Hong Kong


Hong Kong is one of the two special administrative regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), along with Macau. It is a cosmopolitan city with a population of 7 million spreads over Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, New Territories and over 260 outlying islands. The territory is located on the eastern side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong province in the north and facing the South China Sea in the east, west and south.


Hong Kong Travel Guide
 
About Hong Kong  | Best Seasons | Visa Policy | Transportation | Prevention of Diseases | Festivals and Events | General Hoildays
   
Hong Kong International Airport | Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) | MTR Train Service | Star Ferry

About Hong Kong

Official Name
:
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Area
:
1098 sq km (424 sq mi)
Population
:
7,116,302
People
:
95% Chinese, 1.5% European
Province
:
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Time Zone
:
GMT/UTC +8
Telephone Area Code
:
852
Currency
:
1 Hong Kong dollar (HK$) = 100 cents
Languages
:
Chinese (Cantonese), English; both are official
Geography
:
Hong Kong consists of more than 200 islands
 
Orientation :
Hong Kong is divided into four main areas - Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands. Kowloon and the New Territories are on a peninsula of the Chinese mainland, on the northern side of Victoria Harbour; Hong Kong Island is on the southern side of the harbour facing Kowloon; the Outlying Islands simply refers to any of the other 234 islands. The New Territories has a 20km (12mi) land border with China proper.

The city itself is centred around Victoria Harbour. The main business district is Central, on Hong Kong Island. East of Central lies the Admiralty commercial district; Wan Chai, known for restaurants and clubs; then Causeway Bay, a major shopping area. Towering above it all is the Peak, Hong Kong's premier scenic outlook and residential district, which happily has plenty of public green space. In Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui (on the southern tip), Jordan and Yau Ma Tei are busy hotel and shopping areas, while Mong Kok is a bustling residential and shopping area.

Hong Kong Tourist Board Official Website




Best Seasons

Many prefer to visit Hong Kong during November and December when there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. January and February are okay months, but the temperature can drop to below 10°C (50°F). Warmer temperatures make March and April pleasant months to go, but as the year progresses into May the air becomes uncomfortably sticky and humid, and by September you can expect typhoons. Hotels tends to offer substantial discounts outside the high seasons of March-April and October-November. Travel can be difficult during Chinese New Year, late January/early February.


Visa Policy

Nationality of foreign country (Territory) Visa free period for visit not exceeding
AUSTRALIA 90 Days
AUSTRIA 90 Days
BRAZIL 90 Days
BRITAIN (British citizens) 180 Days
CANADA 90 Days
FRANCE 90 Days
GERMANY 90 Days
GREECE 90 Days
INDIA 14 Days
INDONESIA 30 Days
ISRAEL 90 Days
ITALY 90 Days
JAPAN 90 Days
JORDAN 14 Days
KOREA (DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF) -
KOREA (REPUBLIC OF) 90 Days
LAOS -
MALAYSIA 90 Days
MEXICO 90 Days
NETHERLANDS 90 Days
NEW ZEALAND 90 Days
PHILIPPINES 14 Days
RUSSIAN FEDERATION 14 Days
SINGAPORE 90 Days
SOUTH AFRICA 30 Days
SPAIN 90 Days
SWITZERLAND 90 Days
THAILAND 30 Days
TURKEY 90 Days
U.S.A. 90 Days

         more info > Visa information


Hong Kong Transportation Information

Hong Kong International Airport

Located off Lantau Island, Hong Kong International Airport is the main entry point to Asia's world city, gateway to Mainland China and a major regional hub. Regularly voted one of the best in the world, the airport features a comprehensive range of facilities and services for the travelling public. SkyMart in Terminal 1 has everything you need for last-minute shopping and dining, while SkyPlaza, with facilities located mostly in the non-restricted area of Terminal 2, has more locally themed shops and dining and a sophisticated entertainment zone.


Map of Hong Kong International Airport :    

         more > Hong Kong International Airport

To and From the Airport - Getting to and from the Hong Kong International Airport is easy, convenient and relatively inexpensive.

