About Hong Kong
Hong Kong, with a population of 7.15 million, is a city of energy! It is international – a city where East meets West. However, do not be mistaken, Hong Kong is truly a Chinese city with people of Chinese descent comprise 92% of the population, with foreign nationals comprising 8%.
Hong Kong’s official languages are English and Chinese. English is extensively used in the Government and by the legal, professional and business sectors. Cantonese is commonly spoken; however, Mandarin, the official language of China, is also widely used.
Hong Kong Tourism Board
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is fantastic that it provides a wealth of free and excellent information for travelers. You may visit HKTB’s homepage or call their hotline for visitors at (852) 2508 1234 for more information.
Hong Kong’s climate is sub-tropical. During Autumn (from September to November), 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. You may wish to know more about the local climate at Hong Kong Observatory’s homepage.
A valid passport is the only document that most people will need to enter Hong Kong. Keep your passport in an inconspicuous, safe place, and carry your passport with you. If you lose your passport, please immediately contact the nearest embassy or consulate and the local police.
To check whether you need a visa to visit Hong Kong or not, please visit Hong Kong Immigration Department’s homepage.
Travel to Mainland China
If you plan for a trip to mainland China, you will probably need a visa. Visa can be obtained in Hong Kong. You can visit the following websites for details about China visa application:
Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited
Getting into Downtown
Airport Express is the quickest and most efficient way to get to downtown Hong Kong. After you pass through the customs and enter the arrival hall of the airport, you can see the Airport Express station is straight ahead. The trains run every 10 minutes from 05:50 to 01:15 daily and take approximately 24 minutes from the airport to the downtown. For train schedule and fare details, please click here.
Buses offer a comfortable and inexpensive transport option to and from most parts of Hong Kong. For further details of the bus routes and schedules to and from the airport, please click here.
Taxis can take you to anywhere to and from the airport and are categorized by 3 colors: red, green and blue. Each color indicates their operating areas: red taxis serve throughout most of Hong Kong, except for Tung Chung Road on Lantau Island and the entire south side of Lantau Island; green taxis operate only in the New Territories and specific roads in Lantau; blue taxis only serve all destinations in Lantau and the airport.
The fare for the first 2 kilometers of red, green and blue taxis is: HK$22, HK18.5 and HK$17 respectively. Taxi passengers using the Lantau Link are required to pay an additional toll fare of HK$30, and additional fares are also charged for using toll tunnels. It takes about 45 minutes from the airport to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and costs approximately HK$235. For further details of the transport to/from the airport, please click here.
The legal tender in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of about HKD7.8 to USD1 (exchange rates may fluctuate slightly). Banknotes are issued by 3 commercial banks: HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of China. For more information about Hong Kong’s banknotes and coins, please click here.
Another means of payments commonly accepted in Hong Kong is credit cards (e.g. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa). There are many automatic teller machines in Hong Kong, and they are reliable and safe. They offer a wide range of services. To draw money from a Hong Kong ATM with either a credit or a debit card, you must have your personal identification number (PIN). So please make sure you have your PIN before traveling to Hong Kong. Exchange stores charge a handling fee for exchanging money and cashing traveler’s cheques.
You can exchange Hong Kong dollars at the airport, hotels, banks, and other exchange stores. However, banks may provide you with more competitive rates. You may wish to have local currency exchanged before you leave your city to avoid lines at the airport exchange booths.