If you ever go to Paris, you might consider getting on the hop-on/hop-off bus. You can see all the sights, the Louvre, Eifel Tower, Paris Opera, Champs Elisees, Arc De Triomphe, Place de la Concorde – the list goes on.
If you ever go to London, you might consider the hop-on/hop-off bus. You can see all the sights, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, St Paul’s Cathedral – the list goes on.
If you ever go to Cape Town you might consider getting on the hop-on/hop-off bus. You can see all the sights, Table Mountain, The castle of Good Hope, Camps Bay, St George’s Cathedral – the list goes on
If you’re in Hong Kong, you might consider the hop-on/hop-off bus. You can see all the sights – Ummm, all of them, like ummm, the traffic jams in Causeway Bay, what’s left of Lan Kwai Fong, old and historic Pacific Place shopping mall, and even Wan Chai Computer Centre.
Do you think Hong Kong really needs a tourist bus? I love this place, but it’s not exactly open top bus tour friendly. You will not see, nor motor past, wondrous sites such as the Colosseum, or the Sydney Opera House. It also has to be the easiest city in the world to get around by public transport. London, Paris, Cape Town and most other major cities are spread out to varying degrees. Hong Kong Island is 15km long, and from Sheung Wan to Causeway Bay – less than 4km. It has, in my opinion, the best transport system in the world; it’s certainly easier to use than any other city I have visited.
Hong Kong hasn’t got so much in the way of grand European style buildings; we don’t have wide tree-lined boulevards or miles of majestic beaches. We have Hong Kong. Narrow streets with tiny shops selling everything imaginable; noodle shops and outdoor butchers; impossibly steep streets selling fruit and vegetables; fish mongers who will slice and dice a fish without dropping a speck of their cigarette ash. You can’t experience that from a bus.
A hop-on and off bus might deny visitors the essence of this town. Visitors should be on the Mid-Level outdoor escalator, not just looking at it from above or alighting to take a picture, only to hop back on a bus so they can drive past the Convention Centre and stand in awe at the latest harbour reclamation.
Think what tourists miss by not wandering around – all the little bars and interesting places along the way: the smell of incense on Peel St; the pungent aromas of the dry markets in Sheung Wan; the hustle and bustle of Causeway Bay; the many markets and stalls around Central and Wan Chai. That’s without even starting on the richness of the Kowloon side.
Hong Kong is a walking city. It’s a place I like to experience it at street level. Tourists should get lost in the Wan Chai markets, marvel at people who work each day in the barely tolerable smells of the dry markets, and see our City for what it is. If you come to Hong Kong on holidays or a stopover, stay off the bus and get walking, it will be worth it.