I’ve always appreciated good public transport in the country I visit. Not only because it saves a lot of time, but public transport like bus or train saves a lot of money in comparison to renting a car, taking the taxi or Grab.
Before going to Hong Kong, I made sure I download Hong Kong’s MTR (Mass Transit Railway) map to plan my movements in Hong Kong (according to my itinerary).
The MTR is pretty much the easiest mode of transportation in Hong Kong but the buses are great too (and way cheaper!). But, certain peak hours can cause some extra time wasted so I prefer MTR.
The best part is that every mode of public transportation (bus, MTR and even Airport Express) can use a single card only, which is Hong Kong’s infamous Octopus Card.
Purchasing the Octopus Card via Klook
One of the things that we purchased online before coming to Hong Kong was the Octopus Card. Octopus Card can be used on virtually everything in Hong Kong. From public transport rides, purchasing drinks at vending machines, purchasing items in shops like 7-11 and many more.
It is really easy to purchase the Octopus Card, especially via Klook. I bought two Octopus Cards with HKD50 preloaded in it. With Klook, purchases are super quick and all I had to do was download the QR code I received after payment confirmation. The counter to pick up my purchased Octopus Cards was also very easy to find – the same level as Arrivals at Hong Kong Airport.
Once I arrived at the pickup counter, I just showed my QR code and I was immediately given the HKD50 prepaid Octopus Cards. Top-ups for the Octopus Card can be done at 7-11 and selected outlets. Best to top-up at the 7-11 in the same Arrival Hall though, just in case.
My husband and I was a bit kiasu, so we top-up HKD200 per card (which I calculated beforehand would be enough for the whole 5-day trip).
Octopus Card or Single Journey Ticket Set for the MTR Airport Express train
At first, I didn’t know about the Single Journey Ticket Set. I knew that we could use the Octopus Card to take the MTR Airport Express train to Tsing Yi MTR Station before changing MTR lines to get to Tai Wo Hau MTR and our hotel (Dorsett Tsuen Wan Hotel).
But when I checked the price at the machine, getting to Tsing Yi MTR Station using the Octopus Card is HKD70 per person. Luckily I saw the Visitor Information Counter and asked if there were other options to get to Tsing Yi MTR Station and the lady informed me of the Single Journey Ticket Set. If you come in groups (Group of 2/3/4), the Airport Express Group Ticket fare would be cheaper than a single ride via Octopus Card.
- Do note, however, that the MTR officer will check that your group members are together when you purchase the tickets.
So, we bought two Single Journey Ticket to Tsing Yi MTR Station for HKD100 (and saved HKD40!).
Riding the MTR with Octopus Card
I can’t stress enough how great this Octopus Card is because well, it is. It also gives you a small discount on MTR fares in comparison to buying single ticket journeys at the machine every time. So, you already save quite a bit there.
Riding the MTR with Octopus Card is easy-peasy. You just have to know which station you’re going off at and which Exit you’re going out from to make your travel easier. Hence why I prepared the itinerary beforehand so as not to waste time.
I find travelling in Hong Kong as easy as travelling in Singapore because there are signages everywhere. Even though there are Chinese character signages, there are also English signages to help you along.
The MTR lines are not complicated either (which is why we chose to go everywhere via MTR, instead of taking the bus). There are some other countries with more lines and crazier maps (like when I went to South Korea or Japan).
Using Octopus Card for the bus ride
The only other time my husband and I used the Octopus Card for bus ride was when we were heading to the Airport after checking out from our Hotel. I didn’t know at first that there was a bus stop very nearby our Hotel that can take us directly to-and-fro the Airport.
The Long Win Airport Service bus A32 comes from Kwai Chung Estate and picked us up at the Kwai Chung Kai Fong Association bus stop (which was only about 3 minutes walk uphill from our Hotel) and would drop us directly at Hong Kong Airport Terminal 1 for only HKD18.90.
Ahh, if only I had known sooner.
I did some research before going to Hong Kong that there is a bus ride from the Airport Ground Transportation Centre to Central but didn’t find anything about going to Kwai Chung (and ultimately our Hotel).
The thing was, we booked our hotel one day before flying to Hong Kong (no, I do not recommend anyone else doing this because it’s very risky) so I didn’t get the chance to email the Hotel and find out if there was any transport option from the Airport to the Hotel.
Yeah well, you gain some, you lose some. Just another experience for my husband and me.
Imagine how much we could’ve saved on Airport transfer alone if we took the bus using our Octopus Card that first day!
The journey via bus from our Hotel to Airport was about 30-40 minutes. The best part is there’s a screen in the bus that tells you the name of each stop. So you won’t get lost.
The same Long Win Airport Service bus A32 also stops at the Lantau Link Toll Plaza – where you can get off and change for another bus to Disneyland Hong Kong.
Buy Food or Drinks with Octopus Card
I’m not an ambassador for Octopus Card (I don’t get paid writing about this, LOL!) but I like that the card can be used for almost everything, including purchasing things at the mart or vending machines.
I mean, it would be a bit of a hassle to get out HKD15 (dollars or coins) when I want to buy a bottle of Coke at the vending machine in comparison to just tap the Octopus Card.
Just make sure to keep the card carefully though.
On our last day in Hong Kong before Departing home, we went back to the same counter we picked up the Octopus Card at Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall and we got back all the balance money in the card (and there was still quite a sum in it). The lady at the counter took the card back though. If you would like to have the card as a keepsake, you can, but you’ll have to forego the preloaded HKD50. We decided to take our money back, LOL!
I’ve browsed online to see other options on purchasing the Octopus Card and I find that purchasing with Klook is the easiest – and cheapest.
So yeah, if you guys are going to Hong Kong, don’t forget to get the Octopus Card for yourself. It is value for your money – and help you have a worry-free trip!