Hong Kong’s Touch N Go

Getting around in Hong Kong couldn’t be any easier.

Their underground rail system is damn efficient, possibly among the best in Asia.
It is the quickest and cheapest way to get around the peninsular and two main islands in Hong Kong. Trains arrive fast and carriages are never too crowded, even during peak hours. Pretty much all their tourist destinations are accessible by rail.
You don’t appreciate how good their MTR is until you compare them side-by-side with KL’s train network.

Hong Kong’s MTR must have picked the same designer as Singapore’s MRT. The two share a lot of similarities, from their alphabetically-ordered exits right down to the text font on the signboards.
In fact, if it weren’t for the voice overs blaring cautionary messages continuously in Cantonese, I’d have thought I was in Singapore instead.

There’s a lot of amusing posters in their train stations. This one says “When taking the escalators, hold on to the handrails, don’t walk away.”
How stupid. Who the heck holds on to BOTH handrails on the escalators like that.
If you do that you’re gonna block people’s way and get your nuts kick.

The only difference between Singapore and Hong Kong, rubbish bins are easily available in the train stations here.
You can’t find rubbish bins anywhere inside Singapore’s MRT stations because evil terrorists might plant bombs in them.

Har! Want to use octopus also have conditions one.

In Hong Kong, their version of the Touch n Go or EZ-Link card is called Octopus.
These RFID cards have a lot more uses apart from just paying for the use of public transport. Many shop and food outlets are accepting octopus as tender.
The card lah, not the animal. You think what. Barter system ah.

It’s very high tech. And it brings a lot of convenience to the Hongkies because they don’t need to carry spare coins on them when they’re out and about.
You can shop at 7-11, do your groceries at the supermarket or have even yummy mango puddings at XuLiuShan with your octopus… pus… pussies?

This is how I pay for my drinks.

Sometimes I find myself shunning shops that don’t accept octopussies and go for shops that do because I’m too lazy to dig coins out from my wallet.
Even the vending machines that accept octopus. No more trying to find the right change when you’re thirsty.

I reckon the buskers and homeless people should also have octopus card readers installed. Maybe then people won’t give excuses like “sorry, no change” as a reason not to give money.

I wonder when our Touch n Go cards here can be as useful as that. And please, they gotta stop using that horrible name “Touch n Go”.
Touch n Go is when you molest someone’s butt then quickly go. That’s Touch n Go.

Why does Mel Gibson look so much like an evil Iraqi dictator?

78 Replies to “Hong Kong’s Touch N Go”

  1. kewl 🙂
    just to let you know, singapore’s EZ link card can be used at a lot of places too.. like McD, NTUC, vendor machines & blah blah blah…

  2. Hmm…isn’t there a law in HK prohibiting the usage of a camera in a place such as a MRT station? You may take lovely pictures but sure you lack common sense.

  3. you seem to like HK quite a bit, just like most other people i know. mebbe it’s just me, but i find the place a bit too messy, rude, overcrowded for my liking.

  4. It might take ages for Malaysia to have such card. Maybe in future, we can use our Identity Card as the “Octopus“. For me, it is just like a credit card that doesn’t need any sign to purchase cheap stuff.

  5. shit. i called hongkies….hongkies and they seem to get super offended…or maybe its just their way of saying “ha?”

  6. Well, I think is Singapore MRT system copied from HK. Yes, both Octopus and EZ Link can be very useful, be it at Mc Donald other shops.
    Malaysia? I can’t agree more with Vincent. It will take ages for us to have such wonderful system. Reason? Our leaders too busy with pin point each other faults, demonstration against Israel at KLCC and the list goes on..
    Well, why don;t we just migrate there? 🙂

  7. Hey Dude, wentto Hui Lau Shan L.A. last night, that was some Mango Pudding, thanks for the intro…hey, got my phone..good thing I did not get you second hand SE 🙂

  8. Before we even talk about Touch ‘n Go cards being useful, we better get our trains on time first.
    Compared to Japan, we are nowhere. The Japanese trains are on the dot.

  9. If you think the train system in Hong Kong is efficient, then the one in Japan is going to blow your balls away.
    After being there for so many months and being on trains and buses, EVERYWHERE else is now crap compared to what they have. They’re so bloody efficient and punctual, it’s not even funny.
    Great pictures, btw.

  10. cool, when i went there, i was wonderin why everybody presses their wallets to the machine.. until i asked the tourist guide, and he showed me the card… bloody convinient

  11. Din u get some lessons from the singapore MRT security b4????still dare to take photo in HK MRT….next will go Japan n take??