Rail
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) high-speed Airport Express is the fastest way between the downtown areas and the airport. The line whisks passengers from Hong Kong Station adjacent to the Central MTR Station on Hong Kong Island via Kowloon and Tsing Yi stations to the airport in about 23 minutes, trains run every 12 minutes. A free Airport Express shuttle bus service from Hong Kong and Kowloon stations serves major hotels. Both these stations provide free in-town check-in services.
Details of train fares and operating hours >> MTR Offical Website

Taxis
Taxis are readily available from the taxi pick-up area in front of the Arrivals Hall. All taxis can go to and from the airport. All fares are metered and there are fare details inside each cab.

Buses
There are nine convenient Airbus routes called “A” routes that can take you to and from the airport with fewer stops than an ordinary city bus. Fares range between HK$14 and HK$45. When you exit the Arrivals Hall, turn right for Airbuses and ordinary city buses (“E” route buses).

Ferries to Tuen Mun
There is also a ferry link from Tung Chung New Development Pier at Chek Lap Kok to the town of Tuen Mun in the New Territories. The ferry operates 6am – 11pm daily.

Charter Coaches and Limousines
Arriving passengers can also book their own personal limousines, mini-vans, vans and group coaches (buses) that will whisk their party to their destination. Operators have counters located in the Arrivals Hall and in the Ground Transportation Centre.

Airport – Mainland China Coach Service
The Hong Kong International Airport is also a hub for ground transport to Mainland China and cities in the Pearl River Delta. Click for more information on coach service to the mainland >>

Airport – Mainland China Ferries Service
High-speed ferries provide fast and efficient service to nearby cities in Mainland China. Book a ticket prior to boarding from the ticketing desks located in the transfer area on Arrivals Level 5 before the immigration counters. Then hop aboard a bus from the airport’s air side (i.e., before immigration) that will take you to the Skypier for your connection to cities like Dongguan, Macau, Shekou and Shenzhen.

Air Passenger Departure Tax & Surcharges
All passengers 12 and above departing Hong Kong International Airport must pay a HK$120 Air Passenger Departure Tax which is normally included in the price of the airline ticket. However, passengers who arrive and depart the same day from Hong Kong are exempt from the tax.

Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macao Bridge (HZMB) Main Bridge

The proposed Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge (HZMB), being situated at the waters of Lingdingyang of Pearl River Estuary, is a large sea crossing linking the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province and Macao Special Administrative Region.  It consists of a Main Bridge in Mainland waters together with the boundary crossing facilities and link roads within the three territories.  The functions of the bridge are to meet the demand of passenger and freight land transport among Hong Kong, the Mainland (particularly the region of Pearl River West) and Macao, to establish a new land transport link between the east and west coasts of the Pearl River, and to enhance the economic and sustainable development in the three places.

The HZMB Main Bridge is a 29.6km dual 3-lane carriageway in the form of bridge-cum-tunnel structure comprising an immersed tunnel of about 6.7 km.  According to the current option, It runs from the artificial island off Gongbei of Zhuhai to the eastern artificial island for the tunnel section just west of the HKSAR boundary.

more > Highways Department


 

MTR Train Service

The MTR Corporation was established in 1975 as the Mass Transit Railway Corporation with a mission to construct and operate, under prudent commercial principles, an urban metro system to help meet Hong Kong's public transport requirements. The sole shareholder was the Hong Kong Government.

The Company was re-established as the MTR Corporation Limited in June 2000 after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government sold 23% of its issued share capital to private investors in an Initial Public Offering. MTR Corporation shares were listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on 5 October 2000.

The Corporation marked another major milestone on 2 December 2007 when the operations of the other Government-owned rail operator, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, were merged into the MTR, heralding a new era in Hong Kong railway development.

Other than bringing more efficient and competitively-priced services to local rail passengers, the merger brings new growth opportunities to the MTR Corporation's businesses in and outside of Hong Kong.

The merged rail network comprises nine railway lines serving Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. In addition, a Light Rail network serves the local communities of Tuen Mun and Yuen Long in the New Territories while a fleet of buses provide convenient feeder services.

The Corporation also operates the Airport Express, a dedicated high-speed link providing the fastest connections to Hong Kong International Airport and the city's newest exhibition and conference centre, AsiaWorld-Expo.

