Q1: What does it cost ($US) to ride on the upper deck of the Star Ferry across Hong Kong harbor to Tsimshatsui?

  1. Ottawa, Canada
    (4:15): issue query to AltaVista:
    -> "upper deck" "star ferry" "hong kong" harbor tsimshatsui 
    Follow first link: http://www.asiatravel.com/harbour
    Follow link on bottom of page: http://www.asiatravel.com/hkinfo.html
    Find information: (4:17) "Ferries - The Star Ferry, which has connected
    Hong Kong and Kowloon since 1898, runs regularly between 6.30am to
    11.30pm. At HK$ 1.70 (upper deck) and HK$1.40 (lower deck), it must be
    one of the cheapest and most scenic ferry rides in the world. The
    crossing takes approximately eight minutes."
    Translate HK$1.70 to US$ through The Universal Currency Converter™ (in
    my bookmarks - http://www.xe.net/currency.
    Answer: "1.70 Hong Kong Dollars is equivalent to 0.2193 American
    Verify that 'Tsimshatsui' is 'Kowloon'
    Map of Hong Kong (http://www.asiatravel.com/hknutmap.html) doesn't give
    more information.
    (4:22) Query AltaVista -> +tsimshatsui kowloon
    follow link 2:
    Read there that 'Tsimshatsui' means peninsula; 
    check on (previously found) Hong Kong map that Kowloon is on the (only)
    peninsula (further evidence..)
    Return to AltaVista results - hit #19
    (http://www.thaisiri.com/hongkong.htm) cites: "... Hong Kong is truly a
    shopper's paradise. In Kowloon's Tsimshatsui district, Duty Free
    Shoppers has Thai speaking sales personnel, who can be identified by the
    Thai flags they were on their labels." Regard this as enough evidence. 
    (4:31) Answer: 0.2193 American Dollars. Case closed.

  2. Place: Dublin, Ireland
    Date: June 11th 1998
    Time: 3:00pm (local time)
    Started search using Fusion
    Query: Star Ferry Hong Kong harbor Tsimshatsui
    Clicked on #7 "Star Ferry"
        Picture of Star Ferry in Hong Kong
    Clicked on #2 "rec.travel guide to Hong Kong"
        Paragraph on Star Ferry near end of document
        Costs $1.70 Hong Kong dollars to travel on the upper deck
        [This is equal to 22 cents, according to Yahoo's currency converter]
        Note that this document was last updated in 1996

  3. Place: Aberdeen, Scotland
    Date:  12. June 1998
    Time: 2:30PM (local time)
    went up to bookmark and clicked onto yahoo - search.
    typed in hong kong - star ferry
    found that to ride upper deck on the star ferry costs HK$2.20
    could not find out how much this was in us$.

  4. Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    8 hours for 10 queries over 2 afternoons
            o Submit to Altavista the query: "+Hong +Kong +Tsimshatsui +Star
            o This query returns 11 matches. The second and third links seem to
              be relevant.
            o Try the second link.
            o This is a long article about transportation in Hong Kong. I use
              the "find" option of my browser to locate "Star". This lead me to
              the paragraph that contains the information  $HK1.20 ($HK 7.80 =
              $US1). This seems to be OK but I'm not completely satisfied.
            o Go back and try third link.
            o This page has the information I'm looking for.  The fare is $2 HK,
              about 25 cents U.S.

  5. Tokyo, Japan
    June 12nd, 1998
    Local time
    By default, search on Altavista
       11:35 AM
       Query : star ferry hong kong cost
       clicked on 7 :
                                 7. Star Ferry, Hong Kong Island
                                 -> no information
       clicked on 6 :
                                 6. HONG KONG FERRY (HOLDINGS) CO. LTD.
                                       [URL:www.hkf.com/main_e.html ]
                                 The HongKong and Yaumati Ferry Co.LTD
                                 Route Map & Services schedules
                                 21 Tsim Sha Tsui
       Result : $32 for 1 adult, $17 for a child

  6. Using a custom front-end tool AltaGCL
    Waterloo 13 June 15:06
    altagcl 2st query:  "star ferry" and "tsimshatsui" and "fare"
    URL : http://www1.minn.net/~kenrand/ferry.htm
    Total time:  less than 1 minute.

