The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), a former British colony which was reunited with the People's Republic of China in 1997, welcomes millions of international travellers every year for business and tourism.
Hong Kong is situated on the southeast coast of China at the mouth of the Pearl River facing the South China Sea. Covering an area of 1,104 square kilometres (425 square miles), the territory is made up of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. At the core is Victoria Harbour, which separates Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. As well as making up the bulk of Hong Kong's land mass, the New Territories also incorporates 262 outlying islands, including Lantau where the airport is located.
Language : Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin) and English
Population : More than 7 million
Time Zone : GMT +8 Hours
Voltage : 200/220 volts
Mobile Phones : GSM 900/PCS1800/CDMA/3G
International Calling Code : Dial +852 to call a Hong Kong number from overseas. There are no regional codes.
Unlike travel to Mainland China, travel to Hong Kong for visits of less than three months is visa-free for most nationalities. A passport is required. Note that separate entry requirements apply for travel from the HKSAR to Mainland China, and to the Macau SAR.
Visa Requirements from the HKSAR Immigration Department
Due to differences in legistrations of countries, some items considered legal in other countries may breach the laws of Hong Kong. Please visit The Hong Kong Police Website for advice to visitors.
The unit of money is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). Credit cards are accepted in hotels as well as shopping malls. You may wish to purchase an Octopus card, a stored-value 'smart card', which is a popular and convenient way to pay transit fares and make small purchases.
There are no sales, duty or value-added taxes in Hong Kong.
A 10% service charge is added to hotel and restaurant bills. Additional tipping is optional.
Bank Hours : 09:00am to 16:30pm (Monday - Friday); 09:00am to 12:30pm or 13:30pm (Saturday); Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays
Office Hours : 09:00am to 17:00pm (Monday - Friday); 09:00am to 13:00pm (Saturday)
Shop Hours : 10:00am to 19:00pm or 22:00pm every day
Medical Services & Health
Medical services are at a high standard, though public hospitals can be crowded and private clinics may be more expensive.
We recommend not drinking water from the tap. Complimentary bottled drinking water is available in our hotel rooms.
A light raincoat may be useful from mid May to mid September, the summer rainy season. A sweater is recommended for indoors, particularly in the summer months, when the air conditioning can be quite cold. Coats are necessary from December to February.
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate.
Spring (Mar - May): The temperature and humidity are rising. Evening can be cool.
Summer (Jun – Aug): The weather is hot, humid and sunny with occasional showers and thunderstorms. The temperature can exceed 31C.
Autumn (Sep – Nov): There are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard these as the best months of the year to visit Hong Kong.
Winter (Dec – Feb): Cool, dry and cloudy, with occasional cold fronts. The temperature can drop below 10°C in urban areas.
For most updates about Hong Kong weather, please visit http://www.weather.gov.hk More useful information could be found on: Discover Hong Kong
Ladies Market – Mongkok
One of the most popular shopping street markets in Hong Kong, Ladies' Market is a must-visit destination for fashion lovers with an eye for bargain-priced clothing, bags, accessories, toys, cosmetics and household knick-knacks. The stalls making up this enjoyable market can be found on Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok. It is open from noon until 11:30pm.
Clock Tower – Tsim Sha Tsui
The old Clock Tower near the Star Ferry concourse in Tsim Sha Tsui is a declared monument and a landmark from the Age of Steam, when it formed part of the Kowloon - Canton Railway terminus.
Erected in 1915, the distinctive 44-metre red brick and granite tower is a graceful reminder of those Colonial times. But over many pre-war years it had far greater significance for innumerable Chinese migrants for whom the former terminus was the conduit to new lives either in Hong Kong or by ship to distant destinations overseas.
Today, the site of the historic railway station is occupied by the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, its curving roof and futuristic features creating an unusual background to the Clock Tower.
Kowloon Walled City Park
Few areas of Hong Kong have a richer historical background than the Kowloon Walled City Park, originally the site of a walled fort.
A senior mandarin commanded the garrison with his own administrative headquarters in an official "Yamen". While not particularly distinctive to look at, being a rectangular structure with a typical tiled roof, a Yamen represented the power of the Emperor as passed down to the Mandarin in charge, and so was both highly respected and feared by those who passed it.
In the 1830s, some westerners found that Victoria Harbour was an ideal anchorage place for vessels. At that time, the site of the later Kowloon Park was an important military base over-looking the Harbour. In 1861, the British occupied Kowloon peninsula and named the base as Whitfield Barracks.
Kowloon Park was officially opened on 24 June 1970 by the then Governor, Sir David Trench. In 1989, the park was redeveloped and it has a total area of 13.3 hectares, offering a full range of recreational facilities e.g. Chinese Garden, Sculpture Walk and Sculpture Garden, Bird Lake, Aviary…etc.
Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong's greatest assets, a jewel that people marvel at, no matter how many times they visit the city. People come from all over the world to see and admire it.
Visit the Avenue of Stars along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade for spectacular harbor views and to catch the magnificent A Symphony of Lights featuring more than 40 Hong Kong’s skyscrapers in a stunning multimedia extravaganza.
Hong Kong Island
Lan Kwai Fong - Central
When the lights go down, the "in crowd" heads for Lan Kwai Fong, a buzzing centre of clubs, bars and restaurants. This cheerful warren of Western-style restaurants, nightclubs, delicatessens and bars is a must for night owls and people watchers. Lan Kwai Fong is an L-shaped, cobble-stoned lane surrounded by Central's cluster of skyscrapers. Nearby lanes are also buzzing with bistros and pubs in Hong Kong's trendiest nightlife area.
