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Airport Express Tourist Octopus - 3-Day Hong Kong Transport Pass

Airport Express Tourist Octopus - 3-Day Hong Kong Transport Pass

Sep 12th, 2004, 03:38 PM
  #1  
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Airport Express Tourist Octopus - 3-Day Hong Kong Transport Pass

OK..I am trying to decide which Octopus Card we will need..We will arrive in HKG on October 31st around 3:00 pm or so..Staying at the Salilsbury YMCA...Departing on November 5th...(4.5 days)
First of all, should we take the airport express (how far is the stop from the Salisbury?)..And buy the 3 day Hong Kong pass tht includes return Airport Express for 300 HK$ (we will then need a pass for 1 more day..) Or take the hotel shuttle to the Salibury (i think it is 120 HK$ each way)..What is the best idea for that amount of days?..Rkkwan, I know you have answered me in previous posts, but can you just run this by me again..Thanks.
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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There are 4 main ways to get to your hotel. No particular winner, in my opinion, just depends on your priorites. For example, I've always used the cheapest of the 4 - by taking the Cityflyer bus.

1. Airport Express to Kowloon station. Then a) take the free shuttle bus; or b) take a taxi which should cost only about US$5 or so (depends on traffic and number of large bags).

2. Airport shuttle. Door to door, for not much more than the Airport Express. Downside is that depends on what other customers they have, they may have to go to several hotels before dropping you off. Also, it's not too frequent; even with 2 companies running this type of service, you still only get a departure every 30 minutes or so.

3. Taxi. About HK$300 (US$40).

4. A21 Cityflyer bus. The bus stops about 2 blocks from the YMCA. It's a bit slow because of all the stops and traffic on Nathan Road. HK$33 (~$4.5) each.

If you decide to take the Airport Express, than get the pass. There are three types of credits on the card: 1) the AE ride(s), 2) 3 days of MTR travel, and 3) HK$20 for other transport including the MTR after your 3 days of unlimited travel. After you finish the three day of unlimited MTR travel, just add money to the card, and you can continue to ride the MTR with it. It's just that fares will be deducted from the cash value portion of the card for each ride.

If you decide not to take the Airport Express, then just get a regular Octopus card for your 4 days in HK.. If you're taking the taxi or the shuttle, you can wait until you get to the city before getting the card. If you decide to take the Cityflyer bus, then get the Octopus at the AE ticket counter at the airport.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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rkkwan, to get the Octopus card for 4 days then, do you buy a different card every day, or can you buy 1 for 4 days..I looked up their website, but it is not clear to me how you buy a more than 1 day pass..Whew, I will get this yet..But I think I will go with the hotel shuttle and the 4 days pass..
Where do you get the card once you get to the city?? Thanks for all of your help...
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 05:04 PM
  #4  
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What did we ever do before travel forums..I remember going to Bali and Thailand 10 years ago, and basically knowing nothing until we got there..Other than what the hotel looked like in a teeny tiny picture!! Now you just about plan every minute from home..I think I will leave a few days open for the element of surprize!!
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 06:18 PM
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We were in Hong Kong for a week. We bought an Octopus card, and added money to it as needed. It wasn't limited to any number of days.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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I know this can be confusing, but you really need to understand what the three type of cards are.

1. An Octopus card is a stored value card. You pay HK$150 to get a card with $100 value on it, and $50 refundable deposit. It can be used for all public transport except taxis, and no time limit. It's just like cash.

2. A MTR one-day tourist card is just a MTR pass. You can ride MTR all day, but not other transport. In general, it's not a good value and I never recommend people to get it, as many of the tourist sites of Hong Kong - The Peak, Repulse Bay, Stanley, the Islands, etc... - are not accessible by MTR. No toursit should be spending $50 on MTR fare in a day.

3. The Airport Express Tourist Octopus is a special type of Octopus that has three types of credits on it as I described earlier. It's good value if you decide to use the AE to get into and out of town, and will be riding MTR for 3 days.

For your fourth day, just put cash into your Octopus card, and the appropriate fare will be deducted from it. You don't need a pass for the 4th day.

I hope I'm making this clear.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Okay...Really, I only have blonde streaks..
I think I got it!! Generally, how long does the 100.00 last?
I am pretty sure we will take the hotel shuttle..We will have alot of luggage after our 2.5 weeks in India, and I think we would be better off heading straight to the hotel.. We will then purchase our Octopus Card upon arrival in Kowloon as required!! Thanks again.
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:14 PM
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TracyB - Transportation cost ranges from dirt cheap to somewhat expensive in Hong Kong. Here are some transport that you may use:

Star Ferry (dirt cheap): HK$2.2 upper level, HK$1.7 lower level. That's like a US quarter.

Buses depend on the routes. The rare non-A/C ones are also cheaper. For the ones going up and down Nathan Road in Kowloon (#1, #2, #6, etc), I believe they are about HK$5 (US$0.7). The ones that cross the harbor is about HK$10, so are the ones on HK Island that goes to the south side attractions (e.g. #6, #260).

MTR (when not using the one-day or 3-day unlimited) also depends on distance, as well as whether you're crossing the harbor, or whether you're going to Lantau. For example, one-stop from Tsim Sha Tsui to Jordan is $3.8, but one-stop crossing the harbor from Tsim Sha Tsui to Admiralty is $7.9. From Chai Wan to Tung Chung (near the Airport) is $23.1.

The Peak Tram is like $20 for one-way, and $30 for roundtrip, as it's mostly a tourist attraction.

