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Hong Kong money questions

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We'll be in Hong Kong for a couple of days next month and wonder about currency needs. We plan to explore some on our own, using public transportation. What is needed for bus and/or train fare (HKD or Credit Card)? Do we need to purchase tickets before or can we do on boarding bus or train? We may bus from airport to our hotel. Also wondering about tipping. Are credit cards accepted in most businesses and restaurants? I would expect cash is needed for smaller vendors.

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Few places will accept any cash that isn't Hong Kong dollars - and those that do will do so at a horrendous rate.

 

Credit cards are widely used (not sure about taxis or ferries but probably not buses or trams)  do get some HK$ for small  purchases.

 

JB :classic_smile:  

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HK taxis are HKD (cash) only.   All rides are metered, if the driver doesn't use the meter get out!   Have someone at the hotel write down in Chinese where you want to go OR tell the doorman and he'll tell the driver.  

 

Tips:  Many restaurants add a "service charge" usually 10% to the bill.  Rather than carrying coins around locals generally leave the change and/or round up to the nearest dollar or five.  While not expected hotel bellhops/doorman welcome a couple of bucks.  

 

ATMs are all over, but make sure you use one that's from a bank.  HSBC (is the big one), Standard Chartered,  ICBC, Bank of China.  

 

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For public transport in HK - get yourself an Octopus card (for which you'll need HKD to purchase / top-up) - this can be used for buses, subway, ferries, trams (inc. the Peak Tram) and the Airport Express. It can also be used in local convenience stores, etc... Apparently some Taxis have installed Octopus card readers, but last time I was there it was cash only.

 

Everywhere else a mix of HKD and credit cards will see you OK

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If you are planning to take the Airport Express (train) from airport to hotel, you may purchase your tickets at the booth right outside the custom area after you collected your luggage. You may also get your Octopus Cards there at the same time. Be sure to ask for the senior concession card if over 65 years old with huge discounts on most transportation. For the airport bus to town, you need to follow the signage and go outside the terminal building. The booth selling tickets for airport buses should be on your left hand side. You need to have exact change if pay on bus, I believe. 

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On 9/26/2019 at 11:46 AM, ROCruiser said:

If you are planning to take the Airport Express (train) from airport to hotel, you may purchase your tickets at the booth right outside the custom area after you collected your luggage. You may also get your Octopus Cards there at the same time. Be sure to ask for the senior concession card if over 65 years old with huge discounts on most transportation. For the airport bus to town, you need to follow the signage and go outside the terminal building. The booth selling tickets for airport buses should be on your left hand side. You need to have exact change if pay on bus, I believe. 

 

Be aware that a number of MTS stations have been close due to damage, etc from the protests. From what I'VE RECENTLY READ YOU CAN TAKE THE TRAIN FROM THE AIRPORT TO HK ISLAND  but not to Kowloon.

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1 hour ago, dabear said:

 

Be aware that a number of MTS stations have been close due to damage, etc from the protests. From what I'VE RECENTLY READ YOU CAN TAKE THE TRAIN FROM THE AIRPORT TO HK ISLAND  but not to Kowloon.

I stand corrected, but those were temporary closings due to large scale riots, non-peaceful ones. The next 5 days is the critical "stress" tests in jamming the public transport systems with the 10/1 national Independence day.  

 

HK's MTR app and it's live portal has latest & update station & line status, access code to the airport island has been heavily guarded sine the 2 days disruption last month & basically without major incidents since. The rest of the systems had been targeted for wildcat hit & run "be water" attacks by well organized black shirts acting like mobs. 

 

Non.Asian foreigners visiting are mostly not harassed as the fractions are appealing for overseas support for their 5 "demands" 🙄

 

Airport's ATM among the best way to access local currency on arrival.  For OP, put $100 USD into each Octopus card for transport & small purchases, also good at 7.11, McDonald's and Starbucks and chain grocery stores & pharmacies for basics and essentials. Unused credits or funds are returned with a very small convenience fee at MTR service counter at nearly every stations.

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Thank you all for your Hong Kong money and travel tips. We'll be there in less than 3 weeks. It's getting real!

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