  7. Using a custom front-end tool AltaGCL
    Waterloo, Canada
    15 June, 9:32am
      issue query: "star ferry" and "tsimshatsui"
      scan the solutions to find the following:
      URL : http://www.filasia.com/avenue.htm
      From Tsimshatsui (Kowloon) to Central (Hong Kong Island) on the upper
      deck costs HK$2.00.
      issue query: "exchange rates" and "hk"
      quickly shows that on June 15, 1998 $1US = $7.7442 HK which makes the
      ferry cost about $0.26.
      time: 1 min 

    Using Fusion2 
    a metasearch engine with marking of relevant documents and query expansion.
    Place: Dublin
    16 June, evening, home
    Use Fusion2 for "Hong Kong Harbour" "Star Ferry"  
    this retrieves 27 URLs
    rank=1 is HK island - dead end
    rank=13 is excite trabel and I follow 4 links to a dead end
    I add tsimshatsui to the query and re-enter
    rank=1 is budgettravel.com which is a huge page of text and under local 
    transport deails I find star ferries HK to Kowloon upper deck costs HK$2.70.
    Not US$ currency, but BINGO anyway.
    Time taken - 8 minutes

  9. At a university in Glasgow, Scotland
    run a search withYahoo/Altavista and the full query, obtained  13291137 (!)
    results among the first 20 found a link to Moving Around - Hong Kong -
    Airlines,Railway, Ferry,Bus,transportation:
    and one to Star Ferry
    both agreeing that :
    Upper deck, 1st class seats cost HK$1.50 (1997)
    another link to Star Ferry updated December 1997:
    HK$2.20 (for upper deck, lower deck was HK$ 1.70)--about 30¢ US
    about 30¢ US (the most updated!)

  10. Novice WWW searcher!
    Place: San Diego, CA
    Date: June 16, 1998
    Started search on Infoseek, Time: 8:31 am (local time)
    Query:	Star Ferry Hong Kong
    Clicked on #1, "Star Ferry"
    	Picture of the ferry, dead-end.
    Clicked on #2, "Hong Kong"
    Clicked on "transportation"
    Clicked on "Star Ferry"
    	"Page not available",  tried to back up, unable to back.
    Restart Query:	Tsimshatsui
    Clicked on "Budget travel - Hong Kong"
    	wrong site, back up.
    Clicked on "Tsimshatsui Office"
    	Bo useful information, back up
    Clicked on "Hong Kong"
    Clicked on "How to get around"
    Clicked on "Star Ferry"
    	Cost for ride on upper deck, given in Hong Kong dollars, HK$2
    Back up, new search: Foreign exchange rates
    Clicked on "Currency Converter"
    	As of 6/12/98, HK$1 = US$0.129
    	Cost of ride = US$0.26
    Search completed at 8:51 am (local time)

  11. Australia
    Using a query re-formulation tool, the Hyperindex Browser (HiB)
    HiB + AltaVista
      o entered "star ferry" and chose the refinement
        "star ferry to mackinac island" (thinking that Tsimshatsui
         could be on this island) - realized it isn't!
      o chose the refinement "star island ferry" as a query but got nowhere
      o chose the refinement "star ferry rates" as a query but got nowhere
      o entered "hong kong" as a query which gave many query refinements
      o refined "links honk kong" to "useful links hong kong" and then used
        this a query, but got nowhere
      o then chose the query refinement "hong kong and kowloon" thinking
        that Tsimshatsui" could be in Kowloon. This supposition was
        confirmed when I was perused the document abstracts but found nothing
        about ferries
      o then chose the refinement "hong kong 1997 web site" as a query 
        thinking that it might have some links to tourist info- got nowhere
      o entered "tsimshatsui" but got only one refinement 
        "tsimshatsui office", which didn't look relevant.
        Beamed down to the "tsimshatsui" documents - got nowhere
      o Then entered the query "hong kong ferry" and beamed down using the
        refinement "hong kong ferry timetable", which gave ferry times but 
        no prices.
      o Beamed down using "hong kong ferry" and
        found the required information 
        ($1.50HK = US$0.1937 via the currency converter - 

  12. Place : Nacsis.  Tokyo Japan
    Date : June 18, 1998
    Time : 2:00 PM  (Japan Time)
    Started search on Netscape Navigator
            Query : Star Ferry   Hong Kong
            Clicked on #9  " Hong Kong - The Star Ferry"
                    "Upper deck, 1st class sets cost HK$1.50’¡Ä"
            Query : "Exchanging Rate"
            Clicked on #6  "International Exchange Rates"
            Used Calculator   HK1$=US0.13$
                    upper deck cost of The Star Ferry is HK1.5$=US0.195$
    US 20cents
    Finish Time : 2:15 PM