From Hong Kong, passengers can travel with ease to Guangdong Province, Beijing and Shanghai in the Mainland of China using the MTR's intercity railway services.

more > MTR Offical Website

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Star Ferry

Most notable of all is the humble but legendary "Star" Ferry service between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from piers in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central and Wan Chai on the Island. It offers a memorable and scenic boat trip across one of the most-photographed harbours in the world for just HK$2.2 to $5.3 for the upper deck, depending on the route.

Star Ferry Schedule  more > Star Ferry Official Website

Prevention and Control of Diseases

Communication Diseases:

SARS

SARS is predominantly transmitted through close person-to-person contact, especially via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplet spread can take place when droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled a short distance and deposited on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes of persons who are nearby. The virus can also spread when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.

Prevention

Wash hands frequently:
* Before touching eyes, nose and mouth, if there is a need to do so;
* Before handling food or eating;
* After handling objects soiled by faeces, respiratory or other body secretions;
* After going to the toilet;
* After touching public installations or equipment, such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs.

Rub hands with a 65-95% alcohol solution to disinfect them when hand washing facilities are not available.

Centre for Health Protection Strategic Plan on Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases 2007-2009

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection commonly seen in infants and children. It is usually caused by a group of viruses called enteroviruses. The most common causative agent is coxsackie virus A. Enterovirus 71 (EV 71) is also one of the causative agents for HFMD. Individual cases and outbreaks occur worldwide, more frequently in summer and early autumn.

Mode of transmission
HFMD is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected persons (who may be asymptomatic). The illness is contagious during the acute stage and perhaps longer, as faecal shedding of virus can be detected for several weeks.

Clinical features
The main symptoms of HFMD are fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters. Usually it begins with fever, poor appetite, malaise and sore throat. One to two days later, painful sores develop in the mouth. The sores are characterised by small red spots with blisters which then often become ulcers. They are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks. The non-itchy skin rash manifests as flat or raised red spots. The rash is usually found on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Complications are very rare, but it may be associated with viral meningitis. Rarely, EV71 may cause more serious diseases, such as encephalitis, or a poliomyelitis-like paralysis.

Prevention
Good hygienic practices are the most important measures to prevent HFMD. Strict personal hygiene should be observed by frequent handwashing, covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoidance of close contact with HFMD patients. Moreover, the risk of infection can be lowered by good environmental hygiene. It includes cleaning of contaminated surfaces and soiled items, and maintaining good indoor ventilation. Children with HFMD should be excluded from schools or any group settings until fever has subsided and all the vesicular lesions have dried and crusted. This measure could help reduce the transmission of infection amongst children.

more > health protection information



Festivals and Events

Use of the Western calendar and the Chinese lunar calendar can make trying to determine the exact date of festivals a bit tricky. Chinese New Year takes place in late January/early February, and many people get four days off for the event.

Expect a massive fireworks display over Victoria Harbour. Lantern Festival takes place in mid to late February. Lanterns are lit in homes, restaurants and temples. February also has the Hong Kong Arts Festival. In late March/early April the Hong Kong International Film Festival comes to town. The Tin Hau Festival is a Taoist festival falling around late April. Junks are decorated and sail in long rows to Tin Hau temples to pray for clear skies and good fishing. The Dragon Boat Festival is held in June, with dragon boat races taking place in Hong Kong and Outlying Islands. In mid-September the Mid-Autumn Festival happens. The Festival of Asian Arts is a major international event and usually occurs in October or November.


General holidays

General holidays for 2012 :

Every Sunday
  Sunday
The day following the first day of January 2 January Monday
Lunar New Year's Day 23 January Monday
The second day of the Lunar New Year 24 January Tuesday
The third day of the Lunar New Year 25 January Wednesday
Ching Ming Festival 4 April Wednesday
Good Friday 6 April Friday
The day following Good Friday 7 April Saturday
Easter Monday 9 April Monday
The Birthday of the Buddha 28 April Saturday
Labour Day 1 May Tuesday
Tuen Ng Festival 23 June Saturday
The day following Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 2 July Monday
The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival 1 October Monday
The day following National Day 2 October Tuesday
Chung Yeung Festival 23 October Tuesday
Christmas Day 25 December Tuesday
The first weekday after Christmas Day 26 December Wednesday

*information from: http://www.gov.hk/


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