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Octopus Card-All in One
Last June 2012, I went to Hongkong with my friend Eileen. I was surprised to have this Octopus Card-which as a first timer in Hongkong gave me a lot of convenience.
This card allows you to travel around Hongkong using MTR, tram and buses. Never experienced something as convenience as this before-so I was so glad that Hongkong had me my first experience of this.
You can even load this card to any 711 convenience store and you can also make use of this when you ran out of cash in Hongkong Disneyland, which I did. of course.
One of a kind.
- Budget Travel
Using an Octopus card makes getting around Hong Kong super easy.
The convenient rechargeable smart card deducts payments for a variety of everyday purchases around Hong Kong. I purchase mine from the MTR Customer Service Centre on the station concourse but cards can be purchased from any participating public transportation company's CSC.
Adults are charged a deposit of HK$50 + stored value of HK$100 making your initial purchase $HK150. This credit is probably enough for 3 to 4 days worth of short trips around central Hong Kong. If you are staying any longer or journeying frequently outside the city then the card will need to be "topped up" a few times during your stay.
Octopus cards can be used to pay for trips on the MTR, Light Rail, Trams, Peak Tram, Star Ferry, Buses and Green Minibuses. It can also be used to pay for purchases at Convenience stores such as 7 Eleven and Circle K, some supermarkets, Watsons, Starbucks and fast food outlets including McDonalds.
*MTR: Just swipe your Octopus card against the reader at the turnstile of both your departure and arrival station. The fare (according to distance travelled) is then automatically deducted. This amount and the remaining credit on the card is displayed at your destination station. Occasionally the card may not scan correctly. If this happens you just need to go to the Customer Service counter and ask them to reset the card.
*BUS: Just swipe your card when you get ON the bus (through the front door only). You are charged a flat fare regardless of how many stops travelled.
*TRAM: Entry is through a turnstile at the back of the tram. Just swipe your Octopus Card only when you get OFF the tram. You must exit at the front only.
If you have used all the money on your card, it can be topped up at Customer Service Centres, convenience stores, or Value Add machines in station concourses (which are very easy to understand and use). Octopus cards remain valid for three years and can be topped up at any time within that period. You can also choose to hand the card back to the CSC for a refund of both the deposit and any remaining credit.
If you are a non-resident of Hong Kong and plan to use the Airport Express you can buy a special Tourist Octopus Card. This card entitles you to one free single journey plus 3 days unlimited travel on MTR, Light Rail and some buses. Cost includes HK$50 deposit + stored value of HK$20. At a total cost of HK$220 this card would only be good value if you intend to use the MTR and other public transport frequently during the three day period.
I’m fascinated on how to use the Octopus Card. At first, I really imagined an octopus image on the card with 8 tentacles… but the card wasn’t presented that way.
The Octopus card is like a hard plastic magnetic card that can be used to access subways (MTR Airport Expresss, Disney Land Resort, LRT) around Hong Kong, can also be used in parking, leisure facilities, etc. It’s a reloadable card that will make your journey fast and convenient.
There are different types of Octopus Cards, for tourists who will stay for only a few days in HK, an On-Loan Octopus Card is the best that I recommend. On-Loan Octopus Card is perfect for tourists. You have to deposit an initial amount of HK$50 which is refundable, that’s why it’s the best for people spending only a few days around HK. You can avail it on any subway stations at the counter.
You can reload the Octopus card in any convenience store, any customer service in subways, in ferry terminals, even in the City Bus Customer service center on the ground floor of HK International Airport.
Based from my friends' advices who have been in HK, I availed the Octopus Card in the Tsim Sha Tsui station, the nearest station where I stay, and then reloaded it immediately with another HK$50 so I can enjoy my self-guided tour without the hassle of reloading it every now and then. On my last day, after I got off the Central Station to proceed in the MTR Airport Express, I asked for a refund on one of the subway counters.
A remaining balance of HK$35 was given back to me.
