HONG KONG

HONG KONG

HONG KONG

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TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Victoria Peak
Location: Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Victoria Peak is a hill on the western half of Hong Kong Island. With an elevation of 552 m it is the highest hill on Hong Kong island, ranked 31 in terms of elevation in Hong Kong (Tai Mo Shan is the highest point in Hong Kong with an elevation of 957 m).

The summit is occupied by a radio telecommunications facility and is closed to the public. However, the surrounding area of public parks and high-value residential land is the area that is normally meant by the name The Peak. It offers views of Central, Victoria Harbour, Lamma Island, and the surrounding islands.

With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It has views of the city and its waterfront. The viewing deck also has coin-operated telescopes that the visitors can use to enjoy the cityscape. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other. Victoria Peak Garden is located on the site of Mountain Lodge, the Governor's old summer residence, and is the closest publicly accessible point to the summit.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Peak
Name: Tian Tan Buddha
Location: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is sited near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith. It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a tourist attraction.

The statue's base is a model of the Altar of Heaven or Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. One of the five large Buddha statues in China, it is enthroned on a lotus on top of a three-platform altar. The statue is 34 metres tall, weighs over 250 metric tons, and was constructed from 202 bronze pieces. Reputedly the figure can be seen across the bay from as far away as Macau on a clear day. Visitors have to climb 268 steps to reach the Buddha, though the site also features a small winding road for vehicles to accommodate the handicapped.

When the statue was completed, monks from around the world were invited to the opening ceremony. Distinguished visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United States all took part in the proceedings.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tian_Tan_Buddha
Name: Ngong Ping 360
Location: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Intended to improve tourism to the area, it consists of the Ngong Ping Cable Car and the Ngong Ping Village, a retail / entertainment centre adjacent to the cable car's upper station. Ngong Ping 360 connects Tung Chung, on the north coast of Lantau and itself linked to central Hong Kong by the Tung Chung Line, with the Ngong Ping area in the hills above. This is home to the Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha, both already significant tourist attractions in their own right. Before Ngong Ping 360's opening, the only access was via a mountain road and bus service.

Ngong Ping 360 is owned by the MTR Corporation, the operator of Hong Kong's rail system. It was built by Leitner Ropeways and was originally operated by Skyrail-ITM. Skyrail-ITM was removed from the project after an investigation following an incident in June 2007. It is now operated by a directly owned subsidiary of the MTR Corporation.

Ngong Ping Village's international cable car gallery has cable car replicas from various countries including China, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, Austria, France, Italy, Germany etc.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngong_Ping_360
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN HONG KONG / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO HONG KONG.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Chinese / English
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
Time zone: HKT (Hong Kong Time) (UTC+8)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +852
Local / up-to-date weather in Hong Kong (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Hong Kong travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Hong Kong, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO HONG KONG.

The Hong Kong dollar, denoted by the symbol “$” (港元 or 港幣, ISO code HKD), is the territory’s currency. In Cantonese, one dollar is known formally as the 圓 (yùn) and colloquially as the 蚊 (mān). It is subdivided into 100 cents (symbol ¢). In Cantonese, one cent known as a 仙 (sīn), and ten cents is known as a 毫 (hòu). You can safely assume that the ‘$’ sign used in this travel guide and in the territory refers to HKD unless it includes other initials (e.g. US$ to stand for US dollar). The HKD is also widely accepted in Macau in lieu of their home currency at a 1:1 rate.

The official exchange rate is fixed in a range of HK$7.75-7.85 to US$1, although bank rates may fluctuate slightly. When exchanging currency at a big bank, be prepared to pay a small fixed commission, usually about $40 per transaction. If exchanging large amounts, this commission will have a negligible impact on the transaction. If exchanging small amounts, it may be advantageous to exchange at one of many independent exchange shops found in tourist areas. Although their exchange rates compared with big banks are slightly less favourable for you, most do not charge a commission. They may also be more convenient and a faster way to exchange (no queues, in shopping centres, open 24 hours, etc.) However, be wary of using independent exchangers outside banking hours because, without competition from big banks, their rates may be very uncompetitive.

If you go to the right place, Hong Kong can be an excellent place to exchange money, including from one foreign currency to another, as some places offer very good exchange rates with low or no commissions, and without the various restrictions and paperwork you have to deal with to exchange money in mainland China.

Try to avoid changing money at the airport, train station, or at most hotels since the rates offered there are usually extremely poor. Street money exchange vendors will often offer different rates and you may be able to save around 10% if you can compare several different places rather than using the first one you see. The worst rates will be similar to those found at the hotels.

ATM debit cards have exchange rates and fees are comparable to exchanging cash at big banks. Some smaller banks do not accept ATM cards from overseas customers. The best banks for foreign tourists to use are HSBC, Hang Seng and Standard Chartered, and ATM machines from those banks are widespread and can be found at any MTR station.

Other than the $10 banknote, all others are actually issued by multiple banks in Hong Kong (HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of China) and all can be used anywhere in Hong Kong. They come in denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000.

It is rare to come across a $1000 note and some shops do not accept them due to counterfeiting concerns.

Coins come in units of $10, $5, $2, $1, 50¢, 20¢ and 10¢. Typically you will want to avoid change less than $1 because there are not many things to buy with coins under that. An Octopus Card is the best way to avoid dealing with small change.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are common in urban areas. They usually accept Visa, MasterCard, and to certain degree UnionPay. Maestro and Cirrus cards are widely accepted also. They dispense $100, $500 or rarely $1000 notes depending on the request. Credit card use is common in most shops for major purchases. Most retailers accept VISA and MasterCard, and some accept American Express as well. Maestro debit cards however are not widely accepted by retailers. Signs with the logo of different credit cards are usually displayed at the door to indicate which cards are accepted. For small purchases, in places such as McDonalds or 7-Eleven, cash or an Octopus Card is the norm though some of these outlets can accept credit cards for smaller purchases. Sometimes, the merchant can give you a choice of whether to charge your credit card purchase directly to your home currency or Hong Kong dollars. Choosing which currency to directly charge the purchase to won’t matter significantly for small amounts but for larger purchases it may be worth it to consult your credit card’s policy on them converting foreign exchange transactions; in most cases it is more favourable to charge the transaction in Hong Kong Dollars first and let your issuer perform the conversation.

If the credit card is swiped or inserted into a terminal, merchants will require that the credit cards be signed and will compare your signature with the card and do not have to ask for picture ID. The ‘chip and pin’ system for credit card authorisation prevalent in Europe is not used as extensively in Hong Kong. However, some retailers have contactless/near-field communications for foreign-issued cards and if used for small purchases, a signature is not required.

OCTOPUS CARD:

The Octopus Card (八達通, Bat Dat Toong in Cantonese) is a prepaid debit card that can be used to pay for public transportation such as the MTR, trains, trams, buses, mini-buses and ferries. Most taxis do not yet accept it although more will in future. Paying for public transport with an Octopus Card is usually at a discounted fare.

It can also be used to pay for items in convenience stores, supermarkets, fast food restaurant chains, many vending machines, all roadside parking and some car parks. It can also be used as an building access card. Some chain stores, such as Wellcome, offer discounts for paying with the Octopus Card. This is a great way to avoid carrying and counting coins.

