Travel Info

  Weather Visa Local Transportation
  Currency Custom Duties Service Charges
  Security Electricity Telephone Directory


Hong Kong is an all-year-round destination, however, the best time to visit falls in Autumn between late September and early December when the temperature is cooler. In this period of time, temperatures range from 18-28C (64-82F). Humidity averages 72%. It is the end of the typhoon season, though typhoon is still possible but unlikely.

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Most visitors do not need a visa to enter Hong Kong, just a valid passport. Specifically, all visitors from European Union member countries, the USA and Canada do not need visas. Visas, obtained in advance from your local China or Hong Kong visa office, are required for visitors of the following countries and regions:

A Afghanistan Albania Angola Armenia
B Belarus Bulgaria    
C Cambodia Costa Rican Provisional passports Cuba  
G Georgia Grenada    
I Iran Iraq    
K Kazakstan Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) Kyrgystan  
L Laos Lebanon Libya  
M Moldova (Republic of) Mongolia Myanmar  
N Nepal Nicaragua Nigeria  
P Panama Special Peruvian passports    
R Romania Russian Federation    
S Senegal Solomon Islands Somalia Sudan
T Taiwan Tajikistan Turkmenistan  
U Ukraine Uzbekistan    
V Vietnam and Yugoslavia (Federal Republic of)      
Please check with your local Chinese Embassy for details.

If foreign visitors wish to go to mainland China, then a visa must be obtained. This can be done in Hong Kong, allowing several days at least, but it is advised to obtain before you leave for Hong Kong. For more details, please go to the Immigration Department.

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Local Transportation

Hong Kong has a well-established public transportation system. There is a 3-day Hong Kong Transport Pass (Airport Express Tourist Octopus) at HK$220 each for tourists, which is available at all Airport Express and MTR stations. It includes one airport express single journey, 3-day unlimited MTR rides and HK$20 usable value on major transportation. For long-staying visitors, it is more convenient to use an "Octopus" card when you travel with various public transportations.

Airport Express Train
Hong Kong International Airport was built alongside the island of Lantau, some 36 km (23 miles) from central Hong Kong island in mid-1998. The best way to get from the airport to your hotel is to take the Airport Express train.

The Express leaves every 10 minutes, stopping at Tsing Yi, Kowloon and then Hong Kong stations. The whole journey takes about 23 minutes. It runs from 5:50 am to 12:48 am daily. A single adult fare is HK$100 to Hong Kong station, HK$90 to Kowloon and HK$60 to Tsing Yi. For comparison, a taxi from the airport to central Hong Kong costs about HK$340.

The Express station at the airport is on the same level as the exits for arriving passengers. It is clearly signposted and a minute's walk from the exit points. Tickets can be bought from automatic ticket machines, which give change. When you arrive at your designated Express station, the simplest way to get to your hotel is by taxi (see the section about taxi). Alternatively, at Hong Kong and Kowloon stations, there are shuttle buses to major hotels leaving at 20-minute intervals from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Upon departure, if you arrive at Hong Kong or Kowloon Express stations up to 90 minutes before your flight, you can enjoy the in-town check-in service by checking in baggage and get your flight boarding pass at the station.

There are plenty of taxis available in Hong Kong and Kowloon. All taxis have metres and accept only Hong Kong dollars. Though some taxi drivers speak English, for convenience sake, you are also advised to have your destination written in Chinese. Current flag fall is HK$15.00, for approximately 2 km (3.3 miles). Every additional 200 metres is HK$1.40, and the same is charged for waiting time per minute. Baggage surcharge of HK$5.00 per piece will be needed. A ride from the airport to central Hong Kong will cost you about HK$340.

You are required to pay toll charges for Lantau link bridges and round trip toll charges for cross-harbour tunnels if the hiring is not begin from a cross-harbour taxi stand. Charges for using Lantau link is HK$30, return toll for Western tunnel is HK$50, HK$30 for the Eastern tunnel and HK$20 for the Cross Harbour tunnels.

