Best Time to Visit
Hong Kong can be visited all year round with a subtropical climate. However, the best time to be there is November and December where the weather is mostly sunny and the temperature is at low to mid teens and not very humid.
There are 3 HKTB Visitor Information and Services Centers at the airport – Transfer Area E2 and Buffer A & B at Arrival Level Terminal 1.
Hours: 0700 – 2300
Visitor Hotline: 852 2508 1234 (0900 – 1800 daily)
The city offices are at
- Star Ferry Concourse at Tsim Tsa Tsui (0800 – 2000)
- Causeway Bay MTR near Exit F (0800-2000)
- Peak Piazza, between the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria (0900 – 2100)
Visitor must hold valid passports. Visitors from most countries do not require a visa and can stay from seven days to 180 days depending on nationality. For visa information, please go to Hong Kong Immigration Department website at (http://www.immd.gov.hk).
Visitors aged 18 or above may bring into Hong Kong one litre of liquor, 60 cigarettes or 15 cigars or 75 grams of other manufactured tobacco. All other consumer goods in Hong Kong are duty free and without restriction, For further details, look at the website (http:www.customs.gov.hk).
Restaurants are usually very busy and packed during lunch hours from (1200 – 1400), at night as well as on weekends. If you want a table at a specific time, making a reservation early is highly recommended. In Chinese restaurants, waiters usually automatically serve tea, condiments as well as snacks including peanuts and pickles that are added to your bill automatically.
When you are served Chinese, it is customary to tap your index finger on the table near the cup as a gesture to say “thank you”. Most restaurants do not require dress code, but some may require formal attire. This can be checked when making the reservation. When going to restaurants, it is advisable to wear a light scarf, shawl or jacket since the air conditioning in some eateries can be quite chilly.
When you are venturing to various streets in Hong Kong, you may notice many street food carts with food ranging from curry squid and fish balls especially at night. Take caution in buying and trying the food from these places as some are not licensed and the food is often not prepared in hygienic condition. It is best to dine in established hawkers stalls with proper cooking and washing facilities.
Hong Kong is GMT +8.
Weights and Measures
Hong Kong uses the metric system.
General Business Hours
Businesses are generally open
- Mon – Fri 0900 – 1700
- Sat 0900 – 1300
- closed Sun and public holidays
Banks are open from
- 0900 – 1630 Mon – Fri
- 0900 – 1230 Sat
Money and Currency
All major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants, retail and commercial outlets.
The official currency is Hong Kong Dollars (HKD).
Notes come in denomination of $1000, 500, 100, 50, 20. Coins are 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, $1, $2, $5 and $10.
Foreign currencies and traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at banks, major post offices, hotels and bureaux de change.
10% service charge is usually included in restaurant bills. Small tips ma be given to taxi drivers, bellboys, doormen and washroom attendants.
Electricity is 220 volts, 50HZ. Most hotels provide adaptors.
English and Chinese are the official languages where Cantonese is spoken by more then 90% of the population. Mandarin is increasingly common as well due to the 1997 handover. English is spoken widely in commercial outfits, shops, hotels as well as the tourist industry. All signage and street names have both Chinese and English display.
Hong Kng telecommuncation system is built upon the latest technology providing the means for the most sophisticated and efficient way to communicate with anyone anywhere easily. Local calls on private landlines are free and public telephone charges $1 for 5 minutes. Hotels usually charge for outgoing calls. Mobile or Cellular phones can also be used as Hong Kong is hooked up with most wireless systems around the globe. (GSM900, PCS1800, CDMA, WCDMA). Before leaving for Hong Kong, make sure to check with your service provider for roaming services.
Local SIM cards or mobile phones can be rented usually at 7-Eleven or telecommunication shops. At HKIA terminals 1 and , there are free WI-FI services. Some cafes as well as MTR station has terminals that has free internet service. Most hotels has broadband or WI-FI service as well. Be sure to check the rates and terms before using.