Map of Hong Kong Airport
If you are doing your research on transportation in Hong Kong and how to get around in the city, I bet you are seeing many articles pointing you to the MTR.
The MTR in Hong Kong is the city’s rapid transit system that consists of 155 stations. The network of stations literally cover most of the city’s urban area. In other words, you can go to many touristy places efficiently by using the MTR.
This guide is intended to give you a general idea on what it is and tips on how to save time and money while using the MTR.
One Of The Best Rapid Transit Systems In The World
Unlike many other subway systems in the world where they are often dirty and ugly, the MTR in Hong Kong is very well maintained and comfortable. Trains are always clean and there is air-conditioning all year long.
The vast network of underground passageways and exits for each station means you can get to the same platform from many places. Many stations even have exits that are inside shopping centres and buildings, so you don’t have to step outdoors.
The downside to the MTR in Hong Kong is that it tends to get extremely crowded during rush hours, especially at the main stations I will mention in a moment. People will push you to try to get into the train. I highly recommend you step aside and wait for another train if it gets too crazy. Since you are a tourist, you are not in a rush, let other people fight over the last inch to get in.
Most lines have a frequency of just a few minutes. Service hours vary for each line but generally service begins daily at 6AM and ends at 1AM.
Saving Time And Money With The Octopus Card
There are 2 ways to pay for your ride on the MTR: single ticket or Octopus Card. The Octopus Card is a smart magnetic card that stores money value for easy payment processing. Most MTR riders use it because of its convenience of not having to buy a ticket every time.
There is also a discount on fares for using Octopus Card over single ticket. For example: a typical ride from Causeway Bay Station to Mong Kong Station on the Tsuen Wan Line costs HK$10.50 per adult paying with Octopus Card. The same ride costs HK$11.50 paying by single ticket.
Octopus Cards are available at all MTR stations. Each card costs HK$150 (~ US$20) per adult and HK$70 (~ US$9) per child. With the initial purchase, HK$50 is the deposit of the card, and the rest becomes value stored. When you are departing Hong Kong, simply return the card to a MTR customer service counter and get your deposit back minus a HK$9 administration fee.