HongKong-FireworksHongKong-Neigbourhoods HongKong-Travel-Report

General info:
– Location
– Best time to travel
– Time difference
– Language
– Religion
– Eating and drinking
– Safety

Travel documents:
– Passport

– Tourist visa
– Airline or other transportation tickets
– Departure tax

Travel to and in Hong Kong:
– By air

– Octopus Card

– Car

– Airport Express
– Metro
– Bus
– Minibus

– Tram
– Peak Tram
– Ferry
– Taxi

– Do’s and don’ts
– Feeling ill?
– Vaccinations
– Medications

– What to bring

Practical information:

– Money and banking
– Tipping

– Electricity

– Telephone

– Internet

– Film & photography

– Hong Kong Tourism Board 

General Info:

Hong Kong, officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is located in southeast Asia and consists of 236 islands in the South China Sea with a total area of ​​1,091 km2.

Best time to travel:
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate, which means it’s often hot and humid. The best time to travel is in autumn, from September to November, because the weather in Hong Kong often has clear days, sunny and above all a lovely and warm temperature. Note: From May to November is the typhoon season, and can bring a lot of rain and strong winds. If a typhoon is approaching, it is generally broadcasted well in advance on radio and television.

Time Difference:
GMT +7 or +8 depending on daylight saving time (no daylight saving time in 2011)

The official language of Hong Kong is Cantonese (a Southern Chinese language) and English.

The majority believes in Buddhism or Taoism, which is often combined with Confucianism and ancestor worship. Furthermore, most highly superstitious believe that Feng Shui, fortune telling, numerology and astrology determines where and when to do something.

Eating and drinking:
Hong Kong has an immense variety of restaurants offering Chinese cuisines, each with its own tastes and specialties.

Eating Habits: Usually, one orders not a dish for oneself, but several dishes that are put in the middle of the table so everyone can serve themselves. With chopsticks you take a portion of the dish and place it on your own bowl of rice.
Tip: It is custom to put your rice bowl close to your mouth while you’re eating, even though it might seem you’re trying to stuff yourself with food.

Chopsticks: Though western cutlery is widely available most food is only served with chopsticks, but you can always ask for it.
The different cuisines: Cantonese: probably the most popular, whereby the freshness and original flavour of the ingredients is maintained as much as possible. Szechuan and Hunan: renowned for its spiciness, with lots of chilli peppers, garlic and coriander.
Shanghainese: is less spicy but rich in flavour, often with sweet, strong pickled vegetables and salted meats. Dumplings and noodles are more common than rice in this cuisine. Peking style dishes: were once thought to be especially suited for the Emperor. This cuisine is renowned for using the best ingredients. Also, noodles, dumplings and bread (steamed, baked or fried) are served here. Think of Peking duck served in thin pancakes with spring onions and plum sauce.
Chiu Chow: mostly refined poultry dishes that are usually light and tasty with lots of vegetables, but can also include delicacies such as bird’s nest soup.
These dishes are best known for their healing properties and nutritional value with green vegetables and mushrooms, often in combination with tofu (bean curd) is prepared in such a way that it can taste like roast duck or grilled pork.
Dim Sum: these popular Cantonese breakfast or light lunch dishes are deliciously steamed meat or shrimp in transparent dough wrappers, or sometimes in the form of bread dumplings.

Chinese wine: Chinese wine is distilled from rice, millet and other grains, but also herbs and flowers.
Xiao Qing, Yellow Wine is like medium dry sherry and goes well with many Chinese dishes, and tastes best when served warm.
Liang Gao and Mao Tai are fiery distillate millet wines with an alcohol content of 70% which are served best after a hearty meal. Wu Jia Pi is a sweet herbal wine that is believed to have a medicinal effect.

