Hong Kong Taxi Guide
One tip to remember on our Hong Kong Taxi Guide, is that different coloured taxis have different designated operating areas.
You’ll have to change if you cross into another taxi’s catchments area. Since longer journeys are usually faster by public transport this is rarely a problem unless you are transporting goods or suitcases.
The exceptions are at Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong Disneyland, where all taxis are allowed to provide services.
- Red urban taxis operate in most areas in Hong Kong, except Tung Chung Road and roads in south Lantau.
- Green New Territories taxis mainly operate in the north-eastern part (i.e. north of Sha Tin) and north-western part (i.e. north of Tsuen Wan) of the New Territories.
- Blue Lantau taxis operate only on Lantau Island (except Discovery Bay) and Chek Lap Kok. As there are only 50 blue taxis, compared to >15,000 red ones, getting a taxi on Lantau can be a challenge.
Hong Kong taxi guide – Fares
Taxis are installed with a taximeter to calculate the fare based on the distance traveled together with any waiting time incurred while the taxi is hired. The fare on a taximeter is in Hong Kong dollars and cents and may be subject to surcharges for tolls incurred or use of the boot. Taxis should never work off the meter, although some will offer a percentage discount off the meter if they are pre-ordered for long journeys.
Short, local journeys usually usually little more than the minimum fare of HK$20.
Hong Kong Taxi Guide – Communicating
Many Hong Kong taxi drivers don’t speak good English. Here are a few tips:
- Get someone to write down your destination in Chinese, or print out a Chinese map from the internet showing the location.
- If you are catching a taxi from your hotel, ask the doorman to translate.
- Program the phone number of your destination, your hotel concierge or office switchboard into your phone. If you get stuck, get the taxi driver to speak to them.
- Indicate that you want to speak to the taxi dispatcher on the vehicle’s radio. They are usually bi-lingual.
- Learn a few words of Cantonese. If the street name is ‘Queens Road’, the Chinese name is ‘Queens Doh’. ‘Street’ is ‘Guy’. ‘Stop’ is ‘lee doe’, ‘wait’ is ‘dung dung’, turn right is ‘jin yow’, turn left ‘jin jaw’, go straight ‘jick hoi’. Faster is ‘fai dee’, please is ‘mm goy’ and ‘thank you’ is ‘dodgeh’.