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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Hong Kong Travel Requirements

Hotel Transport
Hotel bookings do not normally include transportation from the airport. However, if you have a prearranged hotel booking that includes an airport transfer, you should leave the Buffer Hall via the exit market Hotel Transport and look for the hotel representative waiting outside to meet you. You do not have to pay the driver as the charge will be included on your hotel bill.

Most restaurants add a 10 per cent service charge but an additional 5 per cent may be given, where deserved. When a service charge is not automatic, 10 per cent is acceptable. Small tips may also be given to taxi drivers, bellboys, doormen and washroom attendants.

Airport Facilities
A baggage storage service is available in the departure hall and the arrival hall. Other services include a bank, moneychangers, gift shops, duty-free shops, snack bars, restaurants, payhones, a police station, post office, a HK Telecom International Ltd. Office, HKTA Information Centers and private reception rooms.

Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of HK$1000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of HK$10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20 and 10 cents.

Credit Cards
MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are widely accepted. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travelers Cheque
Accepted almost everywhere. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers cheques in Pound Sterling or US Dollars.

Banking hours
Hours are from 0900-1630 Monday to Friday, 0900-1230 Saturday.

Duty Free
The following goods may be imported into Hong Kong without incurring customs duty.
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, 1 liter bottle of wine or spirits, 60ml of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette.

If you arrive from Macau, duty-free imports for Macau residents are limited to half the above cigarette, cigar and tobacco allowance. The import of animals is strictly controlled.

Prohibited items are firearms, narcotics, copyright-infringed goods, endangered species and products deriving from them.

Passports and Visas
All visitors are required to hold a valid passport, that must be valid for at least 1 month after the period of intended visit required by all.

Visas are not required for Commonwealth citizens, citizens of most European countries and U.S. citizens for stay less than 90 days. UK citizens can stay 6 months.

For more information on visas to Hong Kong, visit its Immigration's Department website at

Getting There
By Air: Major international airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas Airways serve Hong Kong.

By Sea: Lines serving the port of Hong Kong are as follows: Norwegian America, Royal Viking, CTC, Sitmar and Lindblad Travel. Hovercrafts link Hong Kong with China; there are also a number of ships sailing to major Chinese ports, although these are less frequent. Enquire locally for details.

By Rail: The Kowloon-Canton Railway KCR) operates a service jointly with Chinese Railways from Kowloon to Canton (Guanzhou), four times a day. There are also services from Hong Kong to Foshan and Changping. Restaurant cars are only available if travelling first class. Local KCR trains run regularly (every 5㪢 minutes) to Lo Wu, the last stop before the Chinese border.

It is possible to then cross the border to Shenzhen, the first city in China over the border. To go as far as Lo Wu, it is necessary to hold a visa for China, otherwise it is only possible to get to Sheung Shui. Children under 3 travel free. Children aged 3 an below pay half.

Getting Around
By Ferry: You cannot miss taking a ride on the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The views of the island are superb, particularly at dusk when the lights begin to twinkle through the humidity and the spray. You'll also get a feel for the frenetic pace of life on Hong Kong's waterways with ferries, junks, hydrofoils and larger ships looming up from all directions. You can ride upper deck ($1.80) or lower deck ($1.50) on the ferry, though in many ways the views from the lower deck are better, where you are only just above water level and in the thick of it all. Ferries run every few minutes between Tsimshatsui and Central (a 7-minute ride; daily 6.30am-11.30pm), and between Tsimshatsui and Wanchai. There are also similarly cheap and fun ferry crossings between Hung Hom and Central, and between Jordan Road (in Kowloon) and Central.

In addition, a large array of other boats run between Hong Kong and the outlying islands, most of which use the piers immediately north of Exchange Square.

By MTR: The Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Hong Kong's underground train system, has four lines and provides cross-harbour transport. It is more expensive than the ferry, but quicker, particularly for those travelling further into Kowloon than Tsimshatsui. Good for value is the MTR Tourist Ticket. You get a map and souvenir ticket included in the price and the ticket is valid for a few journeys.

By Road:
These can pick up passengers and stop on request except at regular bus stops and other restricted areas.
Only available on Hong Kong Island. Peak Tram on the Island is a cable tramway to the upper terminus on Victoria Peak, 400m (1300ft) high.
Plentiful in Hong Kong and Kowloon. There is an extra charge for the Cross Harbour Tunnel. Red taxis serve Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, green ones the New Territories, and blue ones Lantau Island.
Gradually disappearing and are now purely a tourist attraction. It is advisable to agree the fare in advance.
Car hire: Traffic drives on the left. A wide selection of self-drive and chauffeur-driven cars are available, although car hire is not that popular in Hong Kong.

Health Care
Charges are made for all services and treatment. All visitors are advised to take out private health insurance. Hotels have a list of government-accredited doctors. And first-class medicine is practised. Excellent dental care is also available.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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