Chinese Name: 中环大扶梯 Pronunciation: zhōng huán dà fú tī
Area: About 800 meters (2,600 feet)
Building Time: 1991-1993
Address: Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Central to Mid-Levels
Mid-Levels to Central
Monday to Saturday
10:00 - 24:00
06:00 - 10:00
Sunday and public holidays
06:00 - 24:00
Introduction of Central-Mid-Levels Escalator
Hong Kong Central-Mid-Levels escalator, opened in 1993, is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. It is built to serve residents at the Mid-Levels district to go to Central more easily. Currently, it has developed into one of the most popular spots in Hong Kong. Central-Mid-Levels escalator system covers over 800 meters (2,600 ft) in distance and rises over 135meters (443 ft) in elevation. The 800-meter hillside escalator starts from Queen’s Road Central up to Conduit Road.
It comprises 20 single-direction escalators for passengers to go up or go down and 3 moving walkways, with roofed pedestrian walkways. It takes about 20 minutes for the whole one-way journey.
With the Central-Mid-Levels escalator, visitors can travel through a historical district and up to the Soho dining and nightlife hub. In addition to being a means of transportation, the system is also a tourist attraction, surrounded by restaurants, shops and bars.
History of Central-Mid-Levels Escalator
The project of the Central-Mid-Levels escalator was first publicly put forward in the early 1980s. The government found that most of the traffic congestion during rush hour comes from the narrow alleys from Central to Mid-levels because the steep terrain does not allow the main road to be built directly on the hill. So, people suggested that the Central and Mid-Levels districts be linked with escalators, a monorail, or a cable-car system.
In late 1982, the proposal that an "escalator assisted pedestrian route" linking Mid-Levels to the existing Central Elevated Walkway system should be built on the site of the Central Market was well-received by Mid-Levels residents.
The construction of the project began at the end of February 1991, and it took two and a half years to build and opened to the public at 6:00 a.m. on 15 October 1993.
It is built to serve residents at the Mid-Levels district to go to Central more easily. Currently, it has developed into one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong as well.
Recommended Activities about Central-Mid-Levels Escalator
1. Shopping and Souvenirs
You could have a variety of shopping experiences along the escalator route. The entire stretch of Hollywood Road is famous for its antique shops, making it a good place to browse or look for unique souvenirs.
2. Watching and Photography
3. The unique viewpoint from the escalator makes it a great location for photography. Especially in the evening when you are on the escalator to photograph the nearby stores with their twinkling lights.
4. Food and Entertainment
Soho Area (Gourmet Zone): With many fashionable restaurants, cafes, and bars, you can enjoy the food of different countries in your spare time. You can get there by getting off the escalator from Elgin Street.
Lan Kwai Fong: The popular nightlife centre with bars, nightclub and many other recreational facilities is located on Wellington Street.
5. Visiting Attractions
Man Mo Temple: It is situated on Hollywood Road and one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong, a quiet place amazingly standing at the bustling streets. Residents come here to pray regularly, and it is a good place to visit.
Ohel Leah Synagogue: For more than a century, the synagogue, along with its adjacent Jewish Recreation Club and Jewish Community Centre, has been the centre of social and religious life for Hong Kong's Jews.
Jamia Mosque: It is the oldest mosque in Hong Kong which is located at Mid-levels district. The mosque was originally built for soldiers of the Islamic army. Among other buildings, this green building is unique and elegant.
Stories of Central-Mid-Levels Escalator
In 1993, Central-Mid-Levels escalator in Hong Kong was officially opened. The cinematographer Du Ke Feng happened to live near the elevator, and every day from his window he could see people taking the elevator between Central and Mid-levels in a hurry. To Wong Kar-wai, who is a very famous film director, this was a huge difference from the Tsim Sha Tsui where he grew up, so he had the idea to make a film reflecting the different life between day and night in Hong Kong, and thus the film Chungking Express was born. The film depicts the confusion and alienation of young people living in the city and the loneliness and isolation of lost love.
Warm Tips for Taking Hong Kong Central-Mid-Levels Escalator
1. Standing on the right side escalator to make spaces for passengers in hurry.
2. Tap your Octopus card on the MTR Fare Saver machine at the middle way through the escalator to get a discount of HKD 2 when taking MTR at Central / Hong Kong / Wan Chai stations on the day.
3. The one-way escalators and moving walkways go downhill from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and run uphill from 10 a.m. to midnight daily. If you want to travel in the opposite direction, please use the stairs along the escalator. The staircases between Queen's Road Central footbridge to Conduit Road has a total of 782 steps. Each road it passes has an entrance and exit, usually on both sides of the road.
How to Get to Central-Mid-Levels Escalator
The distance from the MTR Central Station to the starting point of the Central-Mid-Levels escalator in Central is within 500 meters (550 yards). You could get off at MTR Central Station and get out from D1 and walk along Queen’s Road Central towards the Centre, and then take the Central to Mid-Levels escalator.
Get off at Hang Seng Bank HQ stop and walk west along Queen Victoria Street.