February 04, 2004
As an unpaid member of the Hong Kong Tourism Commission (I told them the light and fireworks for the tourists of TST was a waste of time) I'm proud to present the one guide you really need to get around in Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Taxi Guide. This has been made necessary as part of my campaign to have Hong Kong taxis listed as a World Heritage item by the UN.
Hong Kong taxis come in three colours: red for the Island and Kowloon, green for the New Territories, and blue for Lantau Island. Theoretically taxis from each region cannot work in other areas. Why this should be so is a mystery lost in the annals of Hong Kong history. However usually it comes down to each area trying to restrict the number of drivers. Each taxi is individually owned which means the drivers tend to work 28 hours a day and consider their cab more like a home.
So to the rules:
There are plenty more rules but that's enough to go along with. Feel free to add more.
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19. A taxi's dashboard should always be decorated with a tasteful menagerie of springy flourescent toys, scentless air fresheners and religious idolatory. The drivers love being complemented on their dashboard arrangements.
There is one driver who i have had the pleasure of being driven by twice. His english is faultless - at least he can sing in perfect english. In fact, his Louis Armstrong impression is alarmingly good. He is hugely entertaining and well worth an extra couple of spins round the block. He does have a card - but i lost it. if anyone comes across the Great Singing Louis Armstrong Driver please could they get his details. cheers.
21. Not many people give them a tip these days but if you do, see the sudden change of facial expression which makes you wonder why they aren't in the movie business in the first place.
22. If you are impatient in a traffic jam, they will remind you that they are suffering more than you are. Add a bad facial expression here as if you are the sole reason for all their troubles.
23. Cancels (22) when you ride for a short distance and they have been waiting in a queue for one hour. In that case, they wish for a traffic jam even if your destination is two blocks away.
Good topic Simon. Keep the guide going, I am sure many can add lot more.
Cheers!posted by: Ron on 02.04.04 at 03:52 PM [permalink]
Simon, red taxis can go everywhere including the new territories, except in restricted areas of Lantau.
Green taxis can only travel in the new territories and upto the exchange points at Kowloon near Tsuen Wan and Shatin. They are allowed to go to the airport on Lantau.
Blue taxis are the most restricted ones.
These mysteries are left by the British. Though fares of green and blue taxis are cheaper due to above limitations.
Cheers!posted by: Ron on 02.04.04 at 03:58 PM [permalink]
Do you know anything about the No-stopping zones in Hong Kong? Can you get a permit from HK police to be allowed to stop in these zones?posted by: Nick Woodland on 10.18.04 at 11:27 PM [permalink]