About Hong Kong
Hong Kong Time is eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with seasonal changes. In November, average temperature is ranged from 19°C to 24°C. Please visit Hong Kong Observatory website for weather forecast before deciding what to pack.
English and Cantonese are the official languages of Hong Kong. Most street signs, menus, tourist and government publications are usually bilingual in both English and Chinese. Most taxi drivers, salespersons, tourism industry employees are able to communicate in English.
Visa and Passport Requirements
Visitors to Hong Kong must have valid passports. People of most countries do not require a visa to enter Hong Kong for tourism and can stay for periods varying from seven to 180 days, depending on their nationalities. Participants can check with the Chinese embassy in your country and the Immigration Department of Hong Kong for details.
Hong Kong International Airport
For the information of the Hong Kong International Airport, please visit their website at www.hongkongairport.com .
To and From the Airport
The Airport Express is the fastest way to get between the city and the airport. It takes passengers to and from the Hong Kong Station in about 24 minutes. Train services are provided daily between 05:54 and 00:48 and at 10-minute intervals. Train tickets can be purchased at the Airport Express Customer Service Centre located in the Arrivals Hall of the Hong Kong International Airport. For details. Please visit http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/services/airport_express_index_tourist.html.
Taxis offer a flexible way to and from the airport. Arriving passengers can pick up a taxi at the Taxi Station outside the Arrivals Hall. Taxis in Hong Kong are colour-coded according to their operating areas. Urban taxis are red. The current rates are HKD24 on flag fall for the first 2 kilometres plus HKD1.7 every further 0.2 kilometre. The charge will be changed to HKD1.2 per 0.2 kilometre after the chargeable amount has reached HKD83.5. Additional charges for luggage and tolls apply.
Hong Kong is so compact that getting around is quick and easy. An efficient public transport system – network of urban trains (Mass Transit Railway or MTR) and numerous routes of trams, buses, ferries and also taxi – enable visitors to explore Hong Kong conveniently and safely on their own. Tourist MTR 1-Day Pass is tailored for tourist travel around Hong Kong. Tourists can have any one day of unlimited rides on the MTR (except the Airport Express Line) within the ticket validity period. For details, please visit http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/tickets/day_pass_tourist.html
An octopus card which will allow travel on all forms of public transport (including the Star Ferry and Trams) can be purchased at MTR Service Centre.
Currency and Credit Card
The official currency of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). One US Dollar is approximately HKD7.76. Participants can change your currency for HKD at any authorized money exchanger or bank. Major banks open from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) can be found almost everywhere and provide 24-hour cash withdrawal for HKD.
International credit cards such as VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club, UnionPay and American Express are commonly accepted by hotels, retail shops and restaurants in Hong Kong. Such premises usually display stickers showing the credit cards they accept at their entrances.
The standard voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC/50 cycles. The plug/socket system in Hong Kong is a 3-rectangular-pin type.
Local SIM cards can be purchased at round-the-clock convenience stores. Participants may also consider buying a local SIM card at the Arrival Hall of the Hong Kong International Airport upon landing. International Direct Dial (IDD) service to most countries and regions of the world is available at most hotels for a fee.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places in Hong Kong, including restaurants, bars and malls. Any person smoking or carrying a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe in a no-smoking area will be liable to a fixed penalty of HKD 1,500.
There is no sales tax on goods and services in Hong Kong.
Plastic Shopping Bag Charge
All retail businesses in Hong Kong are required to charge a minimum levy of HKD 0.50 for each plastic shopping bag provided to customers. Be environmentally responsible, please “Bring Your Own Bag”.
Most major restaurants add a 10% service charge, but you are still expected to leave a tip of between 5-10%, depending on how well you feel you have been treated. Taxi drivers tend to round up the fare to the nearest dollar and if not, will appreciate a little extra. Bellboys, porters and washroom attendants will also expect a small tip.
Participants are advised to take out insurance before visiting Hong Kong. Please check with your insurance company about their 24-hour emergency support telephone numbers.
Getting Around Hong Kong
For the most up-to-date tourist information, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Tourism Board at www.discoverhongkong.com.