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Hong Kong Guide
Know Before You Go
- Be aware of where you hail a cab. The drivers can only stop if there is a single line by the curb if there are two yellow lines they have to keep on driving.
- You don't need to leave a tip. Most restaurants and hotels already add a 10% service charge. Only add gratuity on top of this if you feel the service was exceptional.
- Kiwis don't need a visa for Hong Kong. Nationals of the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand will get an entry stamp on arrival valid for 90 days.
- English is widely spoken. It's one of Hong Kong's official languages and is used by the government as well as the business and tourism sectors.
- There are hefty fines for not following Hong Kong's public hygiene laws. If you're caught spitting or littering you will be fined HKD 1,500.
Getting Around Hong Kong
The best way to get around Hong Kong is with its MTR subway system. The trains are clean, cost-effective and run from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. A base fare costs HKD 4.50, or you can buy the Octopus travel card. You can even get refunded the initial cost (HKD 50) if it's in good condition when you leave.
Another affordable way to get around Hong Kong is with the local bus. You'll need to flag down the driver, even if you're at a designated stop and fares vary from HKD 2-20 depending on the route.
If you want a scenic way of seeing Hong Kong, take the tram. It's not the fastest option, but it's an enjoyable sightseeing experience. There is a flat fare of HKD 2.30, and you'll need to pay with the Octopus card or have the exact change.
If you want to take a taxi, things are a bit more complicated. The red cabs only serve the urban regions, the green taxis only operate in the rural New Territories, and the blues run routes only on Lantau Island. Each type has its own fare breakdown, and if you get stuck in traffic, the price will quickly skyrocket.
When is The Best Time to Visit Hong Kong?
The best time to visit Hong Kong is between October and December. The temperatures will have cooled down and typhoon season has ended. If you plan your trip around the New Year celebrations and the public holidays in October, you'll also find fewer crowds and lower accommodation prices.
January to March is Hong Kong's low season. The cold winter temperatures keep most travellers away, and you'll have better luck finding deals on flights and accommodation.
Another sweet spot for budget travellers is Hong Kong's spring. From April to May, you'll avoid the summer's stifling humidity and room rates are at their cheapest.
Hong Kong's busiest time of year is between June and September. During these summer months, the city is prone to typhoons and temperatures are at their highest. You can expect large crowds at the top attractions and to pay almost double at the best hotels.
Airports in Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It's one of the busiest in the world and is a gateway to destinations in China and the rest of Asia. The airport is a hub for its flag carrier Cathay Pacific and a focus city for China Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
Getting to and from Hong Kong International Airport
Take the Airport Express. It's one of the best ways to get into the CBD with trains departing every 10 minutes between 05:54 a.m. and 11:28 p.m. Tickets cost HKD 115 per person.
Hop on board one of the many public buses. The airport is served by an extensive network that runs to all parts of Hong Kong. For a full list of routes, prices and departure times visit the airport's website.
Grab a taxi. Passengers arriving at the airport will find the drivers waiting outside the Arrivals Hall. Rates to Hong Kong Central will cost around HKD 370, and you'll need to get the right colour cab for your final destination.
If your hotel offers a coach service, you can book your spot at the Commercial Services Counter in Arrivals Hall B inside Terminal 1.