Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Walking Tour: Star Ferry

Welcome to the third edition of Walking Tour Wednesdays. If you missed the first two weeks, we explored Hollywood Road and the market streets of Sheung Wan. Today's tour will take us to the iconic Star Ferry, where you can even sit down for part of the tour.

Let's start out in the IFC Mall, right above Hong Kong station and the Airport Express.

You can get from IFC to the piers almost without touching the ground.

Follow the walkway...

...and make sure you snap a few pictures of the view along the way.

It gets better as you get closer to the waterfront.

When you reach the end of the walkway, take the escalator on your left.

If you stayed above the ground, you could walk all the way to the Macau Ferry...

...but you should go down so you can get a better view of the piers.

To your left is the Discovery Bay ferry. Located on Lantau Island, Disco Bay is an expatriate enclave that looks vaguely like San Diego.

If it's a nice day, there will be lots of other people on the waterfront.

Turn right and start counting the piers as you walk.

First up is the ferry to Lamma Island, a hippie and seafood paradise just 25 minutes from the rush of Central Hong Kong.

There will probably be other tourists walking with you.

Take a look to your left...

You'll be able to see Kowloon and maybe a cruise ship or two on the other side of Victoria Harbour.

And you'll see more tourists as you continue your walk along the waterfront.

The next ferry on your left will take you to Cheung Chau, a pretty little crescent shaped island in the shadow of larger Lantau.

Look to your left again and you'll see your first Star Ferry out on the water.

The ferries at the next pier will take you to tiny, undeveloped Peng Chau or to Mui Wo (also known as Silvermine Bay), one of the many bays of Lantau Island.

Take one last look to your right at the taxis and the bus terminal.

Now look up ahead, and you'll see the famous Star Ferry pier.

I just happened to arrive at the pier at the same time as the party ferry. The rest of them are green and white.

In case you lost count, the Star Ferry leaves from pier 7.

To your right you'll be able to see the old Central Pier, but these days it is too far away from the water to use.

Walk through the pier...

...and pay the nominal fee for the ride.

Join the crowds on the gangway...

...and mind your head as you walk onto the ferry.

Find yourself a seat...

...sit back and enjoy the ride.

You'll probably catch a glimpse of a normal Star Ferry on your way across the harbor.

The best part is always the view.

That 118-storey building on your left is home to the highest hotel, the highest bar, and the highest chocolate library in the world.

On your right you can see the exhibition center in Wanchai.

As the ferry crosses the harbor, see what other boats you can spot along the way.

Eventually you'll near Tsim Sha Tsui and the ferrymen will prepare to bring the ferry to dock.

As you wait for the ferry to come to a stop, take a look to your left at the cruise ship terminal.

Also look behind once again at Hong Kong Island.

As you exit the ferry take a peak into the engine room...

...and check out what lies beneath the pier on this side.

Climb the ramp...

...and you'll emerge into the busyness of Tsim Sha Tsui.

Look out for the guys hawking copy watches and tailor services as you join the flood of tourists.

TST is busy and grungy, and quite different from the piers you just left behind on Hong Kong Island.

You'll see the performing arts center and clock tower on your right as you walk further into TST.

Since this is tourist territory you can finish your Star Ferry tour at the Starbucks in Star House.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. Next Wednesday we'll take another look at Hong Kong. I have two walking tours lined up: a stroll through the Zoological and Botanical Gardens (flowers and birds and monkeys) and a tour of Mongkok (crowds and commercialism). Which one do you want to see first?


  1. Give us the monkeys, please!

  2. I love this! It's so detailed and your pictures are fabulous. I could probably make my way through Hong Kong without a map, just with these posts.

  3. I've never heard of a chocolate library! Perhaps some day you'll treat us to a walking tour of that!


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