10 Useful Travellers Tips to Hong Kong
Hong Kong, as many of you will know is an international city. It is always a popular tourist destination, and as such vast numbers of tourists come from all over the world. This is an all year round city destination.
According to the Tourist Commission, the average the number of international tourists who visited Hong Kong in 2017 was 56. million. The average occupancy rate in hotels is 87% and the average length of stay is 3-4 nights.
This article presents some critical travel tips for tourists so that you can have a wonderful trip to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 1 - Personal Identity and Safety
Tourists must carry valid personal identity documentation such as passport during their stay in Hong Kong. It is worth knowing that Hong Kong is considered to be a very safe city and it does have a low crime rate.
The streets are busy and the population is dense, It is wise therefore not to take a large amount of cash when going out. Almost every shop in Hong Kong accepts credit cards.
It is always good practise to keep expensive items locked in the safe in hotel. You can easily find policemen on the streets if you do have any problems.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 2 - Service Charges
Most of the restaurants will add 10% service charges to the bill. The smaller fast food style shops do not do this, and you pay for what you get. Tipping is not a big deal in Hong Kong, but nice to do nonetheless.
For taxi drivers or bellboy and staff in the hotel, there is no normal rate for service tips. Like many places, you may choose to give out whatever you think the service deserves.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 3 - Telephone Services
All local telephone calls are free. However public telephones charge HK$1 for every 5 minutes. Emergency call is 999 and those calls are always free. It is worth noting that using your UK mobile would be an expensive option, as this is classed as an International destination.
It would be worthwhile speaking to your mobile operator, as they will have some type of bolt-on, that will help keep the costs down.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 4 - Stay Hydrated
Most people now understand the importance of drinking water on a regular basis. The drinking water in Hong Kong does reach the World Health Organisation standard.
Many people will however prefer to drink bottles water, which is readily available, in all of the supermarkets.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 5 - Knowing About Taxis
Most taxis only accept cash and they also have the capability to print out an invoice, whenever you request it. It is always easier to catch a taxi in the taxi stop/stand or outside the hotel.
According to their Transport Department there are 18,163 taxis in Hong Kong.
15,250 are urban taxis (red), and 2,838 are New Territories taxis (green). There are also 75 Lantau taxis (blue).
These taxis provide point-to-point transport service for passengers. In accordance with the law, a taxi can carry personal hand baggage, but no goods. Hence, passenger should not hire a taxi for carrying goods.
Taxis all have a meter installed to calculate the fare based on the distance travelled together with any waiting time incurred while the taxi is hired.
The fare on a taximeter is in Hong Kong dollars and cents.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 6 - Knowing About the Mass Transit Railway (MTR)
According to the Mass Transit website, their system extends all the way from the heart of Central and Causeway Bay to the New Territories and Lantau Island.
In total there are 91 stations and 68 Light Rail stops. The East Rail Line connects to the boundary at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stations for travel between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
In addition, a Light Rail network serves the local communities in the North West New Territories, while a fleet of buses provides convenient feeder services.
The MTR also operates the Airport Express, a dedicated express rail link providing the fastest connections to Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo.
Passengers can also travel with ease to Guangdong province, Beijing and Shanghai in the mainland of China using the MTR's intercity railway services.
Passengers consistently arrive at their destinations on time 99% of the time.
The journey from the airport to the centre of Hong Kong is around 35 Kilometres and takes on average around 30 minutes.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 7 - Knowing About the Kowloon Canton Railway (KCR)
The KCR is the major railway which links up the New Territories and the city of Kowloon. It runs through Tsim Sha Tsui East to Lo Wu which takes about 40 minutes for the whole route.
In 2007, the Corporation granted a service concession to the MTR Corporation Limited to operate its several railway lines.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 8 - Knowing About the Trams
The tram service has been started in 1904 and it is the oldest transportation system in Hong Kong.
They are primarily used for touring purposes and are certainly worth going on to see the city. That way you get to sit in the old 1920's trams. You can also buy passes to their main trams for better value.
They depart from the Western Market Terminus and the Causeway Bay Terminus.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 9 - Knowing About the Star Ferry
The scenery of Hong Kong harbor is famous in the world, especially the night scenery. Besides, there is spectacular light show by the commercial buildings in the Hong Kong island at 8:00 p.m. every night which you must not miss.
The Star Ferry has been serving on the harbor for more than 100 years.
Online ticketing purchase is available or the tickets can be purchased at Harbour/Water Tour ticket counter at the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier and the Central Pier 7 on the date of departure.
Ticket counters will stop selling tickets 10 minutes prior to each departure, please purchase in cash.
Hong Kong Travel Tip 10 - Knowing About Hong Kong International Airport
The most convenient route to the Hong Kong International Airport is through the MTR which takes about 23 minutes from Central.
There are a full range of transport options once you arrive at the airport. These include the Airport Express train, public buses, taxis, hotel coaches and resident coaches.
The airport express train is the quickest way to get there.