Basic Octopus cards cost $150 for $100 in credit plus a $50 refundable deposit. A $9 service charge applies if the card is redeemed for the deposit within 3 months. The maximum value an Octopus card can carry is $1,000. The credit on the card can go negative. For example, you may pay for a ride costing $5 with only $2 of remaining value on the card (bringing the stored value to −$3) but you cannot use the card again until the value is topped up. The value of an Octopus card can go as low as −$35. That isn’t really “negative”, meaning you don’t have to pay MTR back, since your $50 deposit secures it.

Your Octopus card’s balance is displayed on the reader after each use. The balance can also be checked, along with the last nine transactions, using a small machine near regular ticket machines at MTR stations.

It is simple to top up your Octopus Card in $50 increments:

  • “Add Value” machines, usually next to regular ticket machines in MTR stations.
  • Customer service centres at all MTR stations
  • Certain merchants that accept Octopus (e.g. 7-Eleven, McDonald’s, Wellcome, etc.). This is the best way to avoid queues at the MTR station.

It is not possible to top up with a credit card. Some Hong Kong credit cards have an Octopus Card top up facility although this is not available to cards issued elsewhere.

If you are planning to visit Shenzhen as well, consider getting a Hu Tong Xing (互通行) card, which doubles up as a Shenzhen Tong card in addition to being an Octopus card, allowing it to be loaded with both Chinese Yuan and Hong Kong dollars, and used on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen public transportation networks. Those travelling farther afield should consider getting the similar Octopus • Lingnan Pass, which can be used in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and several other cities in Guangdong province (but notably not including Shenzhen).

MTR Fare Saver Machines:

There are several fare saver machines in the MTR system. By tapping your Octopus Card at the reader on one of these machines, you will receive a $1–2 discount on your same-day next MTR journey if such a journey originates at the station where the machine is. But these machines are often far from the actual stations.

BY MASS TRANSIT RAILWAY:

Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the fastest way to get around, but it does not offer the views of buses and trams and is more expensive. It is clean, safe, and widely lauded as one of the most reliable and efficient systems in the world. There are 4 underground lines (Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island, and Tseung Kwan O lines), 4 Suburban rail lines (West Rail, East Rail, Tung Chung, and Ma On Shan lines), the Airport Express, and a network of modern light rail lines in the North West New Territories.

The most important lines for many visitors are the busy Tsuen Wan Line (red), which runs from Central to Kowloon via tunnel and then down Nathan Road towards Tsuen Wan in the New Territories, and the Island Line (blue) which runs along the north coast of Hong Kong Island. The Tung Chung Line (orange) is the fastest route to Lantau and one of the cheapest ways to the airport via the S1 shuttle bus from Tung Chung MTR station. This line can also be used to change to the Disneyland Resort Line (pink) at Sunny Bay. All signs are in both Chinese and English and all announcements are made in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Staff in the station control room usually speak enough English to be able to help lost tourists.

In Cantonese, the West Rail line is colloquially referred to as 火車 (fó chē), alluding to its origins as an intercity railway, while the other lines are referred to as 地鐵 (dei tit).

Considerations when using the MTR:

  • Hong Kong’s suburban rail system is linked to two border crossings with mainland China, at Lo Wu Control Point and Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point, both on the East Rail Line. You pass through a short corridor and then through a large border gate before entering a long one-way corridor and emerging in mainland China, at a station for the Shenzhen Metro. As Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stations are in a restricted area, it is illegal to take the train to these stations unless you are crossing the border or hold a Closed Area Permit.
  • The East Rail Line offers a first class car where the seats are wider and more comfortable. The fare is twice that of the regular cars on the same route, and you need to buy a separate ticket for this at a station’s ticketing office or tap your octopus card at the designated reader before entering. Ticket inspectors conduct regular patrol in the carriage and passengers without a valid first class ticket will be fined $500.
  • Most underground MTR stations have at least one Hang Seng Bank branch, which serves as the meeting point for the locals when they meet each other.
  • In Hong Kong, the English name for the underground metro system is the ‘MTR’. The term ‘Subway’ refers to underground walkways, as opposed to the metro system. ‘Metro’ or ‘Underground’ are not commonly understood by local people either.
  • Fares depend on distance. Credit cards are not accepted to pay for tickets or passes, except for rides on the Airport Express.
  • Consumption of food and drinks and smoking are strictly forbidden in stations and in trains. Offenders are liable to a fine of $2,000.
  • Always stand on the right when using escalators to allow people in a hurry to pass on the left.
  • The mad dash, in which commuters shove and wrestle for available seats, that is common in mainland Chinese Metro systems is considered to be uncivilised in Hong Kong.
  • Disabled Access and Stroller Access is provided at the MTR stations, but it will likely require considerable extra walking, often from one end of an MTR station to another. For instance, the lift may be at one end of a platform at train level, whilst the lift to street level will be at the other end. Using lifts and wheelchair access will often require you to walk the length of the station 2 or 3 times, just to get from street level to your chosen train. There is usually one designated reader for wider (wheelchair/stroller) access, but often it is a long walk around the station or platform. Occasionally, there will be an MTR staff booth at a set of gates, but it depends on the individual staff member as to whether they will just tap your card on their terminal and let you through the goods entrance to the platform. If you need a stroller for getting around, it may be better to collapse your stroller, pick up your child and use the escalators and “regular” designated readers. Most Hong Kongers will use a small, lightweight, upright folding stroller (such as the Combi range, which appears to be most popular), than can be easily folded, carried and taken through the gates and escalators. You will also ensure that you aren’t fighting for lift space with others who need it, such as wheelchair users and goods trolleys.

BY TRAM:

Operated by Hong Kong Tramways, the narrow double-decker city trams (also known locally as “ding ding”) trundling along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island have provided cheap transport for over a century. Riding the tram is a great and cheap way to sightsee. For an excursion lasting 1 hour, board at the Kennedy Town Terminus and get a good seat on the upper deck. As the tram travels eastward, you will have an elevated view of Hong Kong Island and its different flavours, from bustling Hong Kong street life to its glitzy financial and shopping districts and, finally, a taste of the local residential areas.

  • Trams are slower and bumpier than other modes of transport, and they are not air conditioned. Summer months can be very uncomfortable even with the windows open.
  • They run 6AM-midnight.
  • Passengers board at the rear and a flat $2.30 fare is paid when getting off at the front of the tram. The fare is paid for by Octopus Card or coins (no change given)
  • It is the favourite means of transportation on Sundays for Hong Kong’s large foreign domestic helper community and it is very crowded on that day.

Peak Tram:

The Peak Tram, Hong Kong’s first mechanised mode of transport, opened in 1888. The remarkably steep 1.7 km track from Central up to Victoria Peak is worth at least one trip despite the comparatively steep price ($37 one-way, $52 return; return tickets must be purchased in advance). The tram turnstiles do take Octopus cards, which will allow you to avoid the ticketing line at the station.

The Peak Tram is likely to be crowded at night when the view of the city’s skyline is magic, as well as on public holidays. Queues can be very long (waiting an hour is common at busy times), and a lot of pushing has been reported.