Ferries to the islands depend on whether you're gettting the faster ferries or the slow ones. And more on Sundays/holiday. For example, from Central to Mui Wo (on Lantau), weekday slow ferry (~1 hour) is $10.5, fast ferry is $21 (~30 minutes); Sunday and holiday they are $15.7/$31.

Buses on Lantau is the same, and also not cheap. From either Mui Wo (if you take the ferry) or Tung Chung (if you take the MTR) to Ngong Ping (Po Lin Monastery/Big Buddha), it's $16 weekday, $25 Sundays.

Since it's not easy to recharge your Octopus on the islands, if you want to go to Po Lin Monastery, make sure you have enough money on your card, as a roundtrip from Central can cost >HK$100, if you're going on Sunday on the fast ferry, not including getting from your hotel to the pier in Central.

But all the buses/ferries do also take cash. It's just that the Octopus is so much more convenient. And you can also use the card for buying stuff at supermarkets and convenient stores, use it at payphone and vending machines.

So, put plenty of money in your Octopus card, even if you're getting the AE 3-day pass (again, you only get unlimited ride on MTR, and nothing else), as the card only comes with HK$20 of credit. It can buy you a lot of Star Ferry or HK Tramway rides, but not enough to go to the Peak or the islands.

You can get all the unused credits plus HK$50 of deposit back when you're done.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:26 PM
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TracyB - The fares of transportation in Hong Kong is confusing, as is the MTR passes. The reason is that most of the transportation companies are seperate private entities. Even the buses are run by different companies across the harbor. And each single bus route has different fares, and some fares change after a particular point. For example, the fares of crossharbor buses drops after crossing the tunnel.

Or the fact that when switching from MTR to KCR trains at Kowloon Tong, one needs to swipe his ticket twice, once to get out of one system, another to get into the other one, despite the fact that both MTR and KCR are government-owned companies. [At the Nan Cheong transfer station, things have improved a little, as one only needs to swipe once.]

It's so different from most cities in the world where the local authority runs everything - like in NYC, it's $2 each ride, whether it's one subway stop, riding the train all day, or taking the bus. It's for this reason it's so important to get the Octopus card, or else you'll have to figure out what fare each ride is, and to figure out the 7 different types of coins (some very large and heavy) to use.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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Some more comments:

- Since you're not taking the Airport Express, then you should get your Octopus card at the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station. HK$150 to get a card (with $100 value and $50 deposit) minimum. You can start with more, if you want.

- The amount of credit left is shown when you use the Octopus card on buses/ferries/trams, etc; or when you exit a MTR station (it will not show your value when you enter the MTR).

- You're allowed to draw into the deposit part ONCE. For example, if you know that there's only HK$5 left on your card, you can still go take a $8 MTR (or bus/ferry/etc...) ride. When you exit the station, it will shown you have $-3 left; but you can get out. At this time, you must recharge your card, as you will not be able to use it from that point on.

- Since you're traveling, and may not know how much more transportation you'll take, I'd keep at least ~HK$30-50 on your card; a little more if you're going to south side of HK Island, and a whole lot more if you're going to Lantau.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:45 PM
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Finally, to act like a local (or frequent HK visitor), put the Octopus card at the bottom of your purse or wallet. Just hold your purse/wallet towards the sensor and wait for the beep. Don't need to hold the card in your hand.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:46 PM
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WEll rrkwan, thank god that you have explained all of this to me, because who knows what pass we would have bought otherwise..They must have a brochure with all the prices, routes, etc. that we can p/u when we get there. I am trying to explain this all to my husband!! He is not a forum reader!! So how much do you think we should put in the Octopus Card for a start? Should we just get the 100.00 or should we get more? Remember, we have decided against the 3 day pass because we are going to take the hotel shuttle..For sure I want to go to Lantau and Cheung Chau..And I am sure we will go to the market every evening..Basically, we want to do as much as possible..I am so excited!!
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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Whoops, you answered my question before I sent the reply!!
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:55 PM
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That's okay. I think you'll need about HK$300 each for 4 days of travel, including going to the islands. So, you may just go ahead and get two Octopus cards (one for each person), for $700. ($300 credit +$50 deposit) x 2.

Remember since the credit is good as cash, you can only use cash to buy and recharge the Octopus card, either at a manned booth or machine. Credit cards not accepted.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 08:59 PM
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Thanks again..I will be dreaming of the Octopus card all night I am sure...
TracyB is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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Tracy - There's no single brochure you can pick up that lists all the fares. But after a day or two, you'll have a pretty good feel how much transportation cost, and how fast you're depleting your Octopus card.

Here are some websites that have fares and schedules listed:

Peak Tram
www.thepeak.com.hk

Buses
www.citybus.com.hk (Buses on HK Island, some cross-harbor routes as well as the Cityflyer airport routes)
kmb.com.hk (Buses in Kowloon & most cross-harbor routes. From the YMCA, you can take #1, 2 or 6 to go up to Mong Kok).
www.nwfb.com.hk (Buses on HK Island and many cross-harbor routes.)
www.newlantaobus.com (Buses on Lantau)

Ferries:
www.starferry.com.hk
www.nwff.com.hk (to Cheung Chau & Lantau)

Trains:
www.mtr.com.hk
www.kcrc.com (commuter trains to the New Territories & the border with China)



rkkwan is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 09:30 PM
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That should keep me busy for awhile!!
TracyB is offline  
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