Tea: Drinking Tea, Yum Cha, is a traditional ritual with particular historical significance, and an important part of the culinary culture of Hong Kong, as well as a wonderful addition to the various dishes such as Dim Sum. There are several different types of tea types including:
Luk Cha – Green Tea,
Hung Cha – literal translation: red tea or black tea
Wu Lung Cha – Oolong Tea
Heung Ping – Jasmine Tea
Tip: It is a Chinese habit when receiving a full cup of tea, to tap with your fingers on the table near the cup as a sign of respect and gratitude.
Tip: Want to learn more about traditional tea ceremonies and the history and development of tea? Demonstrations are given regularly in the Ngong Ping Tea House.
Link: Ngong Ping Tea House

Hong Kong is generally a safe city, both day and night. Nevertheless, it is always better to keep an eye on your belongings and to never leave your valuables, documents and money alone in your room, but to make use of your hotel safe if it there is one!
Tip:Scan your passport, visa, vaccination certificate, health cards, insurance papers and other important documents, send them to your webhosted email address and place them in an e-mail folder. This allows you to access them at any time you might need them!


Travel documents:

In most cases your passport* must still be valid for another six months after leaving Hong Kong.

Tourist visa:
For a maximum period of three months no tourist visa* is required. *Rules and regulations may differ per country, check with your Embassy or Consulate or visit the following link below.
Link: Visa information

Airline or other transportation tickets:
It’s always advisable to print out your airline e-ticket or other transportation tickets and bring it with you when you travel.
In some countries you are required to show a proof of your departure date, showing your return ticket or other transit ticket leaving the country is then obligatory.

Departure tax:
Departure tax is not applicable in Hong Kong.



Travel to and in Hong Kong:

By air:
Hong Kong has a huge international airport, making it often possible to fly directly with Cathay Pacific which uses it as a hub.
Indirect flights can often be cheaper
Link: Cathay Pacific

Octopus Card:
Public transport in Hong Kong is well organized and the Octopus Card allows unlimited travel on buses, trains, trams, metro and ferries between the islands. The Octopus Card is an electronic travel card that you can upload with money, and with which you can travel in almost all forms of public transport. Furthermore, you can pay with it at many restaurants and shops.
Tip: Travel with Octopus Card is not only cheaper, but often faster as well, because you don’t have to queue to buy tickets.
Link: Octopus Card

Car: Renting a car in Hong Kong is not a problem. But do you really need one in the centre? No.
Take Note: As a former British Colony, people drive on the left hand side of the road.

Airport Express:
The Airport Express train lets you travel from the airport to downtown Hong Kong in 24 minutes.
Link: Airport Express

The quickest and most efficient way to travel is the Metro, the MTR, with 10 lines which can take you anywhere within the largest districts of Hong Kong.
Link: Hong Kong Metro
Tip: Check the Octopus Card.

There are several bus routes that cross the majority of the Hong Kong districts. The Kowloon Motor Bus, Citybus and New World First Bus travel in the main islands of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. On Lantau Island, you there is New Lantau Bus, whereas Long Win Bus provides bus services to North Lantau, the airport and the New Territories. The buses are generally comfortable and the final destinations are prominently displayed at the front of the bus in both English and Chinese.
Go up the front window at the top of the double-decker bus  and take in a great view of the city.
Link: Kowloon Motor Bus en Long Win Bus
Link: New World First Bus en Citybus
Link: New Lantau Bus
Tip: Check the Octopus Card.

Minibuses carry about 16 people and come in two colors. Green minibuses operate on specific routes at fixed prices. Red minibuses are not always a fixed route. Both buses leave when full and you must solicitate where you want to get off.
Take the minibus only if you know your way in Hong Kong like the back of your hand, or if you speak fluent Cantonese.

The double-decker tram runs on north side of Hong Kong Island and takes you through colorful neighborhoods.
Link: Hong Kong Tram
Tip: Check out the Octopus Card.

Peak Tram:
With the Peak Tram which opened in 1888 you can climb the steepest funicular in the world in 8 minutes, to admire the view from the Victoria Peak. From here you can see the breathtaking views over the Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Link: Peak Tram
Check de Octopus Card.