The tram is not the only way to get to the Peak, and there are cheaper (but slower and still quite scenic) alternatives such as the #1 green minibus costing $10.2 & #15 double-decker bus costing $9.8 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus. These buses will often give you great views of both sides of Hong Kong Island on the way up.

Light Rail:

MTR operates a tram system in the northwest New Territories called Light Rail. It is a modern and fast tram system connecting Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, and Tin Shui Wai. It has an open fare system, in which passengers are required to buy a ticket or tap an Octopus card at the station entrance before boarding, and ticket inspection is random. The area is seldom visited by foreign tourists but various sights are nonetheless accessible via Light Rail, such as numerous ancient walled villages (highlighted by the Ping Shan Heritage Trail), the Hong Kong Wetland Park, the beaches of Tuen Mun New Town, Yuen Long Town Centre, and seafood towns like Lau Fau Shan and Sam Shing.

BY BUS:

There are three types of bus available in Hong Kong. In the inner areas, buses will get stuck in traffic and take much longer than the MTR, however, they cover many more destinations than the MTR. While generally easy to use, signs in English can be sparse and finding your bus stop can get difficult. Buses are also the only public option in some areas. Google Maps will let you know the best bus route to take from your current position to destination.

  • Double-decker buses are used on most routes and cover practically the entire territory, stop frequently and charge varying fares depending on the distance. The first seats of the upper deck offer great views. The franchised bus operators in Hong Kong include Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) (and its subsidiary Long Win Bus), Citybus (CTB), New World First Bus (NWFB) and New Lantau Bus (NLB). Route and fare information can be found on their company web sites. Alternatively it is also wise to install transportation apps such as “App 1933” and “CitybusNWFB” into your smartphone to check fares outdoors if you use mobile devices regularly during your stay.

Fares depend more on where you board rather than where you get-off (except for the cross-boundary route B2 and a few overnight buses) which means it is more expensive to board at an earlier stop on a route rather than the later ones. Hence, the price of bus rides crossing the harbour between Kowloon and the Island exceeds $9 prior to the crossing. The fare is displayed on a digital display above the farebox – one may pay cash, but then no change is given, or Octopus Card or a ticket purchased from a bus travel centre (only applicable to a few routes found at major transit hubs such as Star Ferry or Central Bus Terminus) must be used. There are plenty of bus routes that provide a fare discount for transferring with a particular set of routes; they are often confusing for visitors, however instructions are written on bus stop timetable leaflets. There are also some bus routes (especially the routes going to Stanley) which offer discount if a passenger gets off early and taps the Octopus card again prior to alighting.

There are announcements in Cantonese, Mandarin and English except for most buses on New Lantau Bus. To catch your bus go to the bus stop with the right number and when your bus approaches, raise your arm to hail the bus (like you would hail a taxi). Buses only stop when requested so press the red buzzer (by the exit doors and on the grab-rails) to signal to the driver that you want to alight. Always board at the front and alight from the centre door – unless the bus has only one door, or on those routes where you need to pay when alighting, in which case keep to the left.

  • Van-sized public light buses carry a maximum of 19 passengers (seats only) and come in two varieties, red minibuses and green minibuses (the red buses are also called maxicabs); the colour refers to a wide stripe painted on top of the vehicle. Riding a minibus may not be easy for travellers, as it is required to call out the name of the stop or ask the driver to stop in Cantonese. (Just shouting ‘Please Stop’ loudly in English usually suffices) More and more red minibuses accept Octopus card, but still many do not accept Octopus but will give you change, while green minibuses do accept Octopus payment but cannot give you change if you pay in cash. The Hong Kong Island green minibus #1 down from the Peak to Central is particularly exhilarating. Red minibuses tend to have a more Chinese feel than green buses. Prices on red minibuses are often displayed only in Chinese numbers. The price displayed on a red minibus can legally vary according to the market price, so one might need to pay more at busy times sometimes, though it is rare. Some people argue that the driving standards of red minibuses are lower than green minibuses; Minibus drivers generally drive fast, especially at night. Always use minibus seatbelts where available. You will notice that they all have an extra, large, digital speedometer in the cabin for the passengers to view, this is required by the government after a few fatal accidents due to speeding. Since the introduction of these passenger speedometers mini-bus accident rates have dropped.
  • The MTR also maintains a fleet of feeder buses. MTR passengers can enjoy a free feeder service if the bus trip is paid for on an Octopus card along with a connecting railway journey (except taking K12 on holidays).

If paying in cash, the exact fare is required and no change can be given. Paying by Octopus is much more convenient. The exception to this rule is if you use a red minibus; Octopus cards are not accepted on red minibus services, but they do give you change.

There are six independent route numbering systems, applying to: buses (i) on Hong Kong Island, (ii) in Kowloon and the New Territories, and (iii) on Lantau Island; green minibuses (iv) on Hong Kong Island, (v) in Kowloon, and (vi) in New Territories and several exceptional auxiliary bus routes. Red minibuses do not usually have a route number. This leads to duplication of routes in different regions. Although the Transport Department has been working on unification of the route numbers, they are still a little bit messy. If you are confused a bit by the numbering of routes, here is a suggestion: just remember the route number of buses in Hong Kong Island/Kowloon/New Territories only whenever it is necessary. In other special circumstances, ask the driver or the station staff for the Lantau buses and green minibuses and they can answer you.

Generally you need not mention which district the route belongs to when you are asking for directions (almost all people will assume you are asking for the route which runs in the district you are in, e.g. if you ask for bus route #2, locals will assume you are asking for bus route #2 running in Kowloon if you are in Kowloon), but you really need to mention whether the route is by bus or minibus when you ask, since in some cases both buses and minibuses can have the same route number in the same area which are different routes. (e.g. there are both bus route #6 and minibus route #6 in Tsim Sha Tsui, which are different routes).

BY FERRY:

A large fleet of ferries sail between the many islands of Hong Kong. The granddaddy of them all and an attraction in itself is the Star Ferry, whose most popular line travels between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central from early morning until late at night, and offers amazing views (especially when coming from Tsim Sha Tsui). The Star Ferry is an icon of Hong Kong heritage and has carried passengers for over 120 years. Taking its 11-minute ride across the harbour and catching some misty breeze is considered a “must do” when visiting Hong Kong. Navigation enthusiasts will also not want to miss the sight of the crew using a billhook to catch the thrown rope as it moors at the pier, a practice unchanged since the first ferry ran in 1888.

Upper deck seats cost $2.50 on weekdays and $3.40 on weekends while the lower deck cost $2.00 on weekdays and $2.80 on weekends, both payable with Octopus, cash (no change given) or by onsite vending machine. The Star Ferry also operates between Tsim Sha Tsui and Wanchai but only offers upper-deck seating. A 4-day tourist ticket is also available for $25.

Ferries to Lamma, Lantau and other islands depart from a variety of ports, but the largest and most important terminal is at Central adjacent to the Star Ferry. Ferries are usually divided into fast ferries and slow ferries, with fast ferries charging around twice the price for half the journey time, although not all destinations offer both kinds of service. Example fares for trips from Central to Yung Shue Wan (Lamma) are $10/15 slow/fast, and to Mui Wo (Lantau) $10.50/$21. All fares increase by around 50% on Sundays and public holidays.

BY TAXI:

Taxis are plentiful and efficient. They are extremely cheap compared to many other large cities.

