Octopus Card, Hong Kong
Yes, please get one for your stay as a number of shops in HK accept octopus (ie convenient store like 7-11, fast food shop like MacDonalds, all public transportations, supermarkets like Welcome etc.)
No need to worry about the amount as you pay what you have to pay and the remaining balance can be refunded (including the HK$50 deposit).
It is definetely useful to buy Octopus pass, but remember when you have completed all security formalities and get in, then there is no way you can refund the balance amount of Octopus pass. Do that just before security check. It is nice if HK authority provide one counter to refund the balance amount inside the depature of airport.
For long-staying visitors, an “Octopus” card, which also allow travel on the Airport Express and other forms of transport may be useful. Passenger with an Octopus card can enjoy free MTR connection to/from the Airport Express. Octopus card hotline: 852-2993-8880
When commuting around Hong Kong for at least 3 days,then it's a must for you to buy an Octopus card..you can buy at the airport upon arriving or to any MTR stations.With this, you can save time everytime you commute within the island.You can swipe it to MTR,bus, ferry, tram entrance at The Peak,etc..And when you're running out of card value, you can reload to any MTR stations,7/11 stores.Don't worry, the amount deposited in your card can be refunded at the airport Octopus card counter before departing HK.
If your spending any time in Hong Kong commuting on the Mass Transit Rail (MTR) get yourself an Octopus Card. (like the Oyster card of London). The Octopus Card is a rechargeble contactless card used on the MTR and other shops e.g McDonalds and KFC. There is a HKD50 deposit that is refunded when finished with. i found using the Octopus Card easy and stress free while in Hong Kong.
more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus_card
If you plan to use the public transport often, op to purchase the Octopus Card which offers excellent value on MTR, LRT, KMB, Citybus and HKF ferries. You can purchase your Octopus Card from ticket offices, customer service centers in MRT, KCR East Rail and LRT stations, and certain ferry piers of the HKF.
Check out their website for moe up to date rates and information.
From Airport to HK downtown it is still cheapest and convenient to take the Citybus. There are a number of trip line at the airport going to different destination. visit citybus website. But going in/out of HK, it is still practical to buy an octopus card. As its accepted in most buses, MTR, some establishment. So you avoid the hassle of queing line..For tourist, there is a 1 day or 3 day pass for unlimited MTR rides..
This, to me, was an essential part of my travels in Hong Kong! As we were always using some form of transport, whether it was the MTR, bus, tram, ferry, train, it just made it easier having a prepaid card that you could swipe, rather than fumbling around for change all the time, especially on trams, that were always exact fair only.
We purchased our ‘on loan’ Octopus card at the airport, but you can also purchase them at MTR customer service centres, and many 7/11 convenience stores. It cost HK$150, $50 of which was a deposit and was refundable at the end of our visit. We topped up our credit in 7/11 stores. Everytime you swipe your Octopus card, you will see a digital display of the amount just taken and the amount you have left, so you know when it is nearly time to top up. Important: remember to always swipe your Octopus card on entry eg to the bus AND on exit or you will end up paying for the full length of journey on that route and not just the part of the journey that you have taken.
From the tips I read in Virtual Tourist, and a nephew who travel frequently in Hong Kong, I was informed to purchase an Octopus Card at the airport if I have to move around using the MTR. It is totally hassle free. You don't have to remove the card in your wallet or bag, as long as it will be detected by the sensor, and the turnstile will open specially when you are on a rush. Sometimes you can see the card balance flashed on the screen (on newer stations). My friend and I each got the HK$100 + HK$50 deposit card, and we used it all along for the 4 days duration of our stay. The best part of it is that whatever balance plus the HK$50 deposit will be refunded to you at the airport. you can also use it to pay your purchases in 7/11, and I used it to pay hot chocolate in HK disneyland. You can recharge the card at minimum HK$50. You just have to go to the customer relations booth found at any station. This card is really hassle free. Just don't lose it or else...
Octopus Card is a travel card that you may add value to it and pay for the fare of bus, green minibus, ferry, MTR, KCR, and LRT. Generally speaking, you may use the Octopus Card to pay the fare of any kind of transportation, except the red minibus.
