How to take a HK Minibus Part 1
When asked about the best way to commute around Hong Kong, you’re probably thinking “MTR or taxi, that’s a no brainer!”
Lo and behold, WRONG! In fact, many locals in Hong Kong avoid the MTR due to the crowds! And let’s not even talk about transferring lines at Admiralty.
Although the MTR is convenient and taxis are cheap, another great way to go from A to B in Hong Kong – even at ungodly hours – is to take the minibus, or as locals say, Siu Ba (小巴).
We know – you’re probably thinking:
“But I don’t know how to take the minibus!”
“There isn’t a stop button on the minibus, how do I know when to get off?”
“Okay I called my stop…and he’s not stopping.”
DON’T PANIC. In the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you the low down on Hong Kong minibuses so you’ll feel safe and secure each time you ride, what I like to call, the chariot of hell (kidding…).
Green Minibuses offer scheduled services, fixed routes and fares and usually have a specific station. Fares can be paid either in coins or octopus. Nowadays, many green minibuses have bells so you don’t have to yell out on the top of your lungs,“NEXT STOP PLEASE.”
Red Minibuses run on a flexible schedule and do not have fixed routes or fares, which means they can be hailed from almost anywhere. You’re usually required to pay the exact fare because they’re not equipped with the octopus system.
Note: Bear in mind, fares can change depending on the time of day, example: The fare might be higher due to rush hour
But before you take your first step, keep in mind the Minibus Etiquette:
- Always have your octopus card / change in your hand – you do NOT want to disgruntle the driver.
- Don’t take your time picking out which seat you prefer – just find an empty one and sit your gluteus maximus (Read: Ass) down.
- Don’t be afraid to use your diaphragm – be loud and clear when yelling a stop name. (if you don’t know your stop name, say ‘Ba Si Zam Yao Lok – 巴士站有落’ which means ‘Getting off at the next bus stop’ or ‘Ha Yut Zam Yao Lok – 下一站有落’ which means ‘Getting off at the next stop’)
- Buckle up! Some drivers think they’re in the F1 races, and also – if you’re caught by the police, well be prepared to pay a fine!
So there you have it. Stay tuned for more information on the infamous Hong Kong minibuses!
Jessica Tryde, born in Australia, bred in Taiwan, is a creative English copywriter living in Hong Kong. Her job includes whipping out creative ideas and digital executions. During her spare time, you’ll find her weight lifting in the gym, training for a gladiatorial bloodbath in a Muay Thai class or attempting to perform a yoga pose. If not working out, you’ll find her mingling with the locals at the wet market or reading at a local Hong Kong café.