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One Day In Hong Kong - Star Ferry

It was the second day of October in Hong Kong. Our plane had landed early that morning and would be departing early evening. We had about 9 hours to spend in this metropolis, and we were determined to see how much we could squeeze into a day. What we weren’t prepared for, was the heat and humidity. Actually, no. What we weren’t prepared for, was the humidity. Someone who hails from the Northern Cape (where the tourism department has beckoned visitors with the slogan: “Follow the sun, not the crowds”), has no concept of humidity. So arriving to 32 degrees Centigrade and 70% humidity was no joke for these arid-weather-adapted tourists.

That-Man had only one thing on his list: the Star Ferry. Boy, oh boy, did we need that ferry! You see, when you’re literally melting like a candle on a birthday cake, the breeze that washes over you as you sit on the deck, cools you down faster than you can say “liquid nitrogen”, and by the time you disembark an hour later, you’re completely refreshed and ready to face the next onslaught of humid heat.

According to the Star Ferry website, National Geographic named this method of crossing the Victoria Harbour one of “the fifty places in a lifetime,” and they weren’t exaggerating.

The Star Ferry vessels have been ferrying commuters since 1888, and it used to be the main form of transport used to cross the harbour. It still carries 53,000 passengers daily.

The Harbour Tour is definitely good value for your money. For HK$100 (around R170), you can enjoy first class views of the iconic Hong Kong skyline from the comfort of an air-conditioned seat or a prime vantage point on the outside decks. A refreshment voucher is included (cold drink and snack), but you could also have some freshly brewed coffee at the café onboard. During the day seven Harbour Tours depart from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and Wan Chai on a round trip. They also offer three Night Tours, one of which includes the laser show that lights up the harbour each night (HK$180 for the Night Tour; HK$205 for the Symphony of Lights Harbour Cruise.)

There are other options available as well, including a round trip tour from Tsim Sha Tsui to either Disneyland Resort Pier (HK$180) or Tsing Ma Bridge (HK$130). These routes are serviced by the newly-renovated, eco-friendly World Star.

For a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, this is certainly recommended. It’s a great way to see several of the architectural wonders of the city, as well as an efficient orientation of Kowloon’s and Hong Kong Island’s waterfronts.

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