There are three types of taxi in Hong Kong, easily identified by their colours: red, green and blue, all of which serve the airport and Hong Kong Disneyland. When in doubt, just take a red taxi. Rates for each type of taxi are published online.

  • The Urban (red) taxis can travel anywhere within Hong Kong, and are the most expensive. The meter starts at $24.00 for the first 2 km, plus $1.70 ($1.20 after the fare reaches $83.50) for every 200 m or minute of wait time thereafter.
  • New Territories (green) taxis are slightly cheaper than the red ones but are confined to rural areas in the New Territories, the airport, and Hong Kong Disneyland. The meter starts at $20.50 for the first 2 km, plus $1.50 ($1.2 after the fare reaches $65.5) for every 200 m or minute of wait time thereafter.
  • Lantau (blue) taxis are the cheapest of the three but operate only on Lantau Island, including the airport and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Considerations when riding taxis:

  • Wearing of seat belts is required by law, the driver has the right to refuse carrying the passenger if they fail to comply.
  • Tipping is usually not required or expected, however the driver will usually round the fare up to the nearest dollar.
  • Drivers are required to provide change for $100 notes, but not for higher denominations. If you only have a $500 or $1000 note and are going through a tunnel, let the driver know beforehand and he will change it when paying at the toll booth.
  • Some taxis accept credit cards and Octopus cards to avoid hassles with small change; these are usually indicated by a sticker in the windshield.
  • There are no extra late-night charges nor peak-hour surcharges. However, baggage carried in the boot (“trunk” if coming from North America) will cost you $5 per piece, except for wheelchairs. No charges are levied for travel to/from the airport or within downtown but all toll charges for tunnels are added to the bill. The driver will normally pay on your behalf at the toll booth and you just need to reimburse him before alighting.
  • Harbour crossing passengers (Hong Kong Island to Kowloon or vice versa) are expected to pay the return tolls. But you can use this to your advantage by picking a homebound taxi from a cross-harbour taxi rank in places like the Star Ferry pier or Hung Hom station. In these cross-harbour taxi stands only single toll charge will be applied to the taxi fare.
  • All taxi drivers are required to display inside the vehicle an official name card that includes the driver’s photograph and the license plate number. Unless a taxi has an out of service sign displayed, they are legally required to take you to your destination. They are also required to provide you a receipt upon request. If you think you have been “toured” around the city, or if they refuse to either carry you to your destination or provide for a receipt, you may file a complain to the Transport Complaints Unit Complaint Hotline (Voice mail service after office hours) at 2889-9999.
  • All taxis are radio equipped and can be reserved and requested via an operator for a token fee of $5, payable to the driver. You are unlikely to need to call a taxi, though, as they are plentiful.
  • It is good practice to get a local person to write the name or address of your destination in Chinese for you to hand to the taxi driver, as many drivers speak limited English and Mandarin. For example, if you wish take a journey back to your hotel, ask a receptionist for the hotel’s business card. Nevertheless, even if you don’t, most taxi drivers know enough English to communicate the basics. Buildings might have an English name used by foreigners and a different English name used by locals. The HSBC building in Central is called “Wui Fung Ngan Han” in Cantonese by taxi drivers for example.
  • Learning some Cantonese pronunciation for your location will help (especially as some names such as Hung Hom, don’t sound in Cantonese like they are written in English). “Do” (said like “Doe” – a deer, a female deer, with a middle tone) and “Gai” (said more like “Kai” with a rising tone) are the Cantonese words for Road and Street respectively. If you can pronounce your suburb and local road correctly, this will help considerably.

Mobile taxi apps are becoming widespread in Hong Kong. The advantage of using a taxi app is that you always get a fair price, all payments are done by card, there’s no need to call anyone, and you can get a taxi at any time in less than 10 minutes.

  • Uber, the global taxi giant, is available in Hong Kong. If you have an account from any other country, you can use it in Hong Kong as well. UberX costs about the same as taxis.

BY CAR:

Renting a car is almost unheard of in densely populated Hong Kong. With heavy traffic, a complex road network, rare and expensive parking spaces, and well-connected public transportation, renting a car is very unappealing. That said, there are parts of the New Territories, Lantau Island and southern Hong Kong Island that are poorly, or in some cases not at all served by public transport. Therefore, renting a car should not be ruled out if you intend to spend a significant amount of time hiking and camping in the countryside, particularly if you are staying in a suburban hotel. Expect to pay over $600/day even for a small car.

The legal age for driving passenger cars in Hong Kong is 18, the same as the mainland. Hong Kong allows most foreigners to drive with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to 12 months. Anyone who drives for more than 12 months is required to get a Hong Kong licence issued by the Department of Transport.

Hong Kong uses traffic rules and signs similar to the United Kingdom. Directional signs are generally bilingual in traditional Chinese and English. The majority of Hongkongers will exceed the speed limit by around 10 km/h which is the tolerated threshold. There are many speed cameras on most major highways. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for every passenger who has a seatbelt provided. Many drivers will not signal before changing lanes.

Traffic in Hong Kong moves on the left (the steering wheel is on right hand side), same as United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Thailand and Singapore, but opposite to mainland China.

BY BICYCLE:

In general, although cycling is possible, Hong Kong is not a bicycle-friendly place because of its hilly landscapes, government policies, air pollution and a general lack of consideration by many motorists. Locals sometimes cycle on the pavements if they are not crowded, although most of time, pavements are too crowded even for pushing your bike. If you plan to use busy urban roads you should be fit enough to keep up with the traffic, which moves surprisingly quickly.

A network of tarmac cycle tracks sprawl across the New Territories making it relatively easy to bike for longer distances. Unlike cycling in urban areas, riding on these tracks is quite enjoyable for the rural views along the way. There are also several mountain-bike trails in the country parks, although a permit is necessary to bring your bicycle into the parks. Visitors should comply with the Road User’s Guide which is based on the United Kingdom Highway Code. Visit this page for maps of major cycle tracks.

Bike rental is available in several locations across the territory. Popular rental spots include Cheung Chau, Mui Wo (Lantau), Sha Tin, Tai Po Market, Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan. Rental fees are typically $40–60 a day for a standard entry-level mountain bike, or around $150 per day for a higher-spec mountain or road bike.

BY ESCALATOR:

The world’s longest outdoor escalator travels from Central through Soho to the residential developments of the Mid-levels. The escalator moves down in the morning rush hour but up the rest of the time, and using it is free — in fact, you can even get Octopus credits from machines along the way for being willing to use your feet!

The escalator cuts through some of the oldest streets found anywhere in Hong Kong, so if you are happy to take a chance and just wander and explore the back streets you are likely to find something of interest that dates back to colonial times. The immediate area to the east of the escalator was once reserved for the exclusive use of Chinese people.

EAT:

Cuisine plays an important part in many peoples’ lives in Hong Kong. Not only is it a showcase of Chinese cuisines with huge regional varieties, but there are also excellent Asian and Western choices. Although Western food is often adapted to local tastes, Hong Kong is a good place for homesick travellers who have had enough of Chinese food. The Michelin guide to Hong Kong is considered to be the benchmark of good restaurants for many Western visitors. That said, for most locals, the Michelin guide is not taken particularly seriously, and Open Rice, which serves as Hong Kong’s equivalent of Yelp, is the go-to directory for restaurant reviews. The downside is that as it primarily caters to Hong Kong locals, most of the reviews are written in Chinese. According to Restaurant magazine, 4 of the best 100 restaurants in the world are in Hong Kong.

