Everytime I go out of the Philippines and travel, I see to it that I take not a trip on a cab if there are subways or trains. This is what I have learned so much while I was visiting Japan in 2009. It is simply because subway trains are way faster, efficient and darn, impressive. I have, most of the time, when on subway trains overseas, dream that the Philippines will also have subway trains. What we have unfortunately are trains that choke up with teeming passengers. While in Hong Kong, I have done my hobby which I called trainspotting.
It was exactly a day after I arrived that I sought the guidance of the Hotel Panda concierge staff as to where I can take the nearest subway from the hotel. They are in unison in telling me that it will be the Tai Wo Hau MTR station. What I loved of Panda Hotel was its creative and efficient access to the subway station. It is just a 6 minutes walk to where the station is and I am right inside the subway station. Wanting to avail of a discounted fare for the MTR, I bought my Octopus Card from the customer care service kiosk inside the MTR station. My HK$150 Octopus card has a stored value of HK$100 and off I was on my first subway ride in Hong Kong.
What my impression of the trains in Hong Kong is its orderly and punctual accessibility. Wherever you are, at any MTR station, you can reach your destination with ease and comfort. I have noticed too that their couches vary on each line which is color-coded. Pink are for the Disneyland Resort line; Light blue is for East Rail Line; Blue is for the Island line; Light Green is for the Kwun Tung line; brown is for Ma On Shan line; Purple is for Tseung Kwan O line; Red is for the Tsuen Wan line; Orange is for the Tung Chung line; Dark Purple is for the West Rail line; Yellow is for the Light Rail and Green is for the Airport Express train.
For the most of my travels around the City of Hong Kong, I took the Red line and easily transfers to Light blue line and the Light Green line to get around the many temples I visited. Another impressive feature of the MTR in Hong Kong is its upscale interiors. Unlike the ones I am used to in MRT Stations in Manila where bare walls just greeted us with boredom and the humidity is drenching us, the MTR Hong Kong decorated its stations with paintings and impressive tiles. Passageways to and from one station to any of its exits are airconditioned. Even if I was walking around, I worry not of sweat and its drenching smell because the subways are sufficiently ventilated. Impressive still is that in the MTR Central Station, there are free WIFI signal that gives you 20 minutes free access. Awesome!
Hong Kong is the best subway experience I have ever had so far. In all my travels, I am most impressed of its kind staff, its Octopus card swiping power and its faster couches. Trainspotting indeed is fun in Hong Kong!