Why did that taxi drive past me?
On a daily basis, without fail, I see a confused look on a tourist’s face as a taxi drive right past them. They thought they did everything right, put out the arm, wave profusely, signaling to the taxi that I, the tourist, need your service. There are several causes for why the taxi failed to stop, or even glance over – the taxi was taken, the taxi couldn’t pick up the tourist in the restricted zone, the taxi is only willing to cross the harbor (as specified by the “out of service” sign covering the lit up taxi sign in the windshield), and sometimes, yes it happens, the taxi just didn’t want to pick you up.
On HK Island, Staying on HK Island
This is by far the easiest – simply hail down a red taxi that has its dome light on, and the “for hire” sign lit that is displayed through the windshield.
On HK Island, Crossing the Harbor (Kowloon,etc)
This is usually when people get confused. Red taxis with their dome lights on, but have the “out of service” sign covering the “for hire” sign are looking for passengers looking to cross the harbor. You can either hail down these cabs, or find a taxi stand that is strictly for cross harbor.
Getting the the airport
Taking the MTR Airport express is the easiest, but if you need a taxi, any colored taxi will do.
How to get a red taxi by phone
Depending on your area and what taxi you would like, you can call them by phone:
|Wan Chai||2527 6324|
|Causeway Bay||2861 1008|
|Kowloon – Ferry Point||2728 8282|
What do the different colored taxis mean?
Red - Covers most of Hong Kong (minus a few parts of Lantau Island)
Green – Covers only the New Territories
Blue – Covers only Lantau Island
Do I have to tip?
Tipping is not required or expected, but if you would like to tip, anything up to $5 HKD will do.
How honest/reliable/safe are HK taxis?
Compared to other countries, HK taxis are extremely safe and reliable. I’ve never experienced a cab driver trying to scam me. Just make sure the meter is running. There are occasions when drivers will try to make a few extra bucks. During typhoons, or bad weather, drivers will try to negotiate flat rates that are 2-3x higher than the meter, but will notify you before you get into the cab.
What can I do when the cab driver doesn’t understand me?
There are many instances when the cab driver will not understand what you are saying and/or where you want to go. We at iAssist help alleviate these head-aches by providing real-time translation services for our members. In other words, we have agents standing by that will speak to the cab driver on your behalf – avoiding any confusion and providing a hassle-free journey. Learn more at our website on how you can take advantage of this service, as well as many others during your time in Hong Kong.