Due to its history as part of that region, unsurprisingly, much of the local cuisine in Hong Kong is very similar to that of neighbouring Guangdong. That being said, over a century of British rule means that the British have also left their mark on the local cuisine, with cakes and pastries being fairly popular among locals. Hong Kongers are also somewhat less adventurous than their fellow Cantonese speakers in mainland China, with several exotic ingredients such as dog and cat meat being banned in Hong Kong. It is also possible to find cuisine from practically every part of China, as many famous chefs fled from the mainland to Hong Kong to escape persecution by the communists in the aftermath the Chinese Civil War. In particular, the Hakkas and Teochews have left a significant impact on Hong Kong’s culinary culture, and there is no shortage of good Hakka and Teochew restaurants for those who have grown weary of Cantonese food.

You may meet some local people who haven’t cooked at home for a decade. Locals love to go out to eat since it is much more practical than socializing in crowded spaces at home. A long queue can be a local sport outside many good restaurants during peak hours. Normally, you need to register first, get a ticket and wait for empty seats. Reservations are usually only an option in upmarket restaurants.

Eating etiquette:

Chinese food is generally eaten with chopsticks. However, restaurants serving western food usually provide a knife, fork and spoon. Do not stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice, as this is reminiscent of incense sticks burning at the temple and has connotations of wishing death on those around you. In addition, chopsticks should not be used to move bowls and plates or make any noise. Dishes in smaller eateries might not come with a serving spoon, although staff will usually provide one if you request.

A few Hong Kong customs to be aware of:

  • To thank the person who pours your tea Cantonese style, tap two or three fingers on the table three times. The legend suggests a story involving a Chinese emperor travelling incognito and his loyal subjects wanting to kowtow (bow) to him without blowing their cover — hence the “finger kowtow”.
  • If you want more tea in the pot, leave the lid open, and it will be refilled.
  • It is not unusual for customers to rinse their plates and utensils with hot tea before starting their meal, and a bowl is often provided for this very purpose. This is due to the fact that cheaper restaurants may often have washing residues on dishes or utensils.
  • Except for very expensive places, there is no real dress code in Hong Kong. You will often see people in suits and others in t-shirts in the same restaurant.

Local foods, eating establishments, and costs:

You can usually tell how cheap (or expensive) the food is from the decor of the restaurant (menus are not always displayed outside restaurants). Restaurants in Soho in Central, in 5-star restaurants, or in other high-rent areas are usually more expensive than restaurants that are off the beaten path. It is easy to find places selling mains for well under $80, offering both local and international food. Local fast food chains such as Café de Coral (大家樂), Maxim’s MX (美心) and Fairwood (大快活) offer meals for $30–50, with standardised English menus for easy ordering. Yoshinoya (a Japanese chain) sell Japanese style Gyudon (beef and rice) and Teriyaki-style Chicken (with rice or noodles) for a very reasonable price. Mid-range restaurants generally charge in excess of $100 for mains. At the top end, fine dining restaurants, such as Felix or Aqua, can easily see you leave with a bill in excess of $1500 (including entrées (appetizers), mains, desserts and drinks). If your budget allows for it, Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of, if not the world’s best places to experience Chinese-style fine dining.

Dim sum 點心:

Dim sum (點心), literally means ‘to touch (your) heart’, is possibly the best known Cantonese dish. Served at breakfast and lunch, these delicately prepared morsels of Cantonese cuisine are often served with Chinese tea.

Dim Sum comes in countless variations with a huge price range from $8 to more than $100 per order. Common items include steamed shrimp dumplings (蝦餃 har gau), pork dumplings (燒賣 siu mai), barbecued pork buns (叉燒包 char siu bau), and Hong Kong egg tarts (蛋撻 dan tat), the first two being obligatory for local diners whenever they eat dim sum. Expect more choice in upmarket restaurants. One pot of tea with two dishes, called yak chung liang gin is a typical serving for breakfast.

Siu Mei 燒味:

Siu mei a general name for roast meats made in a Hong Kong style, including roasted crispy pork belly (燒肉 siu yuk), barbecued pork (叉燒 char siu), roast duck (燒鴨 siu aap) or soy sauce chicken (豉油雞 si yau gai). With the addition of a slightly crispy honey sauce layer, the final taste is of char siu a unique, deep barbecue flavour. Rice with roasted pork, roasted duck, pork with a crisp crackling, or Fragrant Queen’s chicken (香妃雞), are common dishes that are enduring favourites for many, including local superstars.It is recommended to taste the roasted pork with rice in ‘Sun-Can’ of PolyU.

Congee 粥:

Cantonese congee (粥 juk) is a thin porridge made with rice boiled in water. Served at breakfast, lunch or supper, the best version is as soft as ‘floss’, it takes up to 10 hours to cook the porridge to reach this quality. Congee is usually eaten with savoury Chinese doughnuts (油炸檜 yau char kway) and steamed rice pastry (腸粉 cheong fun) which often has a meat or vegetable filling.

Hong Kong has several restaurant chains that specialise in congee, but none of them have earned the word-of-mouth respect from local gourmets. The best congee places are usually in older districts, often owned by elderly people who are patient enough to spend hours making the best floss congee.

Noodles 麵:

When asked what food makes Hong Kong people feel home, wonton noodles (雲吞麵) is one of the favourite answers. Wonton are dumplings usually made from minced prawn but may contain small amounts of pork.

Rice pastry is also a popular dish from southern China. Found particularly in Teochew and Hokkien areas in China, its popularity is widespread throughout east Asia. In Hong Kong, it is usually served in soup with beef and fish balls and sometimes with deep-fried crispy fish skins.

Tong Sui 糖水:

A popular Cantonese dessert is a sweet soup called tong sui (糖水, literally sugar water). Popular versions are usually made with black sesame paste (芝麻糊), walnuts (核桃糊) or sago (西米露) which are usually sticky in texture. Other traditional ones include red bean paste (紅豆沙), green bean paste (綠豆沙) and tofu pudding (豆腐花). Lo ye (撈野) is a similar dish. Juice is put into a ultra-cold pan to make an ice paste, it is usually served with fresh fruit and sago.

Tea cafes & tea time 下午茶:

A uniquely Hong Kong-style eatery starting to make waves elsewhere in Asia is the cha chaan teng (茶餐廳), literally “tea cafe”, but offering fusion fast food that happily mixes Western and Eastern fare: innovations include noodles with Spam, stir-fried spaghetti and baked rice with cheese. Usually a wide selection of drinks is also available, almost always including the popular tea-and-coffee mix yuenyeung (鴛鴦), and perhaps more oddities (to the Western palate) like boiled Coke with ginger or iced coffee with lemon. Orders are usually recorded on a chit at your table and you pay at the cashier as you leave.

Showing signs of British colonial influence, tea time (Ha m cha) plays an important role in Hong Kong’s stressful office life. Usually starting at 2PM to 3PM, a typical tea set goes with a cup of ‘silk-stocking’ tea, egg tarts and sandwiches with either minced beef, egg or ham, but without vegetables and cheese.

