Hong Kong is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+8GMT).
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. November 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.
English is the language of preference in the government, business and tourism sectors. All official signs and public transport announcements, as well as most menus, are English and Chinese.
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. These notes vary in design and colour according to denomination
. Find more on Hong Kong’s coins and banknotes here
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. socket type G. You can buy an inexpensive adaptor for your electrical equipment at most convenience stores.
Immigration & Customs
In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least one month after the period of their intended stay in Hong Kong. However, documents issued to stateless persons must be valid for a minimum of two months after the period of intended stay. Please contact the Immigration Department
for further details.
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
. 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
Visas for Mainland China Travel
All travellers to the Chinese Mainland, except Hong Kong Chinese residents, require visas. The mainland issues single-entry, double-entry and multiple-entry (six months, unlimited entry) visas, the latter designed for frequent travellers who have long-term business establishments (e.g. joint ventures) in the mainland. The Visa Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC at 42 Kennedy Road, Central, Hong Kong. [Tel: (852) 2585-1663 / 2585-1680]. Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the China Travel Service at various locations, Central office, [Tel: (852) 2522-0450], Tsim Sha Tsui office, [Tel: (852) 2736-1863]. Many travel agencies specialising in China travel can also obtain visas. The China Travel Service normally takes 48 hours to issue a visa, but can do so in one day for a premium. The Visa Office takes 24 hours and also offers a more expensive same-day service.
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). For worldwide IDD Codes, please click here
Free Wi-Fi services are widespread in Hong Kong. In particular, there are many hotspots, which are completely free or free for a certain period of time. Look for the Wi-Fi.HK logo at venues across the city and the Wi-Fi.HK SSID on your device. Free wireless internet access is available at most seating and public areas in the passenger terminals of Hong Kong International Airport. Some government buildings also offer free ‘GovWiFi’ services, including some public libraries. You can access the internet for free at many coffee shops in town, as well as at certain iCentres at selected MTR stations and at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Business Information Centre at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Check with your hotel concierge for a nearby location to access Wi-Fi. Most hotels offer broadband internet access; however, this may involve a charge in some cases.
Call 999 when you urgently need help from the Police, Fire and Ambulance services. Hong Kong has a strict service control system, so once you call 999, the police should show up within 10 minutes in most cases, usually less.
For non-emergency police assistance, call 2527-7177.
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 all major districts in the territory, including stops at the boundary with Mainland China (Lo Wu Station and Lok Ma Chau Station). The MTR consists of ten rail lines, including Island, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung, West Rail, East Rail, Ma On Shan, Disneyland Resort and the Airport Express.
Taxi fares are charged by metered tariff. When crossing the harbour by either cross-harbour tunnel, the two-way tunnel toll is added to the fare. With the other tunnels, only the one-way toll is added. There is an extra charge per piece of luggage (both of these extra charges are signposted in the taxi). Flagfall and charges are displayed. Tipping is usually confined to small change.
Red | All Urban Areas
Green | New Territories only
Blue | Lantau Island only