  13. At a university in Toronto, Canada
      Metacrawler query: Star Ferry Hong Kong
      Clicking on #2 "Excite Travel: Hong Kong, China - Sightseeing..."
        Giving up after seconds.
      Clicking on #6 "Star Ferry, Hong Kong Island..."
        Giving up after seconds.
      Clicking on #11 "HK Star Internet Ltd - Transport Information..."
        No fares to be found.  Site primarily non-English.  Giving up after
        30 seconds.
      Moved to second page of results
      Clicking on "Hong kong Travel Information Provided by Asia Travel Ho..."
        Possible answer found:
          The Star Ferry, which has connected Hong Kong and Kowloon since 1898,
          runs regularly between 6.30am to 11.30pm. At HK$1.70 (upper deck) and
          HK$1.40 (lower deck)
      New question:  Is Tsimshatsui part of Kowloon?
      New query: Tsimshatsui
      Nothing appears to be useful.
      New query: Kowloon Map
      Clicking on #1: "WWW Sites and Pages in Kowloon and North Hong Kong"
        Giving up after seconds.
      Clicking on #4: "HongKong-map"
        Only shows location of Ramada Inn.  Giving up after seconds.
      Clicking on #6: "Map of Hong Kong WWW Sites and Pages"
        Poor quality map.  Giving up after seconds.
      Text for result #8:
        776 Traveller Services (HK) Ltd. - Location Map 
        How to find us . Our office is conveniently located on the Kowloon
        Side of Hong Kong right at the heart of the Tsimshatsui Business &
        Shopping District. We can be easily reached
        http://www.traveller.com.hk/location.htm (Infoseek) 
      Tsimshatsui is part of Kowloon, presumably the ferry docks there.
      I need a currency converter.
      Going to www.oanda.com 
      (one of my bookmarks)
      At the current interbank rate the cost is US$0.22.  Cheap.

  14. At a university in Massachusetts, USA
    Using multisearch
    Entered "Star Ferry across Hong Kong harbor to Tsimshatsui" into multisearch
    Scanned results, looked at one Excite found site, no good
    AltaVista found
    ...which says
    two-decker ferries weave their way through the 0.8 nautical mile course
    between Hong Kong and Tsimshatsui (Kowloon).  Upper deck, 1st class seats
    cost HK$1.50 and the view of the harbour from there will delight any
    Site is copyrighted 1997, so figure is probably accurate.
    Went to currency exchange site
    converted HK$1.50 to around 20 cents.

  15. At another university in Glasgow, Scotland
    Visit AltaVista
    Query: +"Star Ferry" +"Star Ferry" harbor +Tsimshatsui
    Click #5 (http://www1.minn.net/~kenrand/ferry.htm)
    Answer: The fare is $2 HK, about 25cents U.S.
    After reading the web page I was not sure if this was the
    right fare, so I went back to my AltaVista results page and
    clicked on #6 (http://www.budgettravel.com/hk.htm). Found
    similar price there which confirms that the answer is:
    Answer: The fare is $2 HK, about 25cents U.S.

  16. Elsewhere in Ottawa, Canada, using AltaVista ...
    ANSWER:		HK$1.50 for adults and $1 for children
    Queries:	3
    Links followed:	4
    Time:		5 minutes
    Query:	Tsimshatsui "Star Ferry" "upper deck"
    	Strategy: Choose rare words and phrases
    Found out:
    	hits are varied and not obviously relevant
    Followed Link:	http://www.asiatravel.com/harbour/
    	First hit has Star Ferry and Tsimshatsui in a 
    		list of destinations
    Query: Tsimshatsui "Star Ferry" deck upper ferry across ride
    	Strategy: Add boat words
    Found out: same first few hits as previous query
    Followed Link:	http://web3.asia1.com.sg/tnp/journey/travel/hk/hkfacts.html
    	chose second hit which seemed to be a compendium
    	of tourist information.
    	-> http://web3.asia1.com.sg/tnp/journey/travel/hk/hkget.html
    	followed a link on "getting around"
    Found out:	Entry on Ferries: 
    		new related terms:
    		Inter Island Ferries
    Tsimshatsui "Star Ferry" deck upper ferry across ride cost price US 
    "Inter Island" Central
    	Strategy: Added cost and price terms
    Found out: First link was:

  17. France
    Metacrawler: [Full question text]
    --> 10 results (Excite)
    1st: http://www.regit.com/regitour/hongkong/useful/ferry.htm
    The most famous mode of transportation for residents of Hong Kong.
    Tourists are agog at the magnificent site of the world.s third busiest
    harbour and one of the best natural habours in the world, as the
    double-bowed, green and white, two-decker ferries weave their way
    through the 0.8 nautical mile course between Hong Kong and Tsimshatsui
    (Kowloon). Upper deck, 1st class seats cost HK$1.50 and the view of
    the harbour from there will delight any shutterbug.
    Price: HK$1.50 . Still, the price in US currency is unknown.
    Metacrawler: "Star Ferry"
    --> Many results.
    --> 2th result: http://www.halcyon.com/jfk/tpic4.htm
        Beautiful picture. But still no notion of US currency.
    --> 4th result: http://www.hk97.net/ferry.htm
        Again prices in $HK.
    Metacrawler: "Star Ferry" upper deck US
    --> Many results
    --> 1st: http://city.net/countries/china/hong_kong/essentials/sightseeing.html
    General info on sightseeing in HK, but no notion of prices.
    --> 2nd: http://asiatravel.com/hkinfo.html
        Again only prices in HK$.  But different higher price for the same
    ride: HK $1.70 
    --> 3rd: http://city.net/countries/china/hong_kong/essentials/transportation.html
        Prices, but no US$
    I resign.  Foreign exchange rates with asian currencies are not stable
    these days anyway, so I try to find today's exchange rate.
    Metacrawler: foreign exchange HK US
    --> 33 results.
    --> 2nd: http://www.iba.com.hk/forex-indicator.html
    A list of exchange rates of other currencies with HK$. 1US$~=7.71HK$
    as of today (6/16/98).
    That gives:
    (20 minutes)

  18. Another searcher in France
    - used http://www.altavista.digital.com/
    - search on keywords: Tsimshatsu Hong Kong Star Ferry
    - Clicked on 10: http://www.spark.net.hk/~khleung/traffic/ferry4.html
    but couldnt find anything.
    - went back to altavista result seach
    - clicked on http://www.regit.com/regitour/hongkong/goaround/goaround.htm
    and found the information:
    	"Upper deck, 1st class seats cost HK$1.50"

  19. Another Australian searcher...
    [5:45pm Aus EST]
    Try AltaVista Australia powersearch. [Checked help]
    Search for:"host:hk and (Tsimshatsui OR (Hong NEAR Kong) OR (Star NEAR Ferry))"
    ranked on "cost (Tsimshatsui OR (Hong NEAR Kong) Star Ferry"
        -=> "1. Hong Kong Ferry Time Table" [new window]
    	Paged down
    	-=> "Ferry Page"
    	    Went back, removed trailing part of URL to move to home page.
    	    [Killed window]
    Next page of search results
       -=> "14. Directory of Hong Kong" [new window] Nothing useful. 
           [Killed window]
    Next page of search results
    Idly tried www.gov.hk
    Back to AltaVisa: Added "ferry" to OR part of query
    [paged through results]
    [6:00pm Aus EST]
        -=> "51. Hong Kong Traffic"
    	Page taking time to load; only partially loaded:
    	    -=> "Hong Kong Key Plan" [new window]
    	       -=> "Transportation"
    		   -=> "Ferry"
    		   "Sorry, the page you requested is not available..."
    			-=> "Site map"
    			    -=> "Search"
    			    	-=> "Topics"
    				    -=> "Transportation" no good.
    	    -=> "Hong Kong Government Transport Department"
    		image map:
    		-=> "Fares & Charges"
    		image map
    		    -=> "Ferry"
    			[scroll to bottom of page]
    			Ah-ha. Fares for the The "Star" Ferry Company,
    			Upper Deck fares are HK$2.0 and HK$2.5, for various
    			routes.  Nothing about a "TsimShatsui" route.
    			Hmmm. The page is dated 1-July-1996, and according to 
    			its HTTP details was last modified 30-Aug-1996...
    			it could be out of date.
    New AltaVista search: "Star and Ferry and Company"
       -=> "1. Hong Kong - The Star Ferry" [new window]
    	Excellent: cost is HK$1.50.
    	The page copyright 1997, last modified 18-Feb-98, so should be ok.
    	What's the cost in US$ ?
    	Need an exchange rate.
    Go to SIGIR'98 Page [via personal Bookmark],
       -=> "Major Currency Exchange Rates"
           AUS$ conversions only.
           [Cheer about improved showing of Aussie dollar) 
    New AltaVista simple search: "international exchange rates HK dollar"
    No good: too many articles on HK dollar
    Trim search: "international exchange rates"
        -=> "3. The International Exchange Rates
        Hongkong Standard Currency Converter." [new window]
    	Enter 1.5 into currency converter
    	-=> Answer US$0.193650!
    [6:15pm Aus EST]

  20. Saarbrucken, Germany 
    22 June 1998, 19:20-21:20 p.m.
    Metacrawler: What does it cost ($US) to ride on the upper deck of the 
    Star Ferry across Hong Kong harbor to Tsimshatsui?
      first result: http://www.regit.com/regitour/hongkong/useful/ferry.htm
      contained the info:  "Upper deck, 1st class seats cost
                              HK$1.50 and the view of the harbour from there will
                              delight any shutterbug."
    used the OANDA 164 currency converter (http://www.oanda.com/cgi-bin/ncc) 
    to convert HK$ 1.5 to 0.1938 USD (at today's Interbank Rate)

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Date created: Monday, 31-Jul-00