  12. why u call hong kong ppl “hongkies”? it sounds like “honky tonky”….and when u say it again and again, it sounds like “donkey”

  13. I’ve checked with HK MTR regarding taking pic when I read your blog with Singapore MRT,… coz I know you’re on your way to HK and know what you’ll do,..
    The answer is YES! Take as much as you like!

  14. Next time they will put a sexy lady there and let us touch n go lor… wakakaka. This joke was started since we have touch n go, really funny term.

  15. hurm im going Hong Kong in a while. Reckon me where to go which has nice nice food cause i LOVEEEE food hehe. Then erm yeah the train stations was exactly like the ones in s’pore. in fact, i thought u took the picture from s’pore lol

  16. Octopus is so tourist friendly…you can even get back your credits when you no longer wanna use it. Thumbs up to Hong Kong!
    Touch n Go – if you wanna return your card, you’ve gotta surrender at their very few “designated offices” only. And the credit balance is only mailed (via cheque) back to you after 3 months (this is first hand experience). Siao!

  17. Actually – the best transit system I’ve tried so far has been in Taipei – HK then comes a close 2nd and then SG.
    Alas – Malaysia jz has not got its act together as of yet – even Touch N’ Go capabilities are limited and seriously – why bother going on Touch N’ Go when there isnt an added incentive to use it (concessions fares).
    Perhaps in 10 yrs hey

  18. yea i knew it long time ago that HK MTR trains are really efficient, which is SO unlike malaysia’s LRT (trains packed like sardines during peak hours, not arriving on time, etc).
    starting to

  19. haha, touch n go = molest? haha.. anyways i DO find the phrase stupid too. if they reali wanna name it as such, it shd b “tap n go”, not “touch n go”.
    anyways.. sg’s ezlink can also b used to pay for stuff.. i noe mcd n coffee bean are using it alrd.. but not sure whr else.. oh yea, some cola vending machines too..

  20. Try the Melbourne one for crap 8-( Trains half an hour apart after 8.00pm every night, last trains at around midnight, often 3 carriages only at night, crowded in peak times, never on time… BAH! JUST CRAP!!!

  21. wow… seems like SMRT and also SBS have a lot a lot to learn from the HK transport system huh!
    efficiency, not being super crowded, fast…
    so lousy and still keep pushing up the prices wor.

  22. yes..i do marvel at the efficiency of their MTR. and too bad i had to return my very own ‘octopus’ because i can still refund some money from it..but i still have Disneyland’s entrance ticket..*evil grin..hehehehehhehe..nt forgetting the Disneyland’s MTR is totally different from the rest of the HK MTRs..seriously..enlarged hidden mickeys can be seen as the window shields..cool huh?

  23. The Chinese name for the Octopus card literally means “eight-place pass”.
    The name is also particularly appropriate since “octopus” has the connotation
    of being able to grab many things at the same time and this ability is conferred
    upon its cardholders who can use it in many different transactions.
    Just thought you’d like to know. 🙂

  24. oh please lar.. u think malaysia will ever implement this sort of thing and not fuck it up? we got lrt long after the hongkies and singas got theirs and we still got the lousier ones, not only in service.
    the card readers alone ALWAYS break down and u hafta stop ur rush rhythm juz to let the damn thing read and give a slowwww retarded beep b4 u can WAIT for the bar to work and then go through. it’s taking at least 2mins off ur rushing. i personally missed plenty just arrived trains juz bcoz of that.
    if u cant even install fast and efficient card reader systems, juz fuck ur vision 2020 whatever.
    i have even seen better library card readers than our macipiet touch n go.wtf

  25. I can never understand why Singapore’s MRT station cannot have dustbin and HK’s MTR station can have.
    You mean terrorist won’t bomb HK using dustbin? Or is it just some smart alex in SG who came out with the stupid idea of removing all dustbin?

  26. octopus heee that’s funny..in london travelcard similar to that is called “oyster” tfl.gov.uk/oyster who immitates who? xx from london love yr blog kenny

  27. are you serious about the MTRs never being too crowded? the time i was supposed to board the MTR during peak hours, i freaked out at the sight of how many people they were! i was so sure it was too full, but my hk friends insisted that there was still ‘plenty of space’. so they just kept pushing us in. in the end, we were all standing there with hardly enough space to move (and almost suffocating too). and being the short person that i am, i almost had my face in my friend’s chest. fortunately, not armpit.

  28. Oh please kenny, Touch and go means u touch down at a runway but without stopping fully, u take off again.
    Wat touch butt and go? Wtf??? its not funny loh

  29. Hi kenny,
    May I know how much you spent on the whole trip to HK? How much the flight cost and do you follow any travel package?
    I might going there too as well and maybe alone.

