Positioned at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta on the coast of southern China, Hong Kong’s geographical position as a gateway between the East and West has made it an attractive centre for international trade. As a reflection of this, the heart of Asia’s world city has always been the bustling and beautiful Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong’s 1,104-square-kilometer area comprises Hong Kong Island, which lies to the south of the harbour, the Kowloon Peninsula, which forms its northern shores, the New Territories to the north of Kowloon, which stretch all the way to Mainland China, and more than 200 outlying islands, including Lantau Island, where Hong Kong International Airport is located.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. October means clear sunny skies, low humidity and warm with average temperatures from 19°C (66°F) to 24°C (75°F). It's the ideal temperature to be outside and you are advised to bring a sweater or light jacket for evenings. You can find detailed information about current and seasonal weather and 7 days weather forecast on the Hong Kong Observatory website. While you’re in Hong Kong, you can also dial 1878 200 and press '3' for English to check the latest situation.
The official language of Hong Kong are Chinese and English, with spoken announcements typically repeated in both the Cantonese and Putonghua dialects of Chinese. In business, English is widely understood, though meetings will often be conducted in a mix of Chinese and English. Shops and restaurants in the business district and tourist areas will usually have English-speaking staff available, and English menus are available in most restaurant.
ATMs can be found almost everywhere. Many take international cards and some HSBC 'Electronic Money' machines provide 24-hour cash withdrawal (HK$) facilities for Visa and MasterCard holders.
The legal tender in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of about 7.80 HKD to 1 USD, although exchange rates may fluctuate slightly. While coins are issued by the Government, interestingly, the issue of Hong Kong bank notes are shared between three commercial banks: HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of China.
You can exchange your currency for Hong Kong dollars at any authorised money exchanger. For extra peace of mind, look for a money exchanger that is accredited by the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme.
Electricity and Voltage
The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotel bathrooms also have outlets for 100 volts, but if not, you will need a transformer for any appliance or electrical equipment. The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug. You can buy an inexpensive adaptor for your electrical equipment at most convenience stores.
Using Mobile Phones/Telephones
Most of the world’s mobile telecommunications systems operate in Hong Kong, including GSM 900, PCS 1800, CDMA and WCDMA. Check if your service provider has a roaming agreement with a Hong Kong operator. And be sure to pay attention to the roaming rates!
You can rent local SIM cards or mobile phones when you arrive at the airport or in town. Prepaid Calling Card and Mobile Data Prepaid SIM Card for mobile phones can be easily purchased from major convenience stores in Hong Kong.
Local private landline telephone calls are free and cost only HK$1 for five minutes from public telephones. International Direct Dial (IDD) service to most countries and regions of the world is available at most hotels for a fee. The IDD code for Hong Kong is +(852).
Hong Kong's efficient and low-cost public transport system includes three railways, buses, trams, taxis and ferries. There are three road-only tunnels crossing the harbour.
To and From the Airport
Travellers to Hong Kong are served by one of the world's largest and most modern airports situated at the Chek Lap Kok on the outlying island of Lantau. The easiest connection from the airport to Central and Kowloon is the Airport Express Railway, which takes just 19 minutes to get to Kowloon, and an extra 4 minutes to Hong Kong. Adult single journey fare is HK$100. In addition, express bus service called "Airbus" operates on frequent schedules to popular spots in the city, with stops near most major hotels. An overnight bus service will cover the airport's 24-hour operation. Taxis are also an option and fares from Chek Lap Kok range from HK$200-HK$400.
Mass Transit Railways
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is an underground/elevated railway network covering 18 districts, including stops at the boundary with Mainland China (Lo Wu Station and Lok Ma Chau Station). The MTR consists of Island, South Island, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung, West Rail, East Rail, Ma On Shan, Disneyland Resort and the Airport Express. All Hong Kong taxis are metered and there are three colours’ taxi here, Red taxis can go anywhere in Hong Kong. There are also separate sets of taxis restricted to the New Territories (green) and Lantau Island (blue). All the taxis could transfer to Hong Kong International Airport. Should you have any enquiry for limousine, coach or shuttle bus service to airport, please contact the conference secretariat.
