Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city that offers a great urban getaway. It is generally safe for tourists, and it has an excellent public transportation system. Now having reunified with China, Hong Kong is set apart from mainland China thanks to its years of being under the British.

The city boasts of a vibrant nightlife scene, and offers something for families with Disneyland being easily accessible. Markets and malls will offer a range of different shopping experiences.

Hong Kong offers one a true perspective of high density living. It truly has to be seen to be appreciated.

Getting there

Hong Kong is well connected to the rest of world by several major carriers who all fly into Chek Lap Kok International Airport. Cathay Pacific is their national carrier, and there are direct flights from all around the world.

Hong Kong offers visa-free entryor visa-on-arrival to nationals of nations with which they have reciprocal agreements with.

When in Hong Kong, the most efficient way to get around is by using public transport. Ticketing is electronic. The most popular electronic ticket is the Octopus card, which is accepted on the Hong Kong MTR, and can also be loaded with cash so that you can pay for purchases at a range of stores.

Hong Kong’s train network is known as the Hong Kong MTR. Their official map is on their official website.

The most efficient way to get from the airport to Hong Kong Central is to ride the airport express. A one-way ticket costs HKD100 (AUD17). Cab Fare is about HKD350 (AUD60).

Money Matters

Hong Kong uses the Hong Kong Dollar. Credit Cards are widely accepted as are mobile payments.

Connectivity

Hong Kong has good Internet and Mobile coverage, and you can easily buy a prepaid SIM card. Both 3 and CSL offer decent prepaid plans which you can typically buy at a local 7-Eleven. In recent times, many hotels in Hong Kong will issue you with an Android mobile device that can make local calls, and act as a wifi hotspot. Check with your hotel. You may not even need to get yourself your own prepaid SIM.

Best time to visit

Hong Kong is generally humid and warm during the summer months. It can get very cold in the fall and the winters. I have personally experienced temperatures of around 12 degrees celsius, and with a wind blowing, it can get quite chilly. The best times to visit are in the autumn, and in the spring of the Northern Hemisphere.

Hong Kong also puts on a spectacular fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. Hotels at this time can get very expensive.

On the flip side, during Chinese New Year, most mainland Chinese workers go home to spend time with their families. The city empties out and becomes relatively quiet.

Clothing

Hong Kong has seasons. Summers are hot, humid and muggy. Typical summer gear is suitable in this season. Winters get cold enough to require layers, sweaters and jackets. Hong Kong also tends to get the occasional typhoon. When one of these come through, you’re best off staying indoors.

Like typical tropical cities, Hong Kong is also subject to evening downpours. Having an umbrella handy is generally a good idea.

Electrical

Hong Kong uses types D and G plug types and operates on a 220V and 50Hz.

What else should I know

Hong Kong is distinctly different in its culture from the rest of Asia. While there is a very strong Chinese influence, Hong Kong has its own unique culture resulting from being under British administration for 99 years.

Cantonese is the locally spoken language here. In spite of decades of British administration, some Hong Kongers do not speak English.

Cabs are generally quite cheap, and the MTR is efficient and safe.

The city is home to the largest outdoor escalator system – the mid-level escalators in Sheung Wan.

The city is a shoppers paradise. Beyond the modern sky scrapers, Hong Kong offers street markets, amazing food, great bars, hiking trails, and temples.

Hong Kong is also a gateway to Shenzen. Tourists can take a day tour into mainland China.