Hong Kong’s Octopus Card

Hong Kong has an excellent metro system and the best way to use that metro system is to pick up an Octopus card. They cost 150 HK, and 50 of that is a deposit you get back when you turn in the card (Well, you get most of it back. I think they keep 7 or so for admin costs, which is about 1 dollar US). The other 100 is loaded on the card. The cool thing I noticed was that the metro fares were discounted by 10 percent or so if you used the card instead of paying for individual transfer tickets with cash. Plus, you can use it on buses, trams, 7-11s, and fast food places like McDonald’s (Not that I would know. It’s just what I hear:-) Finally, I had to turn in my card today since I was leaving for Taipei. I knew I would get my deposit back, but I was afraid the balance would be stranded on the card. Nope, the balance was refunded back to me too. They also have personalized cards that offer protection in the event of theft, but I just had the “plain vanilla” card, so loading it up with a lot of cash could be an expensive mistake if you lose track of the card, or someone else decides to keep track of it for you. Still, I thought the Octopus card was a smart card done smartly.

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