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Hong Kong travel info
General information for the traveller new to Hongkong.
Visas All visitors to Hong Kong must satisfy Hong Kong Immigration that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while in Hong Kong, e.g. cash, travellers’ cheques, international credit cards or details of a hotel reservation and an outbound ticket (unless they plan to exit overland via China or Macau).
Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods varying from seven days to six months depending on nationality. For details check with Hong Kong Immigration or your nearest Chinese Embassy. If you are also visiting Mainland China you will need a separate China Visa.
Hong Kong law demands that everybody carry identification at all times.
Customs Currency – there is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency which can be taken into and out of Hong Kong.
Visitors may take the following into Hong Kong duty free:
Tobacco – either 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco
Alcohol – 1 litre bottle of wine or spirits
Time Hong Kong time: GMT + 8 hours
Currency Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) – Check current exchange rates. 100 cents = HK$1 Notes issued – HK$1,000, HK$500, HK$100, HK$50, HK$20 Coins issued – HK$10, HK$5, HK$2, HK$1, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents
Language Cantonese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely spoken and all signs are in both languages; however it is a great help to have a map with place names written in English and Chinese when travelling around Hong Kong.
A useful tip for non-Chinese speakers is to look for policemen/women wearing a red flash under the epaulettes on their uniform as these speak English.
Tipping Most hotels and larger restaurants add 10% service charge. If you have appreciated the service add 5 -10% in restaurants and bars and tip porters/hotel staff HK$5-HK$10. In taxis, rounding the fare to up to the nearest dollar or so is acceptable.
Banking Hours Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm Saturday 9.00 am to 12.30 pm
Telephone The international dialling code for Hong Kong is 852 (there are no other area codes within Hong Kong). When making international telephone calls, first dial 001 + country code + area code + telephone number
Electricity 220V AC at 50 cycles The majority of sockets are suitable for 3 pin square plugs, although some older buildings still have the old fashioned 3 pin round sockets. Adapters can be borrowed from larger hotels or bought cheaply if necessary.
Water Tap water is safe to drink and satisfies UNHO health standards. Bottled water is also widely available.
Health Make sure that you have adequate health insurance, as medical care can be expensive in Hong Kong. It is advisable to be inoculated against Hepatitis A and to be aware that some smaller eating establishments have less than scrupulous hygiene standards. Check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.
International Airport Hong Kong International Airport (opened in July 1998) at Chek Lap Kok.
International Airport Departure Tax HK$50 for all persons aged 12 years and above departing Hong Kong. Departure tax is waived for all transit passengers.
Etiquette/Dress Code In general, casual to smart clothes are worn in the city areas of Hong Kong; although some restaurants and bars do have a dress code. At weekends and in the country areas casual clothes are de riguer. On beaches, topless sunbathing is never acceptable.
Diplomatic Missions Over 70 countries have consulates in Hong Kong.
Useful Sources of Information For further information contact the Hong Kong Tourist Association.