Soho - Central
Stroll along nearby Hollywood Road and you'll soon discover Hong Kong's "SoHo", the area "South of Hollywood Road". It offers a wide range of upmarket international restaurants and bars along Staunton Street, Elgin Street and Shelley Street. Jump on what Guinness World Records calls the world's longest covered escalator and experience the cosmopolitan atmosphere of this popular food district. Here you'll enjoy international fare from New Orleans to Nepal, Mexico to Malaysia, Provence to Portugal.
The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong. It is absolutely incredible! Looking down from The Peak, you'll be amazed by the spectacular view of the surrounding city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides. Pulled by steel cables, the Peak Tram climbs 373 metres (about 1,200 feet). It's so steep that the buildings you pass look like they're leaning!
Ocean Park – Wong Chuk Hang
Ocean Park Hong Kong is one of Hong Kong's favourite attractions, featuring rides, exhibits and conservation facilities. Ocean Park is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, covering more than 870,000 square metres of land. There are three attraction areas, which are the Lowland, the Headland and Tai Shue Wan. The three areas are connected by a cable car, outdoor escalator which is the second longest in the world and Ocean Express. Popular attractions have included the 'Amazing Asian Animals' exhibit, Sea Jelly Spectacular, Ocean Theatre, Abyss Turbo Drop, the Mine Train and new and fun-filled entertainment facilities are introduced from time to time and the Master Development Plan is now underway.
Man Mo Temple - Central
Man Mo Temple is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). The temple is located about halfway along the road and a stop in its quiet, incense-shrouded interior makes a pleasant break. You can see giant incense coils hanging overhead.
A popular market town on the sunny south side of Hong Kong Island, Stanley's relaxed ambience, crisp sea environs and bargain buys have made it world famous.
Seven days a week the open market around Stanley New Street and Stanley Market Road throbs with the passing parade of life as bargain-hunters from all over the world join in the fun of haggling with shopkeepers and stallholders. Choose from brand-name clothing and accessories, or simply irresistible souvenirs, ornaments and other Oriental knick-knacks. The market is open from 10:30am to 6:30pm.
Stanley also has beautiful beaches that are popular with windsurfers. And when you're feeling peckish, you'll find a wide variety of funky bars and great restaurants to enjoy.
Times Square – Causeway Bay
Times Square features a variety of shops, restaurants and cinemas located in the heart of the action in Causeway Bay. And just like its namesake in New York City, it has become a great place to count down the New Year!
Happy Valley Racecourse – Happy Valley
Attending a race meeting under the dazzling lights of the Happy Valley Racecourse is an opportunity to capture the essence and the vitality of Hong Kong Chinese culture. To enjoy all the action of this spectacle, join a Come Horseracing Tour during the annual September to June / early July only horseracing season.
Hong Kong Global Geopark of China
You don’t have to be a rock buff to enjoy the Hong Kong National Geopark. Located in the East and Northeast New Territories, the park includes the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region and showcases Hong Kong’s timeless and eerily beautiful landforms.
The Giant Buddha
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to the Giant Buddha which sits serenely atop Ngong Ping plateau amid the spectacular mountain scenery of Lantau Island.
The eyes, lips, incline of the head and even the right hand (raised to deliver a blessing to all), combine to lend great depth of character and dignity to this xtraordinary statue.
The majestic figure of the seated Buddha was cast in China and took 12 years to complete. It was unveiled in December 1993 amid deeply religious ceremonies.
Visitors can climb more than 200 steps to reach the platform where the Buddha is seated.
Tai O Fishing Village with Stilt House
For a look at a rare example of a Chinese stilt-house community, head to the far northwestern coast edge of Lantau Island. This is home to the Tanka people, a community of fisherfolk who have built their homes on stilts above the tidal flats for generations because they do not feel safe on land.
Their enchanting world is an amateur photographer's paradise. Interestingly, a new manually-operated drawbridge spans the narrow creek that divides the town. It replaces an old-fashioned rope-drawn "ferry" that operated for over 85 years! The village is accessible by an hour-long bus ride from Mui Wo or Tung Chung.
Taxis in Hong Kong are plentiful and inexpensive and can be taken from the hotel to any business or entertainment destinations in town. The red cab flagfall is HK$20 and another HK$ 1-$1.5 is payable for every additional 200 meters. The passenger must pay the harbour tunnel toll to and from Hong Kong Island or Kowloon side.
The MTR network serves many destinations on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon, in the New Territories, and even Lantau Island, and Shenzhen in the mainland. Its 174.7km of track covers 82 stations on the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island, Tung Chung, Tseung Kwan O, East Rail, West Rail, Ma On Shan and Disneyland Resort lines.
Hong Kong has an extensive network of bus routes covering virtually all areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories and Lantau Island. Services to most areas are frequent and operate from early morning to around midnight. Please contact the concierge for advice on where best to board them.
The historic double-decker tramway runs on Hong Kong Island between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, with a branch in Happy Valley. This mode of transport has been travelling through Hong Kong's busiest thoroughfares since 1904 and continues to be a great way to get around. Sit next to the window on the upper deck to get the best views. Neighbourhoods along the way include some of Hong Kong's most colourful: Western district, Wan Chai, Happy Valley, Causeway Bay and North Point.
An icon of the city for decades, the Star Ferry offers passengers a memorable and scenic boat trip across one of the most-photographed harbours in the world. Star Ferry covers two routes: one between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, and one between Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai.