Travel with chozun

Navigating Hong Kong’s MRT: From Cha Chaan Teng to Guerrilla Street Art

Photo by @jampatcon

This week at chozun 途赞, we’re taking you on a ride on one of the world’s most envied metro systems. Why? To celebrate the 10th and 12th of May: world train week! We’re looking into one of the world’s best Metro systems – Hong Kong’s MTR and it’s sweetest surroundings. We cover some of the most awesome, underground, must see spots in Hong Kong. As with many of the world’s top cities, Hong Kong’s metro allows you to access many of the city’s sweetest spots.

 

Staple stations & their top surroundings

Central Station

Around central station there are some of Hong Kong’s most popular and unique bars, cafes and activities. The bars and breweries we recommend the most in the area include stock market based bar Wolf MarketCe La Vie terrace, Ashley Sutton’s Iron Fairies Bar65 Peel for some crafty Hong Kong brew, and NYC’s iconic Hong Kong sister PDT (Please Don’t Tell). One of our favourite coffee spots in Hong Kong is Elephant Grounds, which is not only based near Central, but can be found near Admiralty station, Causeway Bay station and Sheung Wan station. If you fancy some creative flair with your caffeine dosage, Leo’s Espresso offers remarkable and instagramable 3D coffee art. The espresso bar is located roughly halfway between Central station and Admiralty station – so either stop will allow you to witness Leo’s incredible work.

Central station is also only a 8-10 min walk from Peak Tram stop from which you can access the remarkable viewing points and hiking tracks at Victoria Peak. If you’re around Admiralty station, Peak Tram stop is even closer. If central station wasn’t offering enough already, you are only a brisk 10 minute walk from the city’s beautiful Zoological and Botanical Gardens. If you’re looking for a quick and easy bite to eat, Hong Kong is famous for it’s Cha Chaan Teng‘s, authentic no-frill eateries. Our top Cha Chaan Teng recommendation near Central station would have to be Lan Fong Yuen. Open since 1952, it’s no wonder the pork buns are to die for.

 

Tsim Sha Tsui station (Kowloon)

Situated in the epicentre of Kowloon, it’s no surprise that Tsim Sha Tsui station offers some of Hong Kong’s most iconic scenes within a 10 min walk.  These include fantastic views of the Symphony of Lights (also accessible from East Tsim Sha Tsui station)Harbour City Mall and Temple Street Market. Tsim Sha Tsui Station also leads directly to Victoria Harbour where there are ferries across the bay, and incredible city skyline views. Kowloon Park 九龙公园 is also a short walk from the station and provides some sanctuary from the busy street, with Tai Chi, swimming pools, stunning flower gardens, a large tranquil lake with flamingos and an exotic aviary.

If you’re after a drink, Eye Bar rooftop offers exquisite views of the city and delicious beers and cocktails. If you’re in the mood for an alcohol free coffee fix, N1 Coffee & Co is one of if our favourite spots. Our top Cha Chaan Teng recommendation near Tsim Sha Tsui station is Relax For A While – their congee menu will bring a tear to your eye.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Causeway Bay station

Causeway Bay is best known as the dynamic and fast-paced retail heart of HK. It’s dived between Eastern and Western quarters. The Western quarter offers luxury malls, department stores and boutiques. It’s Eastern end is filled with a bargain hunter’s dream where they can explore  Jardine’s Crescent street market. If you’re in the mood for a drink with a view, Skye Bar is a must. If you’re into the cuter, quirkier kind of experience, Rabbit Cafe is the answer to the infamous cat cafes of Japan.

Causeway Bay station is also conveniently located a brief walk from tranquil Victoria Park 维多利亚公园 where they offer popular Tai Chai. Various meeting points are in close vicinity too, including Hong Kong Central LibraryOur top Cha Chaan Teng recommendation near Causeway Bay station is Yee Shun Milk Company. We can never go past their traditional HK milk pudding.

 

Sheung Wan station

Sheung Wan is in renowned for it’s chill vibes, street art, numerous cafes, eateries, bars and markets. Based west of the main business district, the station is directly connected to the Macau Ferry Terminal. Hollywood Road and Cat street Market, and Graham Street Market are the perfect places for antique shopping – we’re sure with some luck you’ll find treasure you never knew you even needed! The station is a 5-10 min walk from the local heritage Man Mo Temple. 

If you’re someone with a sweet-tooth, Oddies Foodies dessert bar offers some unique and delicious treats including liquid nitrogen cookies and cream bites! If you’re after a refreshing afternoon aperitif, The Old Man is one of your top picks. Our top Cha Chaan Teng recommendation near Sheung Wan station is Hoi An Café, which was incredibly founded in the same year as Central’s infamous Lan Fong Yuen. The buns and baked goods are a gift from the gods and the main reason we head to Hoi An Café.

How the subway works in Hong Kong

Offering free wifi, navigating the MRT is easy as both Google maps and Apple maps plan your journey for you. Otherwise, you can grab an physical map from a local station or download the MRT App. You can also observe the in carriage displays that tell you what stations you’re approaching. It’s best to avoid the  rush hours of 7.30am to 9.30am and 5pm to 7pm on weekdays as the MRT gets quite hectic. There are usually trains running very two to ten minutes between the hours 6am to around midnight or 1am.

The main options for using the MRT are buy grabbing an Octopus Card, Tourist Day Pass or Single Journey Pass. Hong Kong also has efficient bus, ferry and tram services – but for convenience we don’t think it gets better than the MRT. Other important trains in HK include the Airport Express Line, a special Disney Line, and a light rail network for the northwestern part of the region. Train directly to China’s mainland are also just a stone’s throw away!

Photo by Nic Low on Unsplash

 

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