Apart from transportation, you may also pay for food in fast food shops like McDonald's, KFC, Cafe de Coral, Farewood and Maxim's. There are some convenience stores that accept the Octopus Card, like Manning, Watson's, 7-Eleven and Circle K.
There are two types of Octopus Cards. One is called "Sold Octopus". You may get the card at HKD $138 (Euro 13.8, US $17.69). No value is stored in the card. That means you need to add value for the card when you use it.
Another type of it is called "On-loan Octopus". For an adult Octopus Card, you need to pay HKD $70 (Euro 7, US $8.97). $50 of it is paid for deposit, which means that you can get $50 back when you return the Octopus card to any MTR stations. $20 of it is added to the card. That means when you get the card, there is $20 in the card.
For adding value into the card, you may add it in the convenience stores and the MTR stations. There are several add-value machines in every MTR station. Or you may simply go to the ticket centre in MTR stations to add value.
One of the advantages of the Octopus Card is that you need not carry coins for paying the transport fare. Sometimes it is difficult to pay the exact fare because of lack of coins. And the Octopus Card solve this problem.
If you are staying in Hong Kong for long, and you are traveling free and easy. Please get the octopus at the airport. There is ticket provider at the airport.
The Octopus is useful for all softs of transport from buses, train (MTR) and ferry rides.
It really convenient
TAKE AN OCTOPUS CARD WHEN YOU ARRIVE HK.ITS EASY AND GETS OUT OF A LOT OF TROUBLE.YOU BUY THE CARD EVERYWHERE.YOU PUT THE MONEY IN THE CARD(LIKE PREPAID CARD FOR TRANSPORT).SAVES U FROM TROUBLE.USE IT
An Octopus Card has a built-in microchip that store value and fare information, which makes travelling a lot easier as you don't need to carry lots of small change with you.
You can use it for public transport, such as Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Kowloon-Canton Railway East Rail (KCR), KCL Light Rail, KCRC buses, mini-buses, most Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) routes, the Airport Express, Citybus & Cityflyer routes (except cross boundary), all outlying island routes of Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry, etc. It can even be used in most 24-hour convenience stores and Maxim cake shops in MTR stations. More applications will be introduced in the near future.
Octopus cards are available at customer service centres or ticket offices in the MTR, KCR and Ferry Piers. There are four different types of Octopus Card for different groups of users, Adult, Student, Child and Elderly, and all require HK$50 deposit. The Card can still be used as long as the residual value does not fall below HK$35.
The Fare Deducting Processor will automatically deduct the fare or value when you touch the card to the Processor at each point of use. You don't need to take it out as the Processor can detect through handbags and wallets. But you are advised to keep your card in its protective pouch and avoid putting it next to coins or zippers to prevent it from being scratched.
We bought the 3 Day Unlimited MTR Ride for tourists for HKD220.
Advise is to plan your schedule such that you cover the faraway places in the first 3 days, if you are going for more than 3 days, so that it's worth it. E.g. disneyland, CityGate Mall and Lantau Island (same MTR), Wong Tai Sin and Causeway Bay.
Note that only the MTR rides are free for that card, the bus and tram rides are not free. You can top up card but one top up has to be at least HKD50.
Updated: May 22, 2006
It can be used for subway (MTR), train (Airport Express, KCR), bus, minibus, tram, ferry as well as at most convenience stores and, yes indeed, even McDonald's: the Octopus Card!
The Octopus is a rechargeable smart card, that can be purchased for 150,-HKD (adults) at the airport and all MTR subway stations. The 150,-HKD include a 50,-HKD deposit and a usable value of 100,-HKD.
Fares will be automatically deducted when placing the card close to the respective card reader at entrance gates (subway), entrance doors (bus) or exit doors (tram). There is a discount for all subway rides with Octopus-use!
Recharge is possible at most convenience stores and MTR subway stations.
The deposit and remaining monetary value will be fully refunded after usage ... except for a 7HK$ handling fee if returned within 3 months of purchase.
** It's the first thing you should buy before leaving the airport!!! **