Thursday, March 17, 2011

The MUST Have Item for Hong Kong

It doesn't matter if you're just visiting Hong Kong or if you're relocating to this mega-metropolis like I am, get yourself an Octopus card right away! An Octopus card is THE absolute must-have item for Hong Kong!

"Standard" Octopus cards

You can purchase your Octopus card at any MTR station, either at the designated Customer Service booths or at the self-serve machines. The initial cost of a standard Octopus card is $150 Hong Kong dollars for $100 credit and $50 deposit. Whatever amount you have left over on your card is refundable upon return of the Octopus card.

Octopus cards come in a variety of designs and colors to fit all ages and styles, such as mobile phone accessories and watches!

Mobile phone accessory with built in Octopus

Not only does the Octopus card work on all major forms of public transportation in Hong Kong including the MTR, Star Ferry, buses and trams, it also works like a cash card in many shops all over Hong Kong! You can use your Octopus card at vending machines selling a wide variety of products from soft drinks to iphone covers, convenience stores like 7/11, supermarkets, mobile phone shops and retail stores. Hong Kond residents can even pay bills with their Octopus card!

My favorite place to use my Octopus card? The Mobile Softee trucks!

No cash for Mister Softee? No problem!

Just make sure that you don't lose your Octopus card! There's no way to trace a lost or stolen Standard card back to you! You can only submit a claim if you have a personalized Octopus card or one set up to automatically add value through your bank.  

*Local Tip* Avoid the long lines usually waiting for you at the MTR customer service booths or self-serve kiosks when you want to recharge your Octopus and head straight to a 7/11. It usually takes less than a minute to recharge and then you're back out to exploring the wonders of Hong Kong!

Is there any other destination that makes transportation and paying for things as easy as Hong Kong's Octopus card?

© Connie Hum 2011


  1. Loved using the Octopus Card when I was in Hong Kong! It's so incredibly simple and useful all over the place! When will we get something so awesome in NYC? Oh, right, probably never...

  2. @Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures Wouldn't it be awesome if one day we could use our Metro Card to buy Papaya Dogs and Broadway tickets? I'm afraid you're right though, it's going to take NYC years to catch up to Hong Kong in this respect.

  3. Octopus card in Hong Kong, Oyster card in London. I think we should get a Calamari card in L.A. :)

  4. @Jackie HAHA! Maybe LA should work on getting good public transportation first! =)

  5. I've only been here three days and I picked up on this! But I had no idea people could use them at Mr. Softee! Amazing.

  6. Thanks for this. Heading there in a month and this is good to know.

  7. @Mike Hi Mike, glad to hear that this post will be helpful to you! I hope you enjoy Hong Kong, it's a pretty awesome city!

  8. AH I wish I still had mine, I traded it with another traveller for her Beijing subway card. Sigh... I guess if I headed back that way I would want to go back to both cities though.
    High Fives! LOVE HK!

  9. @lindsay @_thetraveller_ There's always next time! And $50 HKD isn't so expensive for a pretty cool Hong Kong souvenir!


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