Hong Kong, one of the world’s most expensive cities, can quickly eat through your finances if you are unaware of how best to travel there. But with these helpful travel tips for Hong Kong you can maximize the use of your funds!
Accommodation is often the biggest part of any travel budget, so booking early and looking for discounts from hostels or Airbnb are both key components to saving money when traveling. Another inexpensive alternative would be taking public transit. As soon as you get off your Cathay Pacific Amsterdam to Hong Kong flight, remember the following.
1. Download the Taxi App
Used to be, traveling abroad meant bringing with you an array of essentials – now smartphones with apps can lighten the load significantly.
One of the best taxi apps is HK Taxi. This simple-to-use program makes hailing taxis on-the-go effortless while remembering your usual pickup point. FlyTaxi or ProTaxi also provide discounts and allow users to form relationships with drivers that interest them.
MTR Mobile app is an essential resource for those taking public transit and offers trip planner, fare information and even offline maps for walking routes. Another useful app, Toilet Rush will assist in finding public toilets quickly.
2. Get an Octopus Card
No matter if you reside or visit Hong Kong, an Octopus card is an indispensable must. This smart card allows you to pay for public transport, food and drinks as well as small purchases in stores. Cash can be loaded onto it from machines around town as well as banks, gas stations or supermarkets.
Purchase of an “On-Loan” Adult Octopus card will cost HK$150 at most convenience stores in Hong Kong or at Airport Express customer service desk at the airport; its total value (HK$100 in value and refundable deposit). A more expensive version – “Sold Tourist Octopus” – does not require any deposits and can be purchased at all 7-11, Circle K and VanGo convenience store chains as well as China Travel Service offices or online through Ctrip; both cards can also be topped up via MTR Customer Service Centre or Octopus Add-Value machines located throughout MTR stations as well as from Octopus Add-Value machines located throughout MTR stations, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants or supermarkets.
3. Get Google Maps
If you own a smartphone, one of the best ways to prepare for travel is downloading travel apps. They will help you navigate Hong Kong more efficiently and save you time on your journey.
HK ImmD is an invaluable app for those hoping to avoid long wait times at immigration, providing accurate information regarding wait times at every point of entry in Hong Kong.
Google Maps is another fantastic travel app, fully available in English and making navigation around Hong Kong simple. However, if your travel plans include mainland China then a VPN service may be necessary since all Google products are blocked there; alternative mapping apps might work, but are usually only applicable for certain cities and may cost money.
4. Get an Octopus Card for the MTR
The Octopus card is an indispensable way to explore Hong Kong. Locals and visitors alike use this contactless smart card to pay public transport fares as well as purchase goods and services at various retail outlets, restaurants, cafes and attractions across Hong Kong.
Busses feature special readers to collect fare payments, deducting it from your card balance. After each transaction, this amount deducted will be displayed on the reader.
Major convenience stores such as Park’n’Shop, Wellcome Supermarket and Watsons the Chemist accept Octopus cards; fast food chains such as Olivers also accept them. You can top up the card at MTR and ferry customer service centres or 7-Eleven and Circle K convenience stores; for an additional charge you may even personalise it with your name and photo!
5. Get an Octopus Card for the Ferry
No matter if you’re living here permanently or just visiting for a limited period, an Octopus card is an indispensable component of Hong Kong life. This reusable card stores money that can be used for transport, shopping, dining and more!
Public transport, shops, restaurants and parking lots accept them widely as payment cards. Simply hold it against the payment terminal reader to complete a transaction.
Octopus cards can be purchased at all MTR stations, airport express ticket counters and customer service centres; visitors may purchase specifically targeted Tourist Octopus Cards available from 7-11, Circle K, VnGo and China Travel Service stores which are fully refundable prior to departure.
6. Get an Octopus Card for the Buses
No matter if you live permanently or just visit occasionally, an Octopus Card can make life in Hong Kong much simpler and convenient. Not only can it make using its impressive public transport system easy and efficient but you can use it for making food and beverage purchases at stores such as Park’n’Shop (a large supermarket chain), Wellcome and Olivers too!
Sold Tourist Octopus Cards provide visitors with convenient transportation throughout Shanghai without incurring additional deposits. You can purchase one at 7-11 and Circle K stores throughout the city, VnGo convenience stores and China Travel Service outlets such as those found at airports as well as Ctrip’s website – these can also be obtained at Airport Express ticket offices or Central Ferry Piers 5 and 6. Simply hold it against a reader when entering turnstiles for your ferry fare to be deducted automatically.
7. Get an Octopus Card for the MTR
The Octopus Card is an essential travel companion when visiting Hong Kong, making its impressive public transportation system easier than ever to navigate. Compatible with MTR underground trains and above ground services – including Airport Express trains – this handy card makes navigating all forms of transit simpler than ever!
As soon as you enter and exit a station, a yellow reader automatically deducts fare based on distance traveled. If you need to add value or top up your card simply ask at any MTR Customer Service Centre, Airport ticket office, or Central Ferry Piers 5 and 6.
Make sure not to cause damage to your Octopus Card by not bending, scratching, writing on, pasting stickers or photos onto, or bending or scratching it in any way. Otherwise transactions may be denied and any remaining value on it could be lost.
8. Get an Octopus Card for the Buses
The Octopus Card can be used to pay for public transportation in Hong Kong such as buses, trains and the Airport Express as well as many retail shops, fast food outlets, car parks and leisure facilities.
Octopus Cards can be found at most major convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Circle K and Park’n’Shop; as well as pharmacies like Wellcome; drink vending machines also accept them.
When paying with a card to ride the bus, just hold it against the reader as you enter and exit and your fare will be deducted from your remaining balance – the amount will then appear on a screen nearby the reader.
The Octopus Card can be used for payments in both Hong Kong and Shenzhen, though each side must be loaded separately with either HKD or RMB. Furthermore, this card is widely accepted throughout Macau and Shenzhen so if you’re planning a visit either of these cities it would be worth your while having one handy.
9. Get an Octopus Card for the MTR
An Octopus Card is essential for getting around Hong Kong efficiently without fiddling with change. These reloadable cards allow you to pay subway, green minibus and Hong Kong Island ferry fares as well as at convenience stores, fast food outlets, coffee shops and convenience stores – with 100 Hong Kong dollars already saved up in its value reservable on it! Tourist Octopus Cards can be found at 7-Eleven stores or airport express ticket counters; those personalised as Elder or Student cards or Disability ID can be obtained from MTR customer service centres.
When using MTR underground train service, simply hold your Octopus card against a yellow turnstile reader before pushing through. On cityflyers or other ferries, simply swipe your card at the boarding point before exiting at your destination and the fare will be deducted accordingly from your Octopus card based on distance travelled.
10. Get an Octopus Card for the MTR
An Octopus Card makes travelling Hong Kong’s impressive public transport system seamless and convenient, from buses, MTR (train), and iconic ‘ding-ding’ trams to convenience stores and coffee chains. With contactless smart card technology embedded inside, using one to travel on these services becomes simple.
Purchase of the Sold Tourist Octopus Card can be done at any MTR or ferry customer service centre as well as select 7-Eleven, Circle K and China Travel Service stores. Specifically tailored to tourists with no refundable deposits required and a minimum purchase requirement of HK$50 minimum cost per purchase requirement, tourists will find themselves ready to explore Hong Kong!
Once your Octopus card has been loaded, just insert it into the yellow Octopus reader in an underground train station’s turnstile to unlock or open its gates automatically for you. Plus, this card can also be used on buses, ferries and coaches!