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 is eight hours ahead of the Universal Coordinated Time.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with seasonal changes. In November, the temperature ranges from 15°C - 25°C. Humidity can reach nearly 70 per cent. The hotels and restaurants all offer air conditioning so it is advisable to bring a light jumper or pashmina to wear when indoors. Go to www.hko.gov.hk for weather forecast before deciding what to pack.
The official languages of Hong Kong are English and Cantonese, including all public transport announcements. All official signs and menus of most restaurants are bilingual. Most taxi drivers, salespersons, tourism industry employees are able to communicate in English.
The official currency of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). One US Dollar is approximately HKD 7.76. Participants can change your currency for HKD at any authorised money exchanger or bank. You are advised to look for a money exchanger that is accredited by the Quality Tourism Services Scheme .
Major banks are open from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday. Automatic Teller Machines 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.
Local SIM cards can be purchased at more than 2,000 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.
The electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The plug/socket system in Hong Kong is a three-pronged UK-style plug.
There is no goods and services tax (GST), value added tax (VAT) or any other sales tax in Hong Kong.
Most restaurants in Hong Kong add a 10 per cent service charge to the bill. Please check with the waiter about the charges before being seated.
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. It also applies to plastic bags distributed for foodstuff in air-tight packaging. Be environmentally responsible by bringing your own bag.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places in Hong Kong, including restaurants, bars and malls. The smoking ban is also implemented on public transport carriers, within public transport facilities, and in both the indoor and outdoor areas of some premises, including public beaches and swimming pools, escalators, and inside public parks. 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.
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.
Hong Kong is famous for its safe, efficient and reliable public transport systems. There are plenty of ways to get around Hong Kong, whether it’s by MTR, taxi, ferry, bus or tram.