About Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an international cosmopolitan city providing almost any service imaginable that anyone visiting would require. Apart from five and six star hotels, top Michelin star chefs and restaurants plus stunning views from the Peak, Hong Kong offers a diverse range of things to do and see while staying there.
But first some basics:
The easiest way to get from the airport is to take the train. You can buy a ticket at the airport and purchase the ticket from the machine or from the attendant near by. It’s always good to arrive with some local currency. The Airport Express runs every 10 minutes and the journey is 24 minutes long bringing visitors into the Hong Kong Express station in Central. From there, you can get a taxi to where you need to go or get the MTR ( local train) from Central station which is an easy underground walk from the Airport Express (depending on your luggage). If you prefer to get a taxi from the airport to Hong Kong Island, the cost will be approximately HK $360-$380. There are tunnel fees included in this cost.
Taxi’s are relatively inexpensive in Hong Kong in comparison to the rest of the world. Taxi’s only take cash and it is best to ensure you have $100 bills or smaller as they are not very happy when you give them a $500 bill as they may not be able to change it for you. Although there is a common 10% service charge added onto most restaurant bills, tipping in Hong Kong is not common and you are under no obligation to tip a taxi driver. They will charge you $5 if you call one and $5 for each piece of luggage carried in the boot (trunk). Red taxi’s are for Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Uber and Easy Taxi are present in Hong Kong working form local apps. Uber is significantly more expensive than a local red taxi but it does depend on the time of day. Red taxi’s swap drivers at around 4 pm everyday so there will often be less taxi’s around at this time. You can hail taxi’s in the street and they can stop in most places to pick you up. Look for the light in the from windscreen and on the roof to show they are available.
There are ATM machines all over Hong Kong to get cash. HSBC is the most prominent retail bank and they have ATM’s with every branch but there are many others too accepting most international cards. There is no ATM at any of the RHKYC club houses as the club is cashless. Restaurants and shops will all take American Express, MasterCard and Visa at minimum.
Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. The majority of it’s citizen’s are trustworthy. However, do not leave your bag unattended at any time as there could be pick pockets around the main tourist areas. Leaving items in taxi’s is very common and in some cases you will get your goods back. Always get a receipt from your taxi driver as it will have the license plate number of the taxi printed on it. Check each time you leave a taxi you have all your valuables.
Here is a recent video (end July 2015) on some travel tips about getting around Hong Kong and how the city works. Thanks to