If on an instance, the balance in your Octopus card became negative, you have to reload it again until you reach a balance of HK$50 so you can return it, but no worries, since your HK$50 cash will be given back to you.
- Budget Travel
The MUST have to get around quickly
The Octopus Card is every person's MUST have. It is a touch and go style prepayment card that simplifies your travel around the entire region. It can be used to access the MTR, the Star Ferry, the doubledeck Trams, etc. The other major benefit is that it is also accepted as payment forms in many small stores like 7-11 and the like. This means you don't have to load up on small coins for a quick drink or snack on the go.
Most travelers should purchase one of these at the airport before heading into town. As per my Airport Express tip, although you can use this to access the train into town I recommend buying a separate return ticket for the AEX to save 10% off the fare.
Best way to travel by far - Octopus Card
Anyone I spoke to about travel in and around Hong Kong said that I MUST get an octopus card. Basically, it is a reloadable card that can be used on any public transport in Hong Kong, including all buses, ferries, trains etc and you can even use it at some convenience stores and small retail outlets. So it is indeed a MUST HAVE accessory when travelling around Hong Kong. You will need to pay a refundable deposit when you first purchase it, but you get this deposit back when you hand it back in at the airport as you leave. But, If you think you will be back in Hong Kong soon, keep it, as any credit will remain on the card for 1000 days!!!!! If you do choose to cash in your card at the airport on your departure, a small administration charge of $7HK will be deducted and as long as you still have at least $50HK on your card, you will be refunded the $50HK deposit!!
You can top up your Octopus Card at all MTR stations very easily, by either using the top up machine or manually at a cashier. You can also top them up at a lot of convenience stores, like 7-Eleven or Circle K.
the Octopus Card is something you MUST purchase if you are travelling to Hong Kong, it makes your travelling so much easier. You just swipe your card at the turnstile as you are entering a MTR station and then swipe it again as you leave and it will deduct the amount of the journey from the card - amazing!!!
Why Queue to Buy MTR Pass?
Our previous visits involved buying round trip tickets which I understand that it costs more. However, my family did very little travelling as we rarely ventured out of the magical world of Disneyland.
This time though, we have split our time between Disneyland and another hotel around Mongkok. We also planned to move around - shopping and sightseeing, a little bit more.
Thus, getting the Octopus card is more convenient as it removes the need to queue up to buy tickets.
What's more, you can use the Octopus card to purchase items for a variety of stores in and around the MTR stations. Very useful card indeed.
If you intend to use public transport in Hong Kong the Octopus card is a convenient way to pay. a $50 deposit will get you one, in arrivals at the airport for us, but available all over the city, then add as much credit to it as you like. Each time you use public transport swipe the card over the terminal and the fare is deducted. Can also be used to pay entrance fees to museums, Happy Valley racecourse etc.
See website for more information.
- Budget Travel
I fell in love with the Octopus Card. You can use it on all mass transit, Metro, Buses, Ferry, and even the Peak Tram. What was an added bonus with this card is that you can use it in some convience stores like 7-11. I never needed to deal with coins because of this card. If you are going to spend any time there in HK this card is a must.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
The best way to go
The Octopus card is perhaps the best way to access a city's public transportation that I have ever seen. Other cities could take a lesson from this. Here is how it works. You arrive at the airport. Before reaching the trains into the city, you access a desk where you buy this card. You give them a deposit and decide what value you would like to have on the card. Then, if you have planned your trip right, you will never have to do anything but swipe that card at a turnstile as you take the public transportation in Hong Kong. When you go through a stile, you will see how much fare has been deducted. There are also machines at the stations that can tell you how much value remains on this smart card. At any time, you can add more value by making an additional deposit.
The best part is that the card works on everything in this city. Here is a list of what I used that card for:
(1)Train between the airport and the city.