Similar to Malaysian ‘teh tarik’, Hong Kong’s variation shares a similar taste. The key difference is that a sackcloth bag is used to filter the tea leaves and the tea-dyed sackcloth resembles silk stockings, giving the name ‘silk-stocking milk tea’. Milk tea, to some Hong Kong people, is an important indicator on the quality of a restaurant. If a restaurant fails to serve reasonably good milk tea, locals might be very harsh with their criticism. Yuanyang is also a popular drink mixed with milk tea and coffee.

A signal to tell you teatime has come is a small queue lining up in bakery to buy egg tarts (a teatime snack with outer pastry crust and filled with egg custard). Don’t attempt to make a fool of yourself by telling people that the egg tart was brought to Hong Kong by the British – many locals are assertive in claiming sovereignty over their egg tarts. When a long-established egg tart shop in Central was closed due to skyrocketing rental payments, it became the SAR’s main news and many people came to help the owners look for a new place.

For those who wish to have an authentic British high tea experience, the colonial Peninsula Hotel is one of the best places in Asia to do so.

To stuff your stomach in a grassroots Chaa Chan Teng (茶餐廳) (local tea restaurant), expect to pay $10–20 for milk, tea or coffee, $8–10 for a toast, and $25–50 for a dish of rice with meats. Wonton noodles generally cost $20–30.

Street food:

The cheapest food is in the popular street stalls. Most of the people working there do not speak much English and there is no English on the menu. However if you could manage to communicate, street-style eating is an excellent way to experience local food. Point, use fingers (or Cantonese numbers) and smile. They’re usually willing to help. Local specialities include curry fish meat balls (咖喱魚蛋), fake shark fin soup (碗仔翅) made with beans and vermicelli noodles, egg waffle (雞蛋仔), fried three filled treasures (煎釀三寶, vegetable filled with fish meat), fried intestines on a stick, fried squid or octopus and various meats on sticks (such as satay style chicken).

Fast food:

Most major fast food eateries are popular in Hong Kong and have reasonable prices. McDonald’s sells a Happy Meal set for $20–25.

Seafood 海鮮:

Seafood is very popular and is widely available. The best places to eat seafood include Sai Kung, Sam Shing, Po Doi O and Lau Fau Shan in the New Territories and Hong Kong’s islands, particularly Lamma and Cheung Chau, are abound with seafood restaurants. Seafood is not cheap. Prices range from $200 per head for a very basic dinner, to $300–500 for better choices and much more for the best on offer.

Expect to find a mismatch between the high prices for the food and the quality of the restaurant. Sometimes the best food is served in the most basic eateries where tables maybe covered in cheap plastic covers rather than a more formal tablecloth. Often, Cantonese people value the food more than the decor. If one of your travelling companions does not like seafood, don’t panic, many seafood restaurants have extensive menus that cater for all tastes. A number of seafood restaurants specialise in high quality roast chicken that is especially flavoursome. Many exotic delicacies like abalone, conch and bamboo clam can be found for sale in many seafood restaurants but you might want to avoid endangered species such as shark and juvenile fish.

Exotic meats:

While Hong Kong has long banned dog and cat meat and has strict rules on importing many meats of wild animals, snake meat is commonly seen in winter in different restaurants that bear the name “Snake King”. Served in a sticky soup, it is believed to warm your body.

There’s an ongoing debate over the consumption of shark fin in Hong Kong, which is the biggest importer of this exotic cuisine. Commonly served at wedding parties and other important dining events, shark fin is served in a carefully prepared stew usually at $80 per bowl to $1000. The consumption of shark fin is a controversial topic and the Hong Kong WWF is campaigning against consumption of this.

Besides exotic meats, you will also see chicken feet, pig’s noses and ears, lungs, stomachs, duck’s heads, various types of intestines, livers, kidneys, black pudding (blood jelly) and duck’s tongues on the Chinese dining tables.

International cuisine:

Due to the large number of foreign residents in Hong Kong, there are many restaurants that serve authentic international cuisine at all price levels. This includes various types of Japanese, Thai, Indian, American and European foods. These can often be found in, though not restricted to, entertainment districts such as Lan Kwai Fong, Soho or Knutsford Terrace. Of these, Soho is probably the best for eating as Lan Kwai Fong is primarily saturated with bars and clubs. Top chefs are often invited or try to make their way to work in Hong Kong.

Home-dining:

Home-dining is catching on to be a very popular trend in Hong Kong. BonAppetour is a great way to discover local chefs who would love to have you over for an evening dinner. It’s a great way to make friends over home-made food, and company.

Barbecue:

Barbecue (BBQ) meals are a popular local pastime. Many areas feature free public barbecue pits where everybody roasts their own food, usually with long barbeque forks. It’s not just sausages and burgers – the locals enjoy cooking a variety of things at BBQ parties, such as fish, beef meatballs, pork meatballs, chicken wings, and so on. A good spot is the Southern Hong Kong Island, where almost every beach is equipped with many free BBQ spots. Just stop by a supermarket and buy food, drinks and BBQ equipment. The best spots are Shek O (under the trees at the left hand side of the beach) and Big Wave Bay.

Wet markets:

Wet markets are still prevalent. Freshness is a key ingredient to all Chinese food, so frozen meat and vegetables are frowned upon, and most markets display freshly butchered beef and pork (with entrails), live fish in markets, and more exotic shellfish, frogs, turtles and sea snails. Local people often go to the market everyday to buy fresh ingredients, just like the restaurants.

Cooked food centres:

Cooked food centres are often found in the same building as some of the indoor wet markets. Tables that used to be on the street have been swept into sterile concrete buildings. Inside, the atmosphere is like a food court without the frills. Cooked food centres provide economic solutions to diners, but you might need to take along a Cantonese speaker, or be brave.

Supermarkets:

Supermarkets include Wellcome and Park N Shop. Speciality supermarkets catering to Western and Japanese tastes include City Super and Great. 24 hour convenience stores 7-Eleven and Circle K can be found almost anywhere in urban areas.

Dietary restrictions:

As many people in Hong Kong’s Indian community are Hindu or Muslim, your best bet for religious diets that fall into those categories are restaurants that serve those communities. The Islamic Trust is Hong Kong’s halal certification body, and Muslims visitors can contact them for more information about halal food in Hong Kong. Due to the small size of Hong Kong’s Jewish community, kosher food is rare, though the web-site of the Ohel Leah Synagogue has information on where kosher food can be found.

Vegetarians should look for specialist vegetarian restaurants that primarily serve devout Buddhists. Some Buddhist temples may also sell vegetarian food during the weekends or various Buddhist festivals. As Chinese Buddhist vegetarian food does not usually make use of eggs or dairy products, it is almost always suitable for vegans.

People with allergies will have difficulty in Hong Kong, as awareness of common allergies is poor. Gluten-free diets in particular are very hard to come by as coeliac disease is very rare in Hong Kong, and much of Hong Kong’s local cuisine makes heavy use of soy sauce. Dairy is somewhat more common in Hong Kong than in mainland China due to the stronger British influence, but nevertheless does not feature very prominently in traditional Cantonese cuisine, so lactose-intolerant people should not have any major issues finding something suitable for them.

