Which is the best seat on the MTR? Where do you prefer to sit or stand on Hong Kong’s subway?

In Hong Kong’s version of a viral tweet about picking a seat on the New York subway, we analyse which spot is tops

Jamie Lam |

Latest Articles

Tiananmen Square museum highlights the similarities between the crackdown, Hong Kong protests

Sky Brown, 11-year-old Olympic skate hopeful, in hospital after fall

Teen Black Lives Matter activists embrace TikTok

On the rare days when Hong Kong’s MTR doesn’t have people packed in like sardines, residents have a multitude of choices about where to sit or stand during a subway ride. The choice may also depend the time of day, your mood, and the *different* (read: strange) passengers that are around you at that particular moment in time.

Here are the options we have come up with so far, let’s break it down.

1. A middle seat

Always a dangerous choice because you could be stuck beside an eccentric person who wants to chat about their pet avocado, deep Star Wars lore, or how they’re secretly married to Dev Patel. This is also the most difficult spot to exit the train from, so if you’re riding during rush hour, be sure to get up from your seat a bit earlier.

Is Dev Patel secretly married?
Photo: Marco Grob

2 An end seat next to the entrance and glass divider

This spot is great for resting your head against the glass divider and taking a nap after pulling an all-nighter studying for the HKDSEs (or playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, either one). Sometimes kinda weird though, if someone’s back is against the glass on the other side and you’re basically staring at their butt…

3 Leaning against the glass divider next to the entrance

Absolutely the best spot to look super cool and super casual. Pull out a book and pretend you’re reading to give off that ‘academic’ vibe (a la Hot Dudes Reading), and then just lean back and wait for someone to come say hi. DO NOT lean back on the doors though, because you will fall out when the doors open, and you’re too busy posing.

Why are Hong Kong’s MTR stations different colours?

4 Resting your butt against a sideways rail

This is very useful when you’re carrying a big bag or a lot of stuff because you can put them on the floor between your legs. Not that great if you’re with your friends though, because it’s a bit awkward to judge the proper distance you should leave between yourselves. You don’t want your friend to hang out on your lap, but too far away is also weird.

5 Standing and holding an upright rail or handhold

The spot that has the most potential to turn into either a really cool meet-cute, or a really scary meet-creep. We’ve all had that experience where we accidentally brush the hand of a stranger, and then look up and have your eyes meet coyly (or panicky). Roll the dice if you’re feeling lucky.

You could experience your own meet-cute on the MTR. But it could also be a meet-creep.
Photo: Universal Pictures

6 Just don’t take the MTR

Take the bus or minibus instead.

What are your thoughts about this super important question? Add them in the comments below.

Credit to Twitter user Gabriel Bautista (@gplatinum_) for the original idea and post.