Octopus Card, Hong Kong
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!!! **
Octopus is an electronic payment system using contactless smart card trademaeked as "Octopus Card". It offers users an easy and hassle-free way to travel, shop and dine around Hong Kong. Users simply wave their Octopus cards over an Octopus reader which will automatically deduct the correct amount from the card.
Adding value anytime at convenient outlets all over Hong Kong or enjoy automatic add value services.
Tourists will find Octopus cards indispensable for getting around Hong Kong's sights and shops. No need to buy individual tickets for different modes of transport and retail outlets accept payment through Octopus cards.
- free Airport Express Single Journey and additional benefits for HK$220
- free Airport Express Single Journeys and additional benefits for HK$300. The free journey(s) is valid for 180 days from the date of purchase.
- Three days of unlimited rides on the MTR (HK's underground transport system)
- HK$20 usable value*, which can be used on the MTR after the three-day unlimited ride period. It can also be used at Octopus retail outlets and on their forms of transport at any time. If the amount is not sufficient for your needs, load more funds onto the card at any time.
- HK$50 refundable deposit
my VT friend, Adam, visited Hong Kong for 8 days, so I suggested him to buy an Octopus card which is for local people. It costed him HK$150 and he could popup in every tube station or even in a convenient shop. After he returned the card to the station, HK$50 was given back.
I tried to buy a sold Octopus card at the MTR center, but they did not know what I was talking about. I was sold the stored value card with the HK $50 deposit. It is alright, but you lose HK $7 when you turn it in for your deposit or if you decide to keep it . Small change, but they should update their website.
If your going to HKG then pick up an Octopus Card.
There are 3 types of cards available.
You must pay a Refundable Deposit of HK$50.00 for each card bought.
1)Airport Express Tourist Card with one trip on the Airport Express Train.HK$220.00.
2)The AE Tourist Card including 2 trips on the Airport Express Train.HK$300.00
3)The Tourist MTR 1-Day Pass offers 24 hours of unlimited MTR Travel (Except on the Airport Express).HK$50.00
The cards can also be used at many restaurants and stores (7-11) and you can always add funds to the card if you need to.
Where can you find the Octopus Cards?
When flying Cathay Pacific FRA-HKG you can buy a card at the In-Flight Duty Free Shop.
If not In-Flight then at the HKG Airport in the arrivals hall.
This 3-day pass is the ideal choice if you plan to stay in HK around 3-4 days. It includes three days of free MTR rides, 1 or 2 Airport Express rides plus HK$ 20 to be used on other major transportation modes in Hong Kong (buses and trams).
The 3-day pass prices depend on the amount of Airport Express rides:
- 2 Aiport Express rides costs HK$ 300 (around US$ 40)
- 1 Airport Express rides costs HK$ 220 (around US$ 30)
These and other tourist passes can be purchased after arrival in the HK Intl Airport or at any MTR station in HK downtown or Kowloon.
This is a great way to get around Hong Kong - the Octopus Card - which allows you to board the MTR (subway) and the public bus services. It is a store value card (minimum HK$100) and you to pay a deposit of HK$50 (which you can claim back upon returning the card). Makes life so much easier getting around Hong Kong. (For more details, see URL below)
All you need to do is to flash the card above the sensors as you are entering the gates of the MTR station and the sensors will automatically deduct the value upon your exit at your destination station. Ditto for buses.
The Octopus card was of great use. Yes you save a little when using it, but the real benifit is not needing or caring what the exact change is. You just get on and go. You can even go over the amount you have on the card a little.
It is $50 for the card plus the value to be used ($100) and then you get back the value left on the card plus $43 of the original $50.
It can even be used at many vending machines near transport. You wonder why all semi-modern towns don't ahve these.
Dont forget to buy a Octopus Card which makes travelling in Hong Kong simple and hassle-free. The versatile Octopus cards can be used on multiple modes of transport; MTR, Airport Express, KCR East Rail & Light Rail, buses, ferries etc, saving you the trouble of perparing for the coins. These cards can also be used on most public payphones, vending machines and photo booths in transport premises.
Buy octopus card from MTR station if you need to travel around Hong Kong. It can use for MTR, KCR, bus, tram, ferry, convenient store, public phone and etc.
First, buy 150 HKD. There will be store value of 100 HKD. You can fill the value anytime you want. And can refund the money back, but there will be refund fee of 7 HKD.
Please check at their website for their full services. It's worth the price.
Getting around Hong Kong is easy but first you need to get an Octopus card-HK$50 deposite fee, then you can credit this card with values say KH$100, once completed you may start using Hong Kong's wide range transportation. The credit on your card is deducted on each use. The MTR is fast and efficient , can be overcrowded at peak times.
From the airport it is much cheaper to catch express buses to various districts of Kowloon and Hong Kong, please note buses do not give changes, and watch out for the flat rate bus fare.
Octopus can be used for public transportation including MTR (subway), train, bus, green color mini bus, tram, ferry, car parks, supermarkets, convenient stores, vending machines, photobooths, pay phones, etc. You won't need to buy individual tickets for different modes of transport or carry coins.
There is a HK$50 deposit which is refundable, plus whatever the initial amount you are going to purchase (normally HK$50 or HK$100 depending how you travel and whether you would use this to shop.
You can buy the Octopus from any subway stations
Starting 1-Nov-2004, a refund handling fee of HK$7 will be charged if the octopus card is returned within 3 months from the date of issue.
We each bought a standard Octopus card with $100HK credit on it on our first day and re-charged it about halfway through the week. They are invaluable and save having to carry loads of loose change around, or queue up at ticket desks. Hong Kong’s public transport system is amazing and in 4 visits, I’ve never had any reason or desire to use a taxi. We travelled on ferries, trams, MTRs and buses and the only form of transport we found that didn’t accept them was the Citybus from Ocean Park to Admiralty. They can also be used for vending machines and various retail outlets like 7-Eleven, Circle K and Watsons.
If you are in HK for more than a day or two it's well worth getting an Octopus Card. It's valid on most forms of public transport - MTR, trains, buses, most ferries - even the Peak Tram. It saves a lot of hassle.
Best of all when you leave HK at the end of your stay you can return the card and get back any value left on it.
But don't get the Airport Express Octopus Card. This gives just one journey on the AEL and is not really good value.
Usually when travelling we tend to use a lot of taxi's but this certainly wasn't the case in Hong Kong. Their public transit is excellent. We bought an Octopus card which was good for the subway, bus, star ferry and even the Victoria Peak tram. It's so convenient, you don't have to fidget with unfamiliar change, you just swipe your card and off you go. You can also use the Octopus card to make purchases at 7-eleven and Circle K stores as well as some vending machines and payphones.