DRINK:

Tea:

As with the rest of China, tea is a popular beverage in Hong Kong, and is served at practically every eatery. Chinese teas are the most commonly served, though many places also serve English-style milk tea. In summer ‘Ice Lemon Tea’ is a common option that is rather bitter and needs some sugar to counter this.

Alcohol:

Some Chinese people do drink a lot but generally speaking there are many neighbourhoods in Hong Kong without much in the way of a bar or pub. Drinking alcohol with food is acceptable, but there is no expectation to order alcohol with your meal in any restaurant. A number of popular restaurants do not sell alcohol because of a licence restriction.

Lan Kwai Fong (Central), Wanchai and Knutsford Terrace (Kowloon) are the three main drinking areas where locals, expats and tourists mingle together. Here you will certainly find a party atmosphere, and can expect to see many ‘merry’ expats in these areas. LKF and Wan Chai are particularly rowdy yet fun places to party. The minimum age for drinking in a bar is 18 years. There is usually a requirement for young adults to prove their age, especially when going to a nightclub. The accepted ID in clubs is either your passport or a Hong Kong ID card. Photocopies are rarely accepted due to minors using fake documents.

Some clubs in Lan Kwai Fong have imposed a dress code on customers and tourists are of no exception. As a general rule, shorts or pants that are above knee length should be avoided.

Drinking out in Hong Kong can be expensive. Beer usually starts from $50 for a pint and more in a bar popular among expats. However, away from the tourist trail, some Chinese restaurants may have a beer promotion aimed at meeting the needs of groups of diners. In cooked food centres, usually found at the wet markets, young women are often employed to promote a particular brand of beer. Convenience stores and supermarkets sell a reasonable range of drinks. The 7-Eleven in Lan Kwai Fong is a very popular ‘bar’ for party-animals on a budget.

During Wednesdays and Thursdays Ladies night applies in some bars in Wan Chai and Lan Kwai Fong, which in most cases means that women can enter bars and clubs for free, and in some rare cases also get their drinks paid for the night. At weekends, several bars and clubs in these areas also have an ‘open bar’ for some of the night, which means you can drink as much as you like.

San Miguel (Cantonese name: Seng Lik), Tsing Tao (Ching Dou), Carlsberg (Ga Si Bak), Blue Girl(Lam Mui), Heineken(Hei Lik) and Sol are popular in the town. There is no longer any tax on wine or beer in Hong Kong.

Budget:

While it is possible to get a dorm bed for $120–150, a single room for $270–400, and a double room for $400–500, you should not expect anything in these rooms except a bed, with barely enough space in the room to open the door. Accommodation with reasonable space, decoration, and cleanness is usually priced from $150–200 for a dorm bed, $450–600 for a single room, $700 for a double room, and $800 for a triple room.

Most cheap guesthouses are found along Nathan Road between Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok. Expect a tiny, undecorated room with just enough room for a bed. Bathrooms are often shared and noise could be a problem for light sleepers. Be sure to read the online reviews before booking as bed bugs, dirty beds, and unclean bathrooms have been reported. Keep your expectations as realistically low as possible.

Popular guesthouse clusters are inside the 17-floor Chungking Mansions Tower (Nathan Road 36-44) (重慶大廈 in Chinese, nicknamed Chungking Jungles by some local people), Mirador Mansions (美麗都大廈) in Tsim Sha Tsui, and New Lucky House (華豐大廈) (15 Jordan Road). These towers are all in the city center and close to the buses to/from the airport. While these towers are regarded as slums by the locals, if you ignore the fake watch sellers and disturbing pimps, the towers are well-patrolled and safe.

Another cluster of hostels and guesthouses can be found on Paterson Street near Causeway Bay. While not as central as the mansions, the internet connections are more reliable and the rooms are generally clean. However, they are still small and cramped. Do not expect a great atmosphere or spacious rooms.

Notice that some drab “guesthouses”, especially those in Kowloon Tong, Mong Kok, and Causeway Bay, may actually be love hotels.

The Hong Kong Youth Hostel Association operates 7 youth hostels. All of them are outside of the city and cost $100–$300 to reach via taxi when public transport service is not operating. All but the one on Hong Kong Island also have strict curfew rules and require guests to leave the site from 10AM to 4PM (1PM-3PM on public holidays). Free shuttle bus service is provided by several hostels but the service stops at 10:30PM.

The government advises travellers to stay in hostels with licences, this website may help you a lot: The Office of Licensing Authority maintains an online list of licensed accommodation establishments.

There are 41 camping sites in Hong Kong. The facilities are on a “first-come-first-served” basis and places are booked quickly during weekends and public holidays. You are not allowed to camp other than in a designated camp site (identified by the sign board erected by the Country and Marine Parks Authority) and this rule is strictly enforced.

Mid-range:

If the mansions and hostels are too cramped for you, Hong Kong is a good place to spend a bit extra and get a proper hotel room. Many rooms in basic business hotels in the city center can be had for $700 per night.

Splurge:

For affluent travellers, Hong Kong houses some of the best world class hotels that run a fierce competition for your wallets by offering pick-up service by helicopter, a Michelin star restaurant, and extravagant spas. Major international chains are also well-represented. Five-star hotels include The Peninsula, Four Seasons, Le Meridien, W, InterContinental, JW Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La, and Mandarin Oriental. Rooms usually start from $3,000.

There are also some four star hotels such as Marriott, Novotel, and Crowne Plaza. Prices start from around $1,500, depending on the season.

Antiques and arts Head for Hollywood Road and Lascar Road in Central. Here you will find a long street of shops with a wide selection of products that look like antiques. Some items are very good fakes, so make sure you know what you are buying. Try Star House near the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui for more expensive items.

Books Hong Kong houses a fair choice of English books, Japanese, French titles, and a huge range of uncensored Chinese titles. Prices are usually higher than where they import but it is your last hope to look for your books before heading to China. Try Swindon Books on Lock Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. Dymocks, an Australian bookshops, has eleven stores, including in IFC and the Princes Building. For French books, visit Librairie Parentheses on Wellington Street in Central and Japanese books are sold in Sogo Shopping Mall in Causeway Bay. The biggest local bookshop chain is the Commercial Press and they usually have cheaper but limited English titles. For looking for Chinese books, local people’s beloved bookshops are all along Sai Yeung Choi Street. Called Yee Lau Sue Den (Bookshop on second floor), they hide themselves in the upper floor of old buildings and offer an unbeatable discount on all books.

Cameras Reputable camera stores are mainly in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok but tourist traps do exist, especially in Tsim Sha Tsui. The basic rule is to avoid all the shops with flashing neon signs along Nathan Road and look for a shop with plenty of local, non-tourist, customers. Only use recommended shops, as shops such as those on Nathan Road are likely to disappear on your next visit to Hong Kong. For easy shopping, get an underground train to Mongkok and head to Sai Yeung Choi Street, where you might find some of the best deals. The Mong Kok Computer Centre and Galaxy Mall (Sing Jai) are always packed with local people. Several camera shops like Man-Sing and Yau-Sing are known for their impolite staff but have a reputation for selling at fair prices. In the 1990s and early 2000s, most shops didn’t allow much bargaining, but this has changed since 2003 with the influx of tourists from mainland China. While it is hard to tell how much discount you should ask for, if a shop can give you more than 25-30% discount, local people tend to believe that it’s too good to be true, unless it’s a listed seasonal sale. While Hong Kong might offer favourable prices, it is always worth checking prices at Hong Kong based e-commerce such as DigitalRev or Expansys that might ship products to your hotel within a day or at least use their price to bargain with retailers.