The ferry links Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and the surrounding outlying islands via boat. Star Ferry: Service between Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom Pier) and Hong Kong Island (Central and Wan Chai Pier). Especially when the weather is a good, a boat ride accross on one of the most photographed harbors in the world is a treat. Outlying Islands: From the Central Ferry pier on Hong Kong Island you can take the standard, or the slightly more expensive fast ferry to the main outlying island of Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau.
Take the ferry for a day trip to Macau (no visa required), or to mainland China (visa required).
Link: Star Ferry
Link: New World First Ferry

Taxis go by the meter, are relatively inexpensive and can be found anywhere. They come in three colors, for the three areas in which they operate. Red: drive in most of Hong Kong, except Tung Chung Road and the south side of Lantau Island. Blue: operate only on Lantau Island. Green: serve the rural areas of the New Territories.
All three types are airport taxi, but they do not stop at bus stops.




Do not worry if some sort of speed radar is pointed at you upon your arrival in Hong Kong. This is a temperature sensor, in order to make sure you do not have a fever, or some potentially serious diseases such as SARS. Medical care in Hong Kong is of very high quality and most doctors speak excellent English.

Do’s & don’ts:
Tap water is of good quality in Hong Kong, but most people buy bottled water just to be safe, as did we. Try to avoid consuming raw vegetables and peeled fruit, they might have been washed in ‘bad’ water. Do not eat meat and fish which is not thoroughly cooked or that might be cold, and be careful with shellfish. Wash your hands regularly using disinfectant or soap.
Suffering from Jetlag? Take part in the rhythm of local life as soon as possible, that way you will acclimatize quickly and get rid of your Jetlag.

Feeling ill?:
Dehydration can be prevented by drinking regularly. ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) is a powder mixture sold in readymade bags, containing salts and sugars that can you can dissolve in water to restore moisture balance.
Tip: We have a plastic ORS spoon that you can use to the exactly measure the amount of salt and sugar. This will save you from dragging the finished mixture with you everywhere, whilst you easily make it yourself if necessary. Furthermore you can also order and drink tea with sugar or a broth. If you have a high fever, and are vomiting, or have mucus or blood in your stool, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Because the conditions, duration and your health is crucial for any trip, it is always advisable to contact a doctor or a vaccination municipal health bureau in plenty of time before your trip.
Tip: Always carry your vaccination certificate with you whilst travelling, in some countries they may ask for this at the customs office! The recommended vaccinations generally are:
– Hepatitis A (often given in combination with hepatitis B)
– Diphtheria
– Tetanus
– Polio
– Yellow fever is only required if you visited an area infected with yellow fever within 6 days prior to your visit to Hong Kong.

Do you take medication? If so, make sure you always carry your medical passport with you. Such passports contain information about your medicines and a written statement by your doctor.
Tip: Ask your doctor about your condition and the generic name of your medicine in both Latin and English. As such it is easier to understand for customs what kind of medications you are carrying with you.

What to bring:
– First Aid Kit
– Disinfectant gel
– Painkillers
– ORS or ORS scoop
– Thermometer
– Tick remover
– Anti-motion sickness medicine
– Your own medication (+ the name of your drug substance)



Practical information:

Money and banking:
The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). You can withdraw money from a ATM, using a bank or credit card with the Cirrus or Maestro, or VISA or MasterCard logos.

It is custom to tip around 10%. In larger restaurants often a standard 10% service charge (tip) is added to your bill. If no tip is added the usual tip is around 10%. In taxis prices are rounded up to round numbers. Bell Boys and maids usually expect a tip as well.

The voltage is 220V.
Remember to bring a universal electricity plug.

The international country code for Hong Kong: 852.

Internet cafes are hard to find because they are often hidden in inconspicuous buildings on upper floors. You’re most likely to succeed in big malls in tourist areas.
Tip: Take your notebook or laptop with you. In many coffee houses and cafes you can make use of the free internet if you buy a consumption. In some metro statrion and at the Central Library there is also free internet. Hong Kong is currently working on making the free WiFi available in the whole city.

Film & photography:
Memory cards for photo and film equipment, as well as film rolls are sold almost everywhere.
Take an external hard drive with you to save your images on. Think of it as a backup should anything happen to your memory cards.
Take not one but two universal electricity plugs along with you. This way you can charge multiple things at once, like your phone, camera and video battery pack or notebook.

Hong Kong Tourism Board
Discover Hong Kong