Most malls stay open late for the restaurants within, but shops generally close around 19:00 in the upmarket malls, while those shops in Causeway bay or Tsim Sha Tsui will extend to 21:30 or 22:00.
Credit card payment
Most Hong Kong shops accept credit cards. Check the credit card slip before signing it and remember to take your receipt. Credit card companies and/or banks issuing the cards may charge a currency exchange fee on overseas purchases. Please check with your credit card issuer for further details.
Do some comparisons while shopping before you buy. Prices are usually clearly marked, particularly in shopping malls, department stores and chain stores.
However, some small shops and street markets do not always display prices. In this case, bargaining is still possible. However, it is advisable to confirm the price of the goods prior to purchase, in particular the unit of measure used to derive the price.
You can trust shops displaying the QTS sign because they must pass stringent annual quality assessments showing that they:
- Provide clearly displayed prices;
- Display clear product Information; and
- Ensure superb customer service.
Most restaurants could open to 11 pm, for some bars and clubs business time is until early morning or overnight , e.g. Wan Chai
The city borders Guangdong, the Chinese province from which Cantonese cooking originates. Distinct from other types of Chinese cooking in its light seasoning, Cantonese cuisine places a strong emphasis on freshness – hence the ability of the traditional market to endure in Hong Kong alongside more modern supermarkets.
The Chinatowns of the West were dominated by people from Guangdong and Cantonese food is the most international of Chinese cooking styles – dim sum and Chinese-style barbecue being good examples. Asia's world city, however, is where this cuisine can be tasted at its most traditional and creative, sometimes on the same street.
Hong Kong is not only the city where East meets West, it is also where East eats Western. And the selection runs the gamut from Michelin stars to sandwich bars. Italian, French, German, Mediterranean, Mexican and American all feature strongly. Given Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan population and passion for dining trends, you’d be hard pressed not to find what your taste buds hanker for somewhere in the city.
Free Wi-Fi services are widespread in Hong Kong. In particular, there are many Wi-Fi.HK hotspots widely available across the city in locations such as major tourist attractions, shopping malls, parks and gardens, visitor centres, sports venues, museums, ferry terminals, cooked food centres and government buildings, which offer wireless internet connection completely free or free for a period of time. Download the Wi-Fi.HK app to search for a list of hotspot locations, where you can connect to the internet with the Wi-Fi.HK SSID.
You could find Wi-Fi hotspots at most public transport areas. Free wireless internet access is available at most seating and public areas in the passenger terminals. CSL free Wi-Fi hotspots can be found on all MTR platforms and concourses, selected Starbucks Coffee, Pacific Coffee, 7-Eleen and Circle K outlets and at seclected phone booths. Look for the ‘CSL’ SSID on your device to browse the Hong Kong Tourism Boards website and download apps from it for free.
Most of the hotels in Hong Kong could provide Wi-Fi service, should you have any further question, you could contact hotel concierge for further information.
Except the abovementioned content, should you have the plan to buy communication/ Wi-Fi equipment by yourself, you could buy it from seven-eleven in the airport or get more details from the below links
Wifi Egg http://www.wifi-egg.com/
Banana Wifi http://www.bananawifi.com/
We recommend that visitors take out travel insurance before visiting Hong Kong. Also, check with the travel insurance company about 24-hour emergency coverage and contact numbers. When you are in Hong Kong, carry records of the insurance policy as well as the insurance providers’ hotline with you for identification purposes in case of an emergency. Keep in mind, that some insurance companies require records from hospitals, police or other appropriate authorities in order to process claims.
Immigration & Customs
Nationals of most countries do not require a visa to enter Hong Kong for tourism and can stay for periods varying from seven to 180 days, depending on nationality. If you’re unsure of your status, please check with any Chinese embassy or consulate. You can also find further details about visa requirements on the Immigration Department website.
All visitors entering Hong Kong must go through customs clearance and declare any dutiable commodities exceeding duty-free quotas. Learn more about dutiable commodities and the latest duty-free concessions.
For further details, please visit the Customs and Excise Department website. To avoid any unnecessary delays, please follow the guidelines set by Hong Kong International Airport.
Airport Limousine Service Counter
Please approach the Air Limousine Service Counter of Swire Travel (appointed by organizer) if you have any question after arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport. Refer to the below picture for counter location.