  30. in japan, the train n stations look pretty much the same too(except most of them dont have the glass barriers, no wonder so many ppl suicide on train tracks). hmm wonder is it the same company making train systems for these countries ?

  31. Tell you of a bad experince I’ve heard about LRT touch n’ go. Let say you are at destination A and wanna exit destination D. You gotta check if D station had T n’ G or not. If not, then when you reach D station, see kiau kiau. On top of the RM30 penalty they make you pay again the fare. So don’t just presume every station had or ACCEPT touch n’ go.

  32. yeah…so tat makes Singapore one of the best in Asia as well then…LoLz
    but i love e indicators in the trains which will indicate which station u are at and which side of the door is opening

  33. When Singapore first introduced its own “touch and go” stored value ticket for its MRT systems, it was introduced as Super Flyer. It’s a no-brainer `cos no flying is involved at all. It’s just faster to get pass the gantry than the conventional magnetic strip tickets which Bangkok is still using ;p

  34. When I was in my old college, the attendance was taken by using an RFID chip in the student ID card. By touching the card to a PDA reader, the attendance could be efficiently taken. so Touch N Go basically means taking the attendance and slipping out of the back door. I never knew there were more than that behind the phrase. hmm….

  35. Great New! Now we can use T&GO to take Star LRT, Putra LRT and MONORAIL! But, unfortunately, if you going to take MONORAIL with T&GO, is advisable you purchase the ticket from counter. Because their system implemented was “Touch N Cannot Go”.

  36. ya, touch n go become very usefull for our city life nowsady, u even can use it for parking too, eg sunway pyramid and sungai wang parking.. but for parking the lot parking owner charge more 0.10 to 0.30 loh!

  37. sg copy hk… cos hor.. last time nrth is yellow go south is red, east is green west is blue
    den they say wat if we have more lines… so we’re gg to change it to resemble hk..
    $#%$&%&^% made me wait at the wrong platform and board the wrong train many times when i took them while feelin damn sick

  38. kenny, really nice pix.
    guys, we were the 1st one introducing RFID card to transportation… but not 1st one to the extend to public transport, it was 1st introduced to PLUS highway only.
    i still can resemble from my memory that there was one time i saw a singaporean using the Touch’n’Go gate & used his hand to touch the reader panel but nothing happened until the personnel redirected him to the correct cash fare lane.
    of cos now TnG is more intellegible in many more shops or places, it’d take longer time since it’s not government initiated project to extend the use of TnG as the widely accepted debit card.

  39. Gosh! After reading these comments, im totally shocked by the ‘loyalty’ you show to your own country.. Totally absurd.

  40. it’s pretty common in S’pore too… every1 there’s complaining the government… though u could enjoy F.O.C. expressway, but u gotta pay to get into the city… what a shame!
    ur country’s so big that u can drive everywhere within a period of an hour but the longest distance on the map shows it’s only a distance of less than ½ hour drive, supposedly.
    the other races besides chinese r being systematically marginalized just like here in M’sia…
    ur parliament still consists of many m’sians & the whole nation was built by m’sians…
    i don’t see ur pride being superior in anyway either…
    but one thing to agree, all these was perhaps misconception of many, just like the above posts, they’re just not hip to find out more & str8 away made the comments w/o hesitate basing on only their current state.
    we got alot to learn, & certainly HK, S’pore, Taiwan & Korean (the former “4 econ cubs”) r best known in building the Asian brands in many sectors.

  41. we’re still holding alot of no.1 in the world. some to name:
    tallest twin towers
    1st biometric passport
    1st RFID access card
    1st smartcard IC
    & many others that we can b proud of, but our focus on the down sides of the things is to make sure it’s being improved & to learn from others.
    that’s nothing to do with “loyalty”… just like S’pore, u’ve many things to proud of too, but u r still making alot of complaints, that’s part of the continous improvement process.
    citizens & legal residents in the country have their right to their voices heard… as simple as that.

  42. hi kenny,
    was goin thru ur old posts and just read this one.. u may be interested to know that it was actually a PERTH company by the name of ERG that developed the Octopus system in HK 🙂 I hear the reason we don’t have it in Australia is becos our population is not dense enough..

  43. i LURVE Hong Kong !!!!
    i even tried to called & wrote to TVB Hong Kong if they allow visitors…
    To catch their famous “Cheong Mun Yann”… lol…
    But sadly, only for locals who apply for the tickets & selected via lucky draws… =.=
    argghhh… i will migrate there ONE DAY !!!!

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