- Vibrant Hong Kong - 3 days
- Vibrant Hong Kong - 4 days
- Discover Hong Kong, 6 days
- Hong Kong for Families, 4 days
- Hong Kong Extension Ideas
- Hong Kong Plus Exotic Macau, 5 days
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STAYS OF DISTINCTION
FAR EAST TRIVIA
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THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
PASSPORTS & VISAS
All visitors to Hong Kong must have a valid passport. Visas are not required by American and Canadian citizens for stays of up to 90 days.
Vaccination certificates are not required for visitors to Hong Kong. However, health regulations are liable to change on short notice, and it is advisable to check regulations with carriers when making reservations.
Visitors may bring into Hong Kong free of duty: 60 cigarettes and 15 cigars or 75 grammes of other manufactured tobacco and one litre of alcohol.
Hong Kong currency is traded internationally and can be freely converted into any foreign currencies. The Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) is available in coins and notes. Coins come in 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5, and $10 denominations. Notes come in $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000 denominations.
POPULATION & LANGUAGE
Hong Kong has nearly 6.5 million residents, 96% are Chinese. Consequently, there is a lot of Cantonese spoken. The official languages are English and Cantonese. Nearly all young people, shop attendants, hotel and restaurant staff can communicate in both. There is also increasing use of Mandarin.
Taxis, the easiest form of transportation, are red on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. If available, a red "For Hire" flag is raised in the windscreen and, at night, the "Taxi" sign on the roof is lit up. All taxis are metered.
A tip is usually expected but just round up to the nearest dollar. Taxis are restricted from picking up and setting down passengers during specified times in "urban clearways", recognizable by single or double yellow lines along roads. Although you can hail a taxi on the streets, sometimes it is easier to pick up one at the hotel or taxi stand.
The MTR is Hong Kong's convenient subway system. The MTR has been providing a safe, reliable and efficient service to passengers since 1979. Today it keeps over 2.4 million people on the move every weekday, making it one of the most heavily utilized mass transit systems in the world. For more information refer to http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/train/intro.html
The Star Ferry is an inexpensive and scenic way to get from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island or vice versa. Ferry service is every 6-10 minutes and offers incredible views of Victoria Harbour, the Peak and both sky lines. A must for first time visitors to Hong Kong.
As one of the world's leading financial centres, Hong Kong is connected to international telephone, telex and satellite communications system, so you can contact virtually any city in the world. In most hotels, a service charge will be added to your phone bill if International Direct Dial (IDD) is used. An easy method of making calls is to purchase stored value phone cards (HKD$50, $150, and $200) which can be purchased in HKTA's Information and Gift centres.
You will need your passport when you cash your travellers' cheques. Most foreign currencies and travellers' cheques can be changed at banks, money changers, hotels, and major retail outlets. Some money changers charge a commission of several cents on the dollar, so before handing over your money or signing anything, check how much you will receive in return.
BANKING HOURS & SHOPPING HOURS
Banking hours are normally 9am-9:30pm on weekdays, & 9am-12:30pm on Saturdays.
There are no set shopping hours but generally:
- Kowloon - Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok commercial districts - 10:00am to 9:00pm
- Kowloon/Tsim Sha Tsui East - 10:00am to 7:30pm
- Hong Kong Island - Central District -10:00am to 6:00pm
- Hong Kong Island - Causeway Bay - Wanchai - 10:00am to 9:30pm.
Hong Kong enjoys a generally subtropical climate. The weather in brief:
- Spring - Jackets or sweaters are suggested.
- Summer - Short sleeves, cotton clothing, and an umbrella are suggested.
- Autumn - Short sleeves, sweaters and light jackets are suggested.
- Winter - Suits, light woolens and sometimes overcoats suggested
Casual attire will suit in most cases, but coat and tie are normally required in first class western cuisine restaurants in the evening.
Hong Kong medical facilities are among the finest in the world, with well-qualified doctors and dentists, many of whom are trained overseas. Some hotels have their own doctor on 24-hour call. For ambulance dial 999. Most hotels have a resident doctor or one on call.