in the world, has started operating "hop-on, hop-off" sightseeing open-top bus tours of Hong Kong. The company was established in 1991 and already operates open-top bus tours in London, Dubai and Philadelphia. The Hong Kong tour was launched during December 2008 around Kowloon and was soon extended to include a route on Hong Kong Island providing passengers with a unique way of visiting many of Hong Kong's most popular attractions. In
April 2010 a third route was introduced taking in Stanley, Repulse Bay and
Ocean Park on the south side of Hong Kong Island. At February 2012 the company had a fleet of fourteen buses in Hong Kong and was awaiting delivery of additional vehicles.
The BIG BUS TOUR covers three routes;
The RED ROUTE on Hong Kong Island starts at Central Pier 7 (Star Ferry Pier) in Central and takes in Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay with stops at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Causeway Bay SOGO, Park Lane Hotel, Wan Chai Computer City, Lower Peak Tram Terminus, Mid-Levels Escalator, Man Mo Temple and Hotel LKF at Lan Kwai Fong. Service operates from 9-30am to 6pm daily every 30 minutes. Tour duration, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
The GREEN ROUTE on Hong Kong Island starts at Central Pier 7 (Star Ferry Pier) and includes Ocean Park, Repulse Bay, Stanley Market and Aberdeen with stops at Ocean Park, Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Stanley Beach Road and St John's Cathedral (for Hong Kong Park). Service operates from 9-45am to 4-45pm daily, every 30 minutes. Tour duration about 2 hours, 15 minutes.
The BLUE ROUTE around Kowloon starts at Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade near the Avenue of Stars and takes in Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui East, Nathan Road and Mong Kok with stops at Langham Place, Temple Street, Peking Road and Mody Road. Service operates from 10am to 6-15pm daily, every 45 minutes. Tour duration, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Day Tour tickets include tickets for the Peak Tram, Sky Terrace and Star Ferry and also include a free sampan ride in Aberdeen Harbour. Peak Tram tickets do not need to be used on the day of the tour and are valid for one month.
There is also a NIGHT TOUR departing Central Pier 7 (Star Ferry Pier) at 6-15pm and The Peninsula Office Tower, Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui at 7pm every night. The tour of Kowloon includes Nathan Road, Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market and terminates at Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade at about 8pm from where there are excellent views of the Symphony of Lights.
Recorded commentary is available in ten languages including English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian.
PREMIUM TOUR - TICKET VALID 24 HOURS - Adult HK$350, Child (5-15) HK$250
DELUXE TOUR - TICKET VALID 48 HOURS - Adult HK$420, Child (5-15) HK$300
SINGLE ROUTE OR NIGHT TOUR - Adult HK$200, Child (5-15) HK$130
Tickets can be purchased from;
Big Bus website (see below). Online discount is available for fixed-date tickets
Big Bus Information Centre (Central), Shop I2, 1st Floor, Central Star Ferry Pier 7
Big Bus Information Centre (TST), Unit KP-38 1/F, Kowloon Star Ferry Pier, Tsim Sha Tsui
Peak Tram Lower Peak Tram Terminus (opposite main entrance)
Big Bus uniformed staff at Star Ferry Pier (Central Pier 7), Lower Peak Tram Terminus and Kowloon Star Ferry Pier (Tsim Sha Tsui)
Most hotel concierge
For more information see the Big Bus website;
Big Bus Company open-top sightseeing bus
CITYBUS "CITYTOURS" SIGHTSEEING OPEN-TOP BUS TOUR;
In May 2009 Citybus launched a new open-top "Citytours" bus tour on Hong Kong Island. The tour which covers Wan Chai and Causeway Bay operates from 10-30am to 6-30pm daily from Golden Bauhinia Square next to Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The route takes in Golden Bauhinia Square/Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai Police Station, The Pawn, Lung Moon Restaurant, Emperor Group Centre, Sogo Department Store, St Paul's Hospital, St Mary's Church, Hong Kong Central Library, Victoria Park, Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter and People's Liberation Army Building. The tour lasts about 45 minutes but is not a "hop-on, hop-off" service and there are no stops en route.
The fare is HK$88 with a free child (under 1.4M height) ticket for each pair of adult tickets. Tickets can be purchased on the bus or from the Dragon Pearl Cruise ticket office at the night cruise pier at Golden Bauhinia Square or Citybus Customer Service Centres at the Airport Ground Transportation Centre or Admiralty Bus Station. Promotional leaflet can be downloaded and further information obtained here;
Citybus Citytours open-top sightseeing bus