Underground train or subway
The MTR, Hong Kong's underground rail service, is fast and efficient. It covers most areas in town and operates in central Hong Kong and Kowloon. Single journey tickets can be purchased at ticket issuing machine in MTR stations. Alternatively, Octopus card, available at MTR Customer Service Centre is a stored value electronic ticketing system which can be used in multiple modes of transport such as MTR, Airport Express, buses and ferries etc.

The MTR Route Map

Cross-harbour Ferry
Cross-harbour ferry is a cheap (HK$2.2 one way, upper deck) and interesting scenic boat trip to travel to and from Kowloon and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), which is located in Wan Chai on Hong Kong island. Ferries between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui run every few minutes from 6:30am to 11:30pm, from 7:30am to 10:50pm between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. The Wan Chai ferry pier is within a few minutes' walk from HKCEC.

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Hong Kong has a fixed exchange rate which ties the HK dollar to the US dollar within a narrow band. The upper end of the band is HK$7.80 to US$1. There are no currency restrictions and the Hong Kong dollar is freely convertible with all other currencies. There are many currency exchange operators, as well as banks and hotels and at the airport. All major credit cards are accepted at hotels, banks, large restaurants and stores.

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Custom Duties

There is no custom tariff in Hong Kong and goods imported or exported require minimal customs formalities. Excise duties are levied only on tobacco, liquor, methyl alcohol and hydrocarbon oil.

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Service Charges

Most restaurants add 10% service charge automatically. Waiters also expect to pick up loose change. Larger tips, often 10%, are expected if there is no service charge. Small tips of HK$5-10 are common for hotel porters who carry your luggage. Toilet attendants, who provide a hand-washing service in some hotels and restaurants, and cloakroom attendants, expect a tip of HK$2-5.

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Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world, with a very low crime rate. However, it is advised to keep close watch on your personal belongings when you are in crowded areas.

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Voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts, transformer will be needed to operate 100 volts electrical appliances.

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Telephone Directory

Emergency Calls (Police/ Fire/ Ambulance) 999
Crime Hotline (also taxi complaints) 2527 7177
24 hours medical service
Queen Mary Hospital
2855 4111
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
2958 8888
Free Ambulance Service
Hong Kong Island
2576 6555
Kowloon & New Territories
2713 5555
Consumer Council 2929 2222
Overseas Calls
Collect Calls
IDD & Cardphone Inquiries
Hong Kong International Airport
2181 0000
Hong Kong Tourism Board
2508 1234
MAJOR AIRLINES (Reservation/ Flight Information)
Air Canada
2867 8111
Air France 2524 8145
Air India 2522 1170
Alitalia Airlines 2543 6998
British Airways / Qantas Airways 2822 9060
Canadian Airline Int'l 2867 8111
Cathay Pacific Airways 2747 1888
China Airlines 2769 8391
China National Aviation Corp. 2861 0322
Hong Kong Dragon Airlines 2180 2180
Japan Airlines 2523 0081
Korean Air 2368 6221
Lufthansa German Airlines 2868 2313
Malaysia Airlines 2521 8181
Northwest Airlines 2810 4288
Philippine Airlines 2361 9300
Singapore Airlines 2520 2233
Swissair 3002 1330
Thai Airways Int'l 2876 6888
United Airlines 2810 4888
Virgin Atlantic Airways: 2532 6060
Britain 2901 3000
Canada 2810 4321
Finland 2525 5385
France 3196 6100
Germany 2105 8788
Indonesia 2890 4421
Italy 2522 0033
Japan 2522 1184
Korea 2529 4141
Malaysia 2821 0800
New Zealand 2525 5044
Singapore 2527 2212
Switzerland 2522 7147
Thailand 2521 6481
USA 2523 9011
Hong Kong Telephone Numbers Inquires:  
English 1081
Cantonese 1083

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