(2)The STAR ferry crossing between HK and Kowloon
(3) the ferry to outlying islands (Lamma in my case)
(4) the Peak tram, this takes you to Victoria Peak
(5) The MTR (the subway)
(6) the streetcars
You can use this on virtually all public transportation in the city. I understand that you can now even use it is some stores. This card will prevent you from having to dig for loose change everytime you take a ride. Just be sure to keep it safe with you as you travel. The deposit and remaining value on your card will be returned to you as you turn the card back in.
- Budget Travel
The cheapest way to get around Hong Kong when visiting is by obtaining a Octopus card.
There are a few options you can get, one of which is the Aiport Express Octopus Card. For around HK$300 you get 3 days unlimited MTR travel, as well as a return journey on the Airport Express, and HK$50 refundable deposit.
You also get HK$20 usable credit on your card. Basically this means that you can use your card to pay for purchases that accept the Octopus Card. All you do is place your card on the reader and that will deduct the payable amount from your card. You can also top up your card at various shops and machines located in the stations.
I found this feature very useful when you just want to buy something small and dont want to pay using a note of a high denomination.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Octopus Card - Excellent Alternative to Cash
Hong Kong has excellent public transportation. The Octopus Card makes it very easy to use because you never have to worry about having the right change for the MTR, buses, the Star Ferry, etc. More and more vending machines and fast food restaurants use the system. We bought ours at the Customer Service counter at Chep Lap Kok. We added value during the week and obtained a refund of the deposit and the unused value at the airport before leaving Hong Kong.
- Family Travel
The introduction of the Octopus Card really created great convenience to travel around in Hong Kong. Not only to get around town, this smart card can be used in convenience stores, restaurants and supermarkets...the list just keep on expanding.
If you're staying in Hong Kong for a while and use public transportation frequently, it's definitely better to get an Octopus Card, which can be obtained in a lot of places, such as any MTR stations. You can put in any desirable amount into the card at any places that accept it. Other than convenience, you can also get a small discount when you use it to take the MTR or the bus.
The card used to be 100% refundable. But starting Nov 1, 2004, a HK$7 processing fee is applied to a card refund issued within 3 months.
"Doot" through life with the Octopus!
The card makes a "doot" sound everytime you use it; the locals swear by it and you should too! This nifty little card called the "Octopus" is the handiest transport buddy you will have during your stay in HK. The Octopus is essentially a pre-paid fare card which you can continuously top-up at all MTR stations. At just about every transportation you can name, you just need to tap it before boarding. The only exception is the double decker trams, where you pay with the Octopus just before you alight.
So named because back when it was launched in 1997, it was used on 8 modes of transportation. The Octopus can now be used on even MORE forms of transport and can also be used at major supermarket chains and restaurants like Café de Coral and convenience stores like 7-11. It's just a much quicker, cash-less way of getting things done (if you're unfamiliar with HK coins this is an added incentive to avoid the "figuring out the change" hassle!)
Forms of transport you can "doot" your way through: buses, MTR, trams, mini-vans (both the green and red-topped ones), light rail, ferry, KCR (which has since been re-named), Airport Express, and a couple others. Note that taxis DON'T take the Octopus, though!
Fun fact: the Octopus card generates more than 10 million transactions every day in HK.
travel around hk
buy an octopus card before you start travelling on any public transport. you can use it on ferry's, busses and the MTR. it is reloadable saves you time and money and you even get a refund when you hand it back at the end of your travels.
When you first buy your Octopus Card at the Airport Express counter at the airport, the person in charge would normally recommend the Airport Express package which allows return ride on Airport Express Train and unlimited rides on the MTR which is about HK$300.
I suggest not to take that offer for it is too expensive. For that amount I could have multiple buses/MTR rides for 1 week.
The card can be used on all trains, buses, ferries and convenient stores. There will be a HK$50 deposit. It will be refunded if returned. However, a Refund Handling Fee of HK$7 will be charged if it is returned within three months from the date of issue. So I think it's not worth returning. Consider using it till it gives a negative value and keep it as a mementos.
Hong Kong Travel Guide
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