Apps you need to live in Hong Kong

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In 2015, I moved to Hong Kong for about a year. Although I didn’t expect it to be an easy transition, there were still a few struggles I hadn’t anticipated, despite the fact that I’d visited Hong Kong multiple times before. Luckily for me, living in the age of smartphones and other technology means navigating this city is easier than ever. From transport to entertainment, here are the apps I personally found useful.

1) Citymapper

Hong Kong doesn’t use a system of post codes (ZIP codes), so finding your destination can be tricky. With this app, all you need to do is input where you want to go. It’ll calculate your entire journey, including an estimate of how long it’ll take and the quickest routes.

2) MTR Mobile

The most common method of transport in Hong Kong is the MTR; a subway- like system of under and overground trains. With so many people using it though, the stations can get overcrowded and chaotic. With the help of this app, you can work out the quickest route to take, and make the most of facilities such as toilets, wheelchair access, and working out the nearest exit to your destination.

3) CityBusNWFB

Similar to MTR Mobile, this app is designed to help you get from A to B on the city’s buses. Users can look up bus schedules, routes and journey times.

4) OpenRice

A literal translation of the Chinese version of ‘bon appetit’, this app is an extensive community of diners, who leave honest reviews of every restaurant and cafe in Hong Kong. As the reviews are completely unsponsored, you’re bound to find good recommendations. The app also allows users to upload photos and leave a star rating.

5) Hong Kong Movie

Hong Kong has a bustling lifestyle, so it’s no surprise that going to the cinema follows a similar efficiency. Use this app to check screening times, book tickets and reserve seats in advance.

6) My Observatory

This app updates throughout the day using data monitoring stations around Hong Kong. Besides a 7 day weather forecast, the app also offers information on temperature, humidity, UV index, storm warnings and much more.

BONUS: the following apps came recommended, but I haven’t used them myself:

Hong Kong Taxi Translator

If you can’t speak Cantonese,  communicating with your taxi driver can be frustrating. This app allows users to translate multiple destinations into Chinese to eliminate the language barrier.

HKeTransport

This app does exactly what it says on the tin. You can filter your search results by cost, time, number of transfers as well as MTR or bus-only journeys. The app also includes information on other methods of transport such as trams, ferries, minibuses (小巴 “Siu Ba”), and taxis.

Trail Watch

Despite being one of the busiest cities in the world, Hong Kong is home to many nature reserves and hiking trails. As well as helping you plan your hike, users can also use this app to report and incidents such as vandalism to contribute to the protection of Hong Kong’s nature.

If you’ve never visited Hong Kong before, don’t be put off by the hectic lifestyle there. It’s still an exciting place to explore, but a little help from these apps won’t do any harm either. Good luck!

Best wishes,

Jia

 

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