Friday, May 20, 2016


Today's blog is probably a really significant one for those who are not familiar with Hong Kong and the train transport around the city.  It's something I get lots of questions about when my family and friends come to visit.  They are always wanting to know about Octopus Cards, riding the trains, and how to get around via riding the trains.

Firstly, the MTR (train) is my preferred way to travel because it's quick and convenient.  It's also nice and air conditioned in the summer months.  Whenever looking for an MTR station, you can usually follow the red signs (seen below--> the blue sign with a white arrow a red circle with a white MTR logo on it and the walking man next to it), which point to you towards the nearest stations.

The nearest MTR to the center of Yuen Long town is Long Ping MTR Station.

This is a smaller MTR Station, but, mainly, they look like this on the inside.  There are exits pointed out so you know which direction to take to your destination.

Every station is also equipped with a street map so you can figure out where things are.  There are also fare charts and maps of the actual station.

Every MTR Station has a ticket vending machine for those who do not want to purchase an Octopus Card (which I will talk about later).  You just input your destination and can purchase a one way ticket to that place.

The map of the entire MTR network is present on the touch screen, so it is easy to find which line you want to ride and also the place you want to go.

There are also Add Value machines for those who carry Octopus Cards and want to add more money to their accounts.  Increments are usually by 50 HKD, 100 HKD, and (in some places) 500 HKD.

Mostly, if you commute a lot 500 HKD is good for the week.

To actually enter to train platforms, you have to pass through the turnstiles.  You either insert your paper ticket or "doot" your Octopus Card on the turnstile and it will let you pass.

Again, at every MTR Station, there are signs that point you to major buildings/landmarks.  They also point you to taxi stands and transportation hubs.

There are also ads found everywhere in every Hong Kong MTR station, which are always fun to check out.  They are frequently switched out and advertise a bunch of things (shows, products, etc).

Some MTR Stations (this is the West Rail line, by the way) have Free Wi Fi Spots.  The connection isn't too bad too!

There are also public toilets available along some lines (like the West Rail line and the Tung Chung line).

***A view from the Long Ping MTR Station***

Every MTR Station also has a customer service kiosk, where you can purchase Octopus Cards.  The Octopus Card is a debit card that can be used for riding most public transportation.  You can use the Octopus Card on:

1.  MTR trains
2.  Ferries
3.  Double decker buses
4.  The Airport Express
5.  Mini Buses

***NOT TAXIs***

What else can you do at the customer service kiosk:

1.  Add value to your Octopus Card
2.  Buy monthly passes
3.  Ask for directions
4…that's all I know...

To exit the train platform, you have to also insert the temporary paper ticket (which will not be returned to you) or "doot" your Octopus Card.

The MTR Stations are pretty convenient places to find ATM machines (HSBC, Hang Seng, Bank of China, etc) and also convenience stores (like Circle K or 7-Eleven).

Hopefully, this was a helpful blog post!  I'll probably refer people here when they ask me next time!

ALSO, the MTR station is a great place to rest during the summer or winter months.  THOUGH THERE ARE SIGNS that say you cannot sit on the window sills, loads of people just sit there to rest, wait for people, or enjoy the air conditioning/heating.

The MTR stations map

Long Ping MTR Station Train Platform

Long Ping MTR Station Platform