Hong Kong Taxi Guide

For the free-spirited Hong Kong adventurer, he would definitely put public transport in his experience list. But then again, there are some hindrances to traveling on your own and choosing to wander at your own risk, especially in the case of taxis.

Two things that you would have to take note of with Hong Kong taxis: manufacturer and color. All taxis are Toyota made, as all of Hong Kong is covered by a lone taxi firm that is strictly run by their government. Drivers’ identity cards are put on display on the dashboard. This is mandatory so that passengers can identify them in cases of overcharging or customer relation issues. So much for discipline.

Their color also indicates their route and territories. Only three colors are used – red, blue, and green. Red is the dominant taxi color as it covers all of urban Hong Kong, and that includes Disneyland and the airport. The green represents the New Territories Taxi, while the blue exclusively runs towards Lantau Island. This color coding mechanism gives a sense of complacency to passengers, as they will know if they are riding the “right” cab or not.

Passengers are obliged to pay the exact fair displayed on the meter, as well as toll charges should there be any. Their charges are very affordable, with a starting range of roughly HK$20 for the red cabs that tops up at only HK$1.50 every 200 meters. If you have enough spare change, then that’s fine. But if you’re traveling on a budget and you have several destinations in your list, you could check for fare estimates online with websites that do fare calculations.

Lastly, always – always – have smaller bills with you. It is advisable to pay them the exact amount. Larger bills might cause problems, as drivers are not required to give change for the larger 500 and 1,000-dollar bills.