Passports & Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Hong Kong Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. You will have to pay an airport tax of US$25. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
The Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is the territory's official currency and is the unit of currency used throughout this travel guide and simply denoted with the $ sign. In Chinese, one dollar is known formally as the yuen and colloquially as the men in Cantonese. You can safely assume that the '$' sign used in the territory refers to HKD unless it includes other initials (e.g. US$ to stand for US dollar). The HKD is also widely accepted in Macau in lieu of their home currency at a 1:1 rate.
For its electrical sockets, Hong Kong uses the British three-pin rectangular blade plug (type G). Additionally, some hotels will have a bathroom with a parallel three-pin outlet which is designed for use with electric shavers, but might be used to re-charge a phone or rechargeable batteries. Electricity is 220 Volts at 50 Hertz. Most electronic stores will have cheap ($15-20) adapters that will allow foreign plugs to fit into British sockets, but be aware that these will not convert voltage or frequency.
Internet cafes charge from $20-30 per hour but those cafes have been washed out when almost everyone have internet access at home, work and on their mobile phones. In some restaurants such as McDonald's, you can also have 20 minutes of free WIFI access provided by Y5ZONE. Most hotels these days, even down market ones, provide Wi-Fi access to their guests. Free internet terminals are usually available in some Starbucks, Pacific Coffee Company and some shopping malls, the airport, the MTR (e.g. Wan Chai station, Central Station, Tsim Sha Shui Station). The government also offers a big network of free WIFI hot spots in most government premises and public libraries. Note that unlike the Mainland China the Internet access is not filtered in Hong Kong. All the web sites which work in the West work in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's country-code is 852 (different from mainland China (86) and Macau (853)). Local phone numbers (mobile and landlines) are typically 8 digits; no area codes are used. All numbers that begin with 5, 6, 8 or 9 are mobile numbers, while numbers beginning with 2 or 3 are fixed line numbers. For calls from Hong Kong, the standard IDD prefix is 001, so you would dial 001-(country code)-(area code)-(telephone number). Note that calls to Macau or mainland China require international dialing. For the operator, dial 1000. For police, fire or ambulance services dial 999.
Popular shopping items include consumer electronics, custom clothing, shoes, camping equipment, jewelry, expensive brand name goods, Chinese antiques, toys and Chinese herbs/medicine. There's also a wide choice of Japanese, Korean, American and European clothing and cosmetics but price are generally higher than in their respective home countries.
Most shops in Hong Kong's urban areas open at about 10AM until 10PM to midnight every day. High rental costs in Hong Kong, ranked second worldwide according to Forbes, makes it no surprise that the best bargain shops could be located anywhere except the ground floor. Shops recommended by local people may even be up on the 20th floor in a building that won't give you a hint that it's a place for shopping.
In Hong Kong tipping is a matter of personal choice and not expected.
Trams, light rail trains, buses, ferries, and taxis are just a few of the myriad ways you can explore Hong Kong. Look into an Octopus Card which will give you free rides and travel discounts throughout the city.
Pack layers and comfortable shoes for lots of walking. Dress for the season.