Oversea, Travel

A Ride On Hong Kong Star Ferry – How To & Tips


Star Ferry is the main ferry operator in Hong Kong that carry locals and tourists across Victoria Harbour between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

Like eating dim sum, I missed riding the Star Ferry in my 1st visit there. So I make sure one of my top priority for my 2nd visit would be riding the 100-year old Hong Kong Star Ferry. πŸ™‚

The National Geographic Traveler named the ferry crossing as one of the ‘Must-Do’s’ in its ‘Place of a Lifetime’ series which featured 50 cities. The ferry ride is also well known as one of the world’s best value-for-money sightseeing trips. ~source from Star Ferry site

So how was the ride? It was lovely, exciting and pleasant! One ride is too short though! Everyone should ride the Hong Kong Star Ferry at least once in their visit there. But I bet ya you would like to ride the Star Ferry many times after that.

Let me share with you now my experience riding on the Star Ferry including how to and tips.

Star Ferry Pier @ Kowloon, Hong Kong
I stayed in Kowloon side at YMCA, Tsim Sha Tsui. So it’s just a short walk to Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier.

Once there decide your destination (Central or Wan Chai). We choose Central as we’re going for our dim sum brunch (yeah kill 2 birds with 1 stone; namely dim sum and ferry ride).
Tip: The shortest ferry ride is between Kowloon and Central (about 7 mins). Choose Kowloon-Wan Chai route if you prefer longer ride.

Also decide whether you want to sit at the upper deck or lower deck of the ferry.
Tip: Upper deck has the best view. Locals usually go for lower deck.

There are ample signage to show you the right direction.

Star Ferry Upper Deck Price
Upper deck fare:
Mon-Fri: HK$2.50
Sat, Sun and public holidays: HK$3.00

Lower deck fare:
Mon-Fri: HK$2.00
Sat, Sun and public holidays: HK$2.40

Star Ferry Token Machine
This is a token machine. The instruction on purchasing the token is easy enough.

Star Ferry Token
Our tokens.

There are 3 mode of payment: Octopus card, exact-fare coin and token.
Tip: Pay by token for the experience!

Walking Towards Dock Entrance
Walking towards the dock entrance. On top of the exact-fare counter is the ferry arrival countdown (not visible in the above picture).

Ferry operation hours for Tsim Sha Tsui-Central route: 6.30am to 11.30pm with frequency varies from 6-12 mins according to rush and non-rush hours.
Tip: Avoid ferry during rush hours (7-10am/pm) as the queue would be long and ferry is fill with working commuters.

We were there after 10am.

Waiting Area
Once you’ve paid for the fare, you’ll come to this waiting area. There’s no seat here. Just standing but plenty of windows to enjoy the beautiful Victoria Harbour.

Very Foggy Hong Kong Harbour
It’s a very foggy morning. The Hong Kong Island skyline is almost invisible!

Boarding Star Ferry
Boarding the Star Ferry. Wohoo!

Inside Star Ferry
Inside Star Ferry.
Tip: Best seat is the one in the middle of the boat (windowless). Ideal for photography opportunity. Seats at the front and back of ferry are bound by windows.

Change Star Ferry Seat Direction
Do you know that you can change Star Ferry’s seat direction? This allow you to face the direction of the traveling ferry.

Here’s how you do it: Just flip the wooden back support of the seat (1.) into the opposite direction (2.). That’s it!

Silver Star 1965
Our fleet is called Silver Star, built in 1965. That’s 46 years old!

Inside Star Ferry
Caution sign.

On board Star Ferry
The spectacular Victoria Harbour view!
Tip: Ride the ferry just before 8pm for the Symphony of Lights show. Alternative ride anytime during the night to watch the beautiful Victoria Harbour skyline lit up by buildings and houses.

Star Ferry
That’s Meridian Star 1958.

Star Ferry
Symbol of ‘old’ Hong Kong. Nostalgic.

Nearing Central Pier, Hong Kong
And just like that we were nearing Central Star Ferry Pier.

Mooring Star Ferry
A worker placing the mooring line on a bollard. Then he use a long rod to help moor the ferry.

Ferry Mooring
Ferry is slowly nearing the gangway.

