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A Ride on the Star Ferry – Hong Kong Stories

There are millions of Hong Kong Stories. This is one of them….

Hong Kong is a sprawling, modern metropolis with a population of over 7 million. It has a fantastic rapid transit system to shuttle people all over the territory that’s clean, cheap and efficient and but is also a little vanilla

Thankfully, despite itself, Hong Kong is a bit of a romantic. Founded in 1888, the Star Ferry still ploughs the waters of Victoria Harbour. Each ferry has Star in their name including Morning Star, Silver Star and the delightfully named Twinkling Star. Each is also a little different depending on when they came into service. I imagine there are a number of Ferry Spotters who set about riding and documenting the full set of these historic boats.

Twinkling Star Ferry, Hong Kong Life preserver on the Star Ferry, Hong Kong

Peak hour is busy with commuters but for much of the time, the bulk of the passengers are tourists. During the day the Star Ferry is uncrowded, with plenty of seats on both decks that afford great views. In particular, the view back towards Victoria Peak which looms over the harbour, is best appreciated from the water.

View towards Victoria Peak, Hong Kong with Star Ferry in the foreground Seats punched with stars on the Star Ferry, Hong Kong Sign advising passengers to sit on the Star Ferry, Hong Kong

In 1966, a 25% increase in fares sparked the 1966 Hong Kong Riots. Ostensibly the protests were about the hike in prices, meaning people would not be able to afford to travel back and forth in their own city. Below the surface though, these protests also represented the increasing dissatisfaction with British Colonial rule.

trio of scenes from the Star Ferry, Hong Kong

Funnel of the Star Ferry, Hong Kong
Morning Star Ferry, Hong Kong

The trip between Central on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon is quick. Less than 10 minutes across the water, it’s easy to fit a couple of jaunts into a busy holiday schedule. The double-decker ferries chug back and forth to a timetable but are so frequent it’s hardly worth worrying about one. For less than 50c, you can enjoy a little piece of history and see Hong Kong from a different perspective.

4 comments… add one
  • sherry October 8, 2018, 1:28 pm

    ooh yes i remember riding on these years ago. such fun and so darn cheap.

    • Fiona Ryan October 8, 2018, 3:03 pm

      It’s a fantastic bargain and a nice little interlude from the madness on both sides of the harbour.

  • Amanda October 9, 2018, 8:05 am

    I love the Star Ferry. I’ve always said that one of the best tourist experiences in the world is a ride across the harbour on the Star Ferry at night – it’s a fabulous sight!

    • Fiona Ryan October 9, 2018, 4:22 pm

      Meet you on the Twinkling Star departing Victoria at 8.10pm. We’ll watch the lights together xxx

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