Guides for China
for Hong Kong (September 2008)
| 10 Tips:
1. Carry your Hotel Business
Card (In Chinese) at all times!
Ensure at least one for each person in your party
Collect free maps and general tourist information from
your hotel foyer, nearest posh western hotel, or tourist
Seriously consider a longer trip if you want a more
relaxed and fulfilling visit to Hong Kong. Standard
trips are usually a couple of nights, but we recommend
4 full days. Get your location right
Get an Octopus Card. This entitles you to use any public
transport at the swipe of the card. It works for all
buses (Not privately operated coaches), Trams, Star
Ferry, MTR and KCR. These are normally plastic cards,
but are also available as wristwatches, etc
The transportation network is not fully integrated,
although planned extensions to the Underground railway
system (Metro, Subway, Tube, MTR, KCR, Bus, Tram, Ferry)
will ease this greatly. Excepting the main Star Ferry,
Ferry terminals are scattered haphazardly around Victoria
Bay. Some have been moved, closed, whilst others have
appeared. Each has specific schedules and destinations
served, of which many are restricted services to outlying
islands. Some are even duplicated. Check for latest
information via Hong
Kong Tourist Board
Direct links between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon to
the Airport are not overly complicated, but can become
a nightmare if you are in the wrong place with a lot
of heavy luggage - making this a very long and arduous
trip. Your options are:
a. Airport Express train from Hong
Kong Station (Central on Hong Kong Island) or from West
Kowloon = miles from China ferry and all other public
transportation, so needs a taxi to get there
b. Taxi's themselves are horrendously
expensive! They will often take you the longest way
to your destination (Various reasons given), but are
extremely friendly and chatty. That said, others report
that although expensive, they offer excellent service
and do not take detours. Try for yourselves and see...
c. Ferry - if you can find the right
one to catch and where to get it from?
d. Coach services are frequent , which
usually offer a free transfer - if you are staying at
one of their supported hotels (5*). If not pay for the
ride. These are also usually called 'Airport
Express' - don't get confused here...
e. MTR. May require changing trains
at connecting stations
f. Whichever way you choose is not
particularly user friendly
5. Location, Location, Location...
a. Choose the location of your hotel
with care and with regard to your plans. You basically
need to decide if you want to be based on Hong Kong
Island, or in Kowloon.
b. The second major factor concerns
your places of entry and departure.
c. Get these basics right and HK is
very easy. Get them wrong and travelling can become
a nightmare! (Time, distance, expense, convenience).
If in doubt choose either Central or Tsim Sha Tsui
Credit cards are widely accepted. Cash is common, higher
denominations are paper (Or the new plastic money!),
whilst small change is normally coins. Cash machines
dispense $500HK notes as standard. They will also dispense
$100HK notes if the cash requested is not divisible
by 5 = the remainder is $100HK notes (Very useful)
Hong Kong has similar anti-smoking laws to the UK. However,
they are not stupid - and as many people with money
smoke - smoking is usually allowed anywhere 'expensive'.
Think 'Latin' here... Otherwise you can basically only
smoke outside. You are also not allowed to smoke in
areas for public gatherings, such as: Parks, swimming
pools, and most areas provided for public seating.
Exceptions are some pedestrianised restaurant / bar
areas such as Centenary Square and Knutsford Terrace.
Here when sitting in a technically outside area, smoking
is usually allowed, although some of these are independently
non-smoking also. Check first.
Some Starbuck's have outdoor tables where you can smoke
= very unusual!
A few restaurants have also moved their actual windows
inwards, thus creating a small outdoor terrace, complete
with tables and service, where smokers can enjoy a cigarette
Please use ashtrays and bins provided. Some Police are
very officious and will book you for Littering if you
throw away a butt-end. So far, smokers ash is not normally
classified as litter. Be Careful!
Hong Kong streets are very clean, swept daily, and scrubbed
every few weeks. They take pride in their pavements
and expect you to put all litter in the numerous handy
bins provided. This includes cigarette ends, etc
There is very little hawking, and virtually no begging.
a. Beware of Indians selling suits.
They are a real pain along Nathan Road in Kowloon, and
can become invasive given the slightest show of interest!
b. Beware of 'Likely Lads' selling
watches around the immediate Star Ferry hub, Kowloon
(A very small area of 100 square feet or so actually).
They are not a problem, don't show the slightest interest!
Hong Kong has much to offer all people in your Party.
You may split-up to do different things, and time can
disappear. Choose a mutually acceptable place that is
easy for everyone to meet at - such as a bar in Centenary
Quick Guide Ten Tips for HK
HK - China Transfers
information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in
UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources.
Please check this information yourself as it may alter
without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure
it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for
any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
& Free Online Chinese Language Portal
Thousands of free print-friendly Chinese reference sheets,
tests and revision aids.
Easy Learning format &
Listen to Spoken Words
British Foreign Office
Resource and Advice for Travellers Worldwide
Chinese Embassy in UK
Information About China
Visa & Consular
UK Embassy in China
Information About UK
Visa & Consular
Information for Teachers
|Down The Road.org
How We Traded Our Ordinary Lives For a Global Bicycle Touring Adventure
Us in China
Empowering Disadvantaged Children
& Their Communities = Worldwide
Based in Shangri-la,
Dedicated to Exploring Remote Areas of China
Committed to Nature Conservation and Preserving Ethnic
Cultures & Traditions
Based in Xi'an,
China's Premiere Travel Agency and International Travel
Committed to providing:
Best travel deals & current information for all
Online Trading and Information Resource
Link goes to Chinese Tourism and Galleries Section