Although at the beginning the Octopus was launched to be used in the many transportation venues, including the MTR, buses, ferries, and trams, the system has widely spread to other sectors as well. Nowadays, you can use an Octopus Card to pay at convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, vending machines, parking garages, supermarkets, etc.
The Octopus is the equivalent of London's Oyster Card or New York's MetroCard, in steroids... because you can use it for so much more.
It is estimated that 95% of the population age 16 to 65 use it, to locals, the Octopus is a way of life, and it is definitely the way to go when getting around Hong Kong.
They are easy to use, you simply place the card over the "card reader" (the yellow pad with the picture of the card over it), it will beep/lit up and then you proceed through the turnstile:
Getting around is much easier with an Octopus Card: at the MTR
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this Hong Kong smartcard:
Other types are the "Sold" Octopus which are special edition cards sold at a premium and are more like "souvenir" cards, i.e. the Hello Kitty Octopus Card. You can get them at the 7-Eleven.
"Personalized Cards" mostly used by Hong Kong residents, you must register for these, they are trackable, linked to your financial institution, and can be automatically reloaded.
Child and Elder Octopus Cards are also available and when using one of these, the corresponding concessionary (discounted) fare will be charged for transportation i.e. child or senior fare.
Child Octopus Card
Senior Octopus Card
Cards must be paid with CASH only.
Prices for on-loan cards are as follows:
Hong Kong Standard Octopus Prices
|Deposit||Stored Value||Total Cost|
The "Stored Value" is your credit balance, what you have left to spend.
When you leave Hong Kong you can get the deposit and any unused stored value remaining back at the Airport Express Counters (Arrivals Hall) at the Airport. They deduct a small fee of HK$7 (less than US$1) for On Loan Octopus cards refunded within 3 months, not a bad deal for the convenience of using an Octopus throughout your stay.
You can buy a Tourist Octopus online to be ready for pick up at the airport, it comes with HK$50 preloaded credit and special tourist edition motiv. You can keep the card as a souvenir or reuse it on your next trip!
The Tourist Octopus costs HK98. Buy online.
Much easier than carrying exact change for bus fare!
SOME taxis are beginning to accept Octopus but not all do, so ask first.
Many fast-food joints like McDonalds, Starbucks and Mrs. Fields and convenience stores and supermarkets like 7-Eleven, Circle K, Watsons and Wellcome to name a few.
Outside of Hong Kong, use of the card is now being extended to a handdful of establishments in Shenzhen and Macau, but this is still in the early stages. New cards expected to come out in 2012 will be in effect multi-currency cards and will certainly make travelling within the area a breeze, no more carrying small change in three different currencies!
There are also automated Add Value Machines at MTR and selected Light Rail Stations where you can reload your Octopus.
Adding more "money" to your Octopus is easy at any of the Add Value Machines
available at MTR stations
A maximum of HK 1,000 can be added.
Remember it's CASH only!
Octopus Cards are a convenient way to make small purchases, don't forget to pick one up as soon as you land!
Thank you for visiting www.hong-kong-traveller.com!
Here is to a wonderful Hong Kong travel experience!
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