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Hong Kong's streets may seem utterly chaotic, but its public transport system is not. On the northern side of Hong Kong Island, look for the tracks or listen for the "ding-ding" of the tram, which runs straight across the island west to east. This is the same route that the MTR (underground railway) follows, so you should be able to walk to an MTR station from any tram stop between Sheung Wan and Shau Kei Wan. In Kowloon, orient yourself in relation to Nathan Road: Most buses running southbound down Nathan Road terminate at the Star Ferry Concourse in Tsim Sha Tsui, unless they're crossing over to Hong Kong Island.
The MTR, which links most of the areas you'll want to visit, is quick, safe, clean, and user-friendly. Signs and announcements are in both Chinese and English, and exits often lead directly into shopping malls.
Pay with a rechargeable Octopus card. You can use it on the MTR, buses, trams, the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram, and even at vending machines, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, public swimming pools, and the racetrack.
It's often not worth taking the MTR for one stop, as stations are close, so walk or take the tram. The MTR paid areas also include underground pedestrian passageways between nearby stops such as Tsim Sha Tsui and East Tsim Sha Tsui or Central and Hong Kong Station.
Most MTR stations have multiple exits, so consult the detailed station maps to determine which exit lets you out closest to your destination.
If you're crossing Central, use the covered walkways that link its main buildings, thus avoiding stoplights, exhaust fumes, and weather conditions (but not crowds). The same can apply to the pedestrian overpasses in Mong Kok. Note that signs marked "subway" refer to a subterranean passageway, not to the MTR.
On Hong Kong Island, Queen's Road changes its suffix every so often, resulting in Queen's Road East, Queen's Road Central, and Queen's Road West. However, these suffixes don't exactly correspond with the districts, so part of Queen's Road Central is actually in Western. As street numbers start again with each new section, be sure you know which part you're headed for, or better still, the intersecting street. The same goes for Des Voeux Road.
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