Computers The base price of computer equipment in Hong Kong is similar to that in other parts of the world, but there are substantial savings to be had from the lack of sales tax or VAT. The Wanchai Computer Centre, Mongkok Computer Centre and Golden Computer Arcade on Sham Shui Po are all a few steps away from their corresponding MTR stations. Also electronic equipment is available at the large chain stores such as Broadway and Fortress which are in the large malls. The major chain stores will accept credit cards, while smaller shops will often insist on cash or payment by ATM card.

Computer games and gaming hardware If you are interested in buying a new PlayStation, Nindendo DS and the like, the Oriental Shopping Centre, 188 Wan Chai Road, is the place to go. Here you will definitely find a real bargain. Prices can be up to 50% cheaper than in your home country. Be careful to compare prices first. There are also a few game shops in the Wanchai Computer Centre. The back corners in the upper levels usually offer the best prices. You might even be lucky and find English speaking staff here. However, be careful to make sure that the region code of the hardware is compatible with your home country’s region code (Hong Kong’s region code is NTSC-J, different from mainland China) or buy region code free hardware (like the Nintendo DS lite).

Cosmetics Hong Kong offers a huge range of brand-name make-up, perfume, and skin care products, which are popular purchases for visitors from the mainland. You can find them at malls, department stores, and major shopping areas – for instance, Mong Kok has lots of stores selling cosmetics and skin care products, including some shops that specialize in a particular brand. There are also chains: Sasa and Bonjour have a huge range of products, and other options include Angel, Aster, Colormix, Lan Lan, and the drugstores Mannings and Watsons.

Music and film HMV is a tourist-friendly store that sells a wide range of more expensive products. For real bargains you should find your way into the smaller shopping centres where you will find small independent retailers selling CDs and DVDs at very good prices. Some shops sell good quality second hand products. Try the Oriental Shopping Centre on Wanchai Road for a range of shops and a taste of shopping in a more down-market shopping centre. Alternatively, brave the warren of CD and DVD shops inside the Sino Centre on Nathan Road between Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei MTR stations. Hong Kong has two independent music stores. White Noise Records in Causeway Bay and Harbour Records in TST. Hong Kong’s leading department store Lane Crawford has CD Bars in its IFC and Pacific Place stores and there’s a good CD bar at Saffron Café on the Peak.

Camping and sports A good place to buy sportswear is close to Mong Kok MTR station. Try Fa Yuen Street with a lot of shops selling sports shoes. There are also many shops hidden anywhere except the ground floor for selling camping equipment. Prices are usually highly competitive.

Fashion Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon and Causeway Bay on the island are the most popular shopping destinations, though you can find malls all over the territory. In addition to all the major international brands, there are also several local Hong Kong brands such as Giordano, Bossini, G2000, Joyce and Shanghai Tang. The International Finance Centre in Central has a good selection of haute coutre labels for the filthy rich, while for cheap knock-offs, Temple Street in Mong Kok is the obvious destination, though prices are not as cheap as they used to be and these days, most locals head across the border to Shenzhen for cheaper bargains. There is also Citygate Outlets, an extremely large factory outlet mall containing most of the major foreign and local brands near Tung Chung MTR station on Lantau Island. In the Ladies Market or any markets nearby, there are no price tags on items. Most of the time, the price the merchant will quote you is double the price. Haggle with them and ask to reduce the price at least by 50%. In fact similar clothing items (lower price but fixed) can be found in brick and mortar shops nearby too (e.g. Sai Yeung Choi street).

Tea Buying good Chinese tea is like choosing a fine wine and there are many tea retailers that cater for the connoisseur who is prepared to pay high prices for some of China’s best brews. To sample and learn about Chinese tea you might like to find the Tea Museum which is in Hong Kong Park in Central. Marks & Spencer caters for homesick Brits by supplying traditional strong English tea bags at a reasonable price.

Watches and jewellery Hong Kong people are avid watch buyers – how else can you show your wealth if you can’t own a car and your home is hidden at the top of a tower-block? You will find a wide range of jewellery and watches for sale in all major shopping areas. If you are targeting elegant looking jewellery or watches try Chow Tai Fook, which can be expensive. Prices vary and you should always shop around and try and bargain on prices. When you are in Tsim Sha Tsui you will probably be offered a “copy watch” for sale. The major luxury brands have their own shops that will ensure you are purchasing genuine items.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Hong_Kong
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Victoria Peak
Location: Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Victoria Peak is a hill on the western half of Hong Kong Island. With an elevation of 552 m it is the highest hill on Hong Kong island, ranked 31 in terms of elevation in Hong Kong (Tai Mo Shan is the highest point in Hong Kong with an elevation of 957 m).

The summit is occupied by a radio telecommunications facility and is closed to the public. However, the surrounding area of public parks and high-value residential land is the area that is normally meant by the name The Peak. It offers views of Central, Victoria Harbour, Lamma Island, and the surrounding islands.

With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It has views of the city and its waterfront. The viewing deck also has coin-operated telescopes that the visitors can use to enjoy the cityscape. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other. Victoria Peak Garden is located on the site of Mountain Lodge, the Governor's old summer residence, and is the closest publicly accessible point to the summit.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Peak
Name: Tian Tan Buddha
Location: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is sited near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith. It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a tourist attraction.

The statue's base is a model of the Altar of Heaven or Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. One of the five large Buddha statues in China, it is enthroned on a lotus on top of a three-platform altar. The statue is 34 metres tall, weighs over 250 metric tons, and was constructed from 202 bronze pieces. Reputedly the figure can be seen across the bay from as far away as Macau on a clear day. Visitors have to climb 268 steps to reach the Buddha, though the site also features a small winding road for vehicles to accommodate the handicapped.

When the statue was completed, monks from around the world were invited to the opening ceremony. Distinguished visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United States all took part in the proceedings.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tian_Tan_Buddha
Name: Ngong Ping 360
Location: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Intended to improve tourism to the area, it consists of the Ngong Ping Cable Car and the Ngong Ping Village, a retail / entertainment centre adjacent to the cable car's upper station. Ngong Ping 360 connects Tung Chung, on the north coast of Lantau and itself linked to central Hong Kong by the Tung Chung Line, with the Ngong Ping area in the hills above. This is home to the Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha, both already significant tourist attractions in their own right. Before Ngong Ping 360's opening, the only access was via a mountain road and bus service.

Ngong Ping 360 is owned by the MTR Corporation, the operator of Hong Kong's rail system. It was built by Leitner Ropeways and was originally operated by Skyrail-ITM. Skyrail-ITM was removed from the project after an investigation following an incident in June 2007. It is now operated by a directly owned subsidiary of the MTR Corporation.

Ngong Ping Village's international cable car gallery has cable car replicas from various countries including China, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, Austria, France, Italy, Germany etc.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngong_Ping_360
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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