Hong Kong’s strategic location at the heart if the world’s fastest growing economies along with its sophisticated infrastructure, easy accessibility, business-friendly environment, professional expertise and vibrant lifestyle converge to become what is recognized as Asia’s premier destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.
Hong Kong has a liberal visa policy whereby visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods varying from 7 to 180 days, depending on nationality.
Both Chinese and English are official languages in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Standard Time is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8).
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. June is hot and humid with an average temperature of 26-31°C. However, the temperature can exceed 31°C but high humidity levels can make it feel even hotter.
The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is the currency of Hong Kong.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at international airports, banks or currency exchange stores.
For approximate exchange rate, please refer to xe.com
Taxes & Tipping
There is no sales tax in Hong Kong. The only tax you may be charged is 5% government tax on hotel rates. Most upscale hotels add this to a 10% service charge, making for a total surcharge of 15%.
Starting from April 1, 2015, 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.
In general, tipping is at your discretion. While tipping is not mandatory in Hong Kong, a 10% service charge is usually billed in at restaurants.
The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotel bathrooms also have outlets for 100 volts, but if not, you will need a transformer for any appliance. The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug. Please prepare the adaptor for your electrical equipment if necessary.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, including restaurants, karaoke, malls and bars in Hong Kong, and throughout the HKU Campus. The smoking ban also covers both indoor and outdoor areas of some premises such as public beaches and swimming pools. It also applies to public transport carriers and facilities. Furthermore, no person shall smoke or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe in designated no smoking areas, or they shall be liable to a fixed penalty of HK$1,500.
Hong Kong has an extensive public transport system which is considered as one of the best in the world. Depending on where you are going, you have a choice of MTR, buses (KMB, CityBus & NWFB), trams, ferries and taxis.
The easiest way to get to the city from the airport is to take the Airport Express. If your hotel is located near HKU, you may transfer to the Island line and get off at HKU Station.
You may also purchase a standard Octopus card which is a stored-value electronic card that can be used for most public transport (except taxis), and purchase is available at all MTR Customer Service Centres. The best types for visitors include Sold Tourist Octopus card and On-loan Octopus card with a refundable deposit. For more information, please refer to the website of Octopus Cards Limited.
Diverse Choice of Leisure and Entertainment Activities
When it comes to leisure time, Hong Kong is an experience like no other. The city offers an infinite variety of things to see and do in a unique fusion of Eastern and Western heritage and culture. Festivals and celebrations take place throughout the year.
Wine and Dine – ‘Culinary Capital of Asia’
Renowned as the culinary capital of Asia, Hong Kong boasts more than 11,000 restaurants, many of them clustered in defined food districts. There are number of fun drinking, dining and clubbing areas like Lan Kwai Fong, SoHo, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, and various parts of Tsim Sha Tsui such as Knutsford Terrance. Apart from sampling an incredible variety of Chinese cuisine, visitors can find all manner of regional Asian and Western food at reasonable prices.
Shopping – Tax- free and Unparalleled Service Quality
One major reason tourists love coming to Hong Kong is for its tax-free prices. The value, variety and service quality are unparalleled, whether you choose a glitzy mall or funky street market.
Sightseeing – Ancient Heritage and Pristine Nature
Hong Kong has a unique blend of bustling streets and peaceful countryside of ancient heritage and pristine nature. For outdoor activities, take your pick from golf to hiking on land, and sailing to power-boating in the beautiful waters that surround the city, or even a unique tram party along the north shore of Hong Kong Island. All of these activities are easily accessible from anywhere within the compact territory that is made up of almost 70% naturally mountainous countryside.
World Renowned Attractions and Theme Parks
Hong Kong offers a host of memorable tourist attractions within its compact area, with The Peak, Victoria Harbour and the Giant Buddha among the most awe-inspiring. For details, please refer to the website of Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Year-round Colourful Festive Celebrations
Hong Kong’s wide array of festivals and cultural celebrations, which are unique not just in Asia but also around the world, conveys the fascinating cultural fusion, deep-rooted heritage, as well as the vibrant living culture of the city, inspiring global travellers to come for an unforgettable cultural experience that can be found only in Hong Kong. A visit to this vibrant city at any time of the year will reward you with an enriching and unforgettable experience.