ben boyd

Travelled to 10 countries / regions

Written 24 briefs
live in hong kong and go to china frequently



Asia > Hong Kong S.A.R. > Hong Kong > Useful Info
Updated on Jan 19, 2020 Useful Info

Get an Octopus card in Hong Kong. It's essential for getting around

  • Hong Kong is very, very dense and the metro system is simply the best way to get around even for a short visit like 1-2 days
  • Octopus card is the main payment system for not just the metro system, but also for buses, trams, ferries, and the airport train. You can even use it at convenience stores (and McDonald's and Starbucks and a host of other retail stores) to pay for things. It's essential for a full HK experience, so get it
  • To get the card: get it at the Airport Express station at the airport. There are different options of Octopus but just get the standard "On-Loan Octopus" at the airport. It costs $150 HKD ($20USD) but that includes $50HKD ($6) deposit you get back when you return it. Note that getting an Octopus card is by cash only. You can't pay for it with credit card
  • To use Octopus card:
  • Metro: tap when you enter and tap when you exit because fares vary by distance
  • Buses: tap when you get on the bus, don't need to tap to get off
  • Trams: tap when you get off
  • Ferries: tap when you enter the pier
  • To reload Octopus card, you can do it at any metro station. Or any of the authorized retailers. I recommend loading $30-$50 HKD for each day you plan to be in HK. Try to not load more than $500HKD at a time though (see my point on returning card below). Reloading is by cash only; no credit card accepted
  • Use this site to find the metro fares between different stations
  • To return the card: return it at the Airport Express station customer service. You will get the $50HKD deposit and any remaining values back in cash, minus a $9HKD (~$1USD) processing fee. If the remaining values is under $500HKD, they'll just give you the cash back on the spot, that's why I recommend reloading no more than $500HKD at a time