So that was it. Before I can breath nicely the ferry has reached Central. πŸ™‚

Riding the Star Ferry is a must-do thing in Hong Kong. The cheapest sightseeing trip that awards you with one of the most famous and stunning harbour view in the world!

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28 Comments

  • Reply tekkaus March 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I have been onto ferry like once only in my entire life that is in Penang. πŸ™‚

  • Reply tekkaus March 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Of course the view there is way cooler than the one in Penang. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      I’ve ride the Penang ferry once. Oh yeah the view is way more beautiful. But Penang do have its charm.

      The color of the sea is a different story though. In Penang I get coffee color but in HK the sea is turquoise! It’s like so unbelievable. How do they keep the sea so clean?

  • Reply keeyit March 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Riding the Star Ferry is a must-do thing in Hong Kong. >>>> I DID !

    I have been to HK for 4 times due to business trip. I like to shop at HK. Have cheap Esprit, G2000, and those facial products shops.. hahaha..

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Hehehe I would love to ride the ferry again and again and again.

      Wah wah 4 times eh. Do share your fav makan places in Hong Kong ya.
      Ohh I like shopping at Citigate Outlet. Hahaha

      • Reply foongpc March 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

        Why Citigate Outlet? More cheap or more variety?

        • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

          Citigate Outlet is where many international branded stores are located. They offer all year discounts! The prices are very cheap.

          • foongpc March 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm

            Wow!! Must go!!!! : )

  • Reply Dawn March 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I always like ferry rides…..Penang and Pulau Pangkor….love the breeze hitting the face.

    I so want to go to HK some day and shop for Asian facial stuff. Western facial products definitely don’t work for me.

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

      I like ferry rides too. πŸ™‚
      Ohh I’m sure you’re gonna love it there. Shopping galore! Makan galore! Once you went there you will be dreaming of going again. Haha

  • Reply FeR March 16, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Whee! HK! I will be going for a weekend away in September. Should’ve chosen to stay a few days more…found out after booking the flight (Airasia special lor) that the day after i leave, it’s a public holiday for the friend i’m visiting. cis!

    on a totally unrelated note, i think i’ve not been here for a while – you’ve also gotten Thesis! πŸ˜€
    I just discovered it through an NZ website last month! *hee!*

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 10:09 am

      Hahaha never mind la. There’s always next time. πŸ˜‰

      So you fell in love with Thesis? Hehehe If you wanna buy it do click at my Thesis affiliate. Hahaha Too bad I’m not good in coding… if not I will tweak more.

      • Reply FeR March 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

        i bought dy! early March without realising you changed also. i spent weekend tweaking it.

        ya, not good in coding so took a while to actually personalise it (though my blog still looks plain ah)

        • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

          Ohh I’ll go visit your blog now. πŸ™‚
          Thesis forum is really helpful ya.

  • Reply foongpc March 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I am just wondering will one who easily get seasick (not me, but my friend) travel in this ferry?

    Many people complain about seasick and nausea for the ferry travel between HK and Macau. This one won’t be that bad right?

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      For me it feels like sitting in a car. I didn’t noticed any swinging. Perhaps I was too excited. Yes I don’t think it’s that bad compared to when you ride in a small boat or the one between HK-Macau.

      For the Macau ferry, different story. The one I rode was a fast ferry. So weak people like your friend might feel it. Besides travel time is longer.

      • Reply foongpc March 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm

        Oh OK, I hope my friend can take this ferry then!

  • Reply foongpc March 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    So there’s no safety or life jackets on board?

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Didn’t notice any. Haha
      But they have ‘pelampung’. πŸ˜›

      • Reply foongpc March 17, 2011 at 11:43 pm

        OK at least they have pelampung. Better than Guilin already haha!!

  • Reply foongpc March 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    More posts on HK quick!! Before I go there end of March!!! : )

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Hopefully tomorrow I would be able to post 1. Then after that 1 last one.

  • Reply foongpc March 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Btw, out of topic – how do you reduce the size of the photos? You mentioned my blog were slow loading becoz size of my photos too big?

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      I use photoshop to edit picts. It has this option to reduce pict quality when I click save.

  • Reply foongpc March 17, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Reduce picture quality? But your picture still looks very sharp and nice!!

    I don’t know how to use photoshop! A noob! : (

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

      What software you use then?
      Do you have photoshop? If yes I’ll show you.

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