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Zhaoqing at Night - Seen from 7-Stars Lake and Crags

Bruce Lee

Girls Out Shopping in Hong Kong


A Chinese Junk in Victoria Bay, Hong Kong

Latin meets Sino in this restaurant in Macao
Tourist Guides for China
Tourist Tips 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

2. Information.

Collect free maps and general tourist information from your hotel foyer, nearest posh western hotel, or tourist information office

3. Planning.
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

4. Transportation.
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

6. Money.
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)

7. Smoking
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!

8. Litter
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

9. Hawkers
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!

10. Rendezvous
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 Square
Related Pages:   HK Quick Guide    Ten Tips for HK    HK - China Transfers    Independent Travellers
This 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
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