Tips for Visitors
Located at the heart of Asia, Hong Kong is a highly accessible city. There are over 100 airlines servicing more than 190 destinations worldwide, with over 1,000 aircraft movements every day.
VISA and Passport Requirements
Visitors to Hong Kong must hold valid passports. Hong Kong has a liberal visa policy, allowing visa-free entry to nationals of more than 170 countries and territories.
For country-specific visa information, please visit http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html
For delegates traveling to other cities in China, an entry visa to China is required. Please obtain your visa from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate within your current place of residence. The travel documents must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of traveling. Please click here to check if you need to apply for a visa to re-enter into Hong Kong from China.
Delegates are advised to take out insurance before visiting Hong Kong. Please check with your insurance company about their 24-hour emergency support telephone numbers.
To and From the Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
The state-of-the-art Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok of Lantau Island operates 24 hours a day. For more information about Hong Kong International Airport, please visit www.hongkongairport.com
Subway (Airport Express)
The Airport Express is the fastest way to get between the city and the airport. It takes passengers to and from the Kowloon Station in Tsim Sha Tsui area in about 22 minutes. Train services are provided daily between 05:54 and 00:48 and at 10-minute intervals. Train tickets can be purchased at the Airport Express Customer Service Centre located in the Arrivals Hall of the Hong Kong International Airport. Delegates can take a free shuttle bus from Kowloon Station to the conference venue (i.e. Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel). Please click here to know more details for the Airport Express and the shuttle bus services.
Taxis offer a flexible way to and from the airport. Arriving passengers can pick up a taxi at the Taxi Station outside the Arrivals Hall. Taxis in Hong Kong are colour-coded according to their operating areas. Urban taxis are red. The current rates are HK$24 on flag fall for the first 2 kilometres plus HK$1.7 every further 0.2 kilometre. The charge will be changed to HK$1.2 per 0.2 kilometre after the chargeable amount has reached HK$83.5. Additional charges for luggage and tolls apply. A trip by the urban taxi (red taxi) to the conference venue in Tsim Sha Tsui will take about 35 minutes (depends on traffic condition) at an approximate cost of HK$380.
Hong Kong is so compact that getting around is quick and easy. An efficient public transport system – networks of urban underground trains (Mass Transit Railway or MTR) and numerous routes of trams, buses, ferries and also taxis – enable visitors to explore Hong Kong conveniently and safely on their own. Tourist MTR 1-Day Pass is tailored for tourist travel around Hong Kong. Tourists can have any one day of unlimited rides on the MTR (except the Airport Express Line) within the ticket validity period. For details, please visit http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/tickets/day_pass_tourist.html
An octopus card which will allow travel on all forms of public transport (including the Star Ferry and Trams) can be purchased at MTR Service Centre.
English and Chinese are the official languages. Most street signs, menus, tourist and government publications are usually bilingual in both English and Chinese.
Local Hong Kong time is eight (8) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +8).
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with seasonal changes. During September, the average temperature ranges from 26°C to 32°C and the humidity is around 80%. Please visit www.hko.gov.hk for weather forecast before deciding what to pack.
Upon your arrival at Hong Kong International Airport or at a boundary control point, automatic sensors will take your temperature. If it is considered high, you may be required to participate in a quick health check.
Vaccination certificates are usually not needed when travelling to Hong Kong, but please check with your local carrier because requirements may change.
Hong Kong tap water is soft in character and conforms to the World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines for drinking-water quality. Mineral water, including major imported brands, is readily available from supermarkets and convenience stores.
You can find more health advice on the Department of Health website.
Hong Kong has world-class hospitals providing outstanding care. Visitors requiring accident and emergency services in the city’s public hospitals are charged a set fee of $990 per attendance, but will always be treated, even if they cannot pay immediately. For further details, please visit the Hospital Authority website. English is spoken by most public and private sector medical professionals.
The standard voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC/50 cycles. The plug/socket system in Hong Kong is a 3-rectangular-pin type.
International direct dialing, internet and e-mail facilities are easily accessible in Hong Kong. Most of the mobile telephone systems used around the globe operate in Hong Kong. Local SIM Cards can be purchased at convenience stores. Delegates wishing to use their mobile/cell phone should ensure that International Roaming is enabled on their phone. Alternatively you can purchase a prepaid Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card from the Airport.
The International Direct Dial (IDD) Code for Hong Kong is +(852).
Currency and Credit Card
The Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) is the unit of currency used in Hong Kong. USD 1.0 is approximately HK$7.8. Most foreign currencies and traveler’s cheques can be changed at banks, hotels and moneychangers.
All major credit cards are widely accepted in Hong Kong and can be used to obtain cash advances at banks and automatic teller machines (ATMs). ATMs can be found almost everywhere and provide 24-hour cash withdrawal (HK$).
There is no sales tax on goods and services in Hong Kong.
Generally, offices of commercial establishments and Government departments open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. Some open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. Major banks open from 9am to 4:30pm on weekdays and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturdays.
Most shops and department stores open daily from 10am to 9pm, while 24-hour convenience shops are located all over the city.
Most major restaurants add a 10% service charge, but you are still expected to leave a tip of between 5-10%, depending on how well you feel you have been treated. Taxi drivers tend to round up the fare to the nearest dollar and if not, will appreciate a little extra. Bellboys, porters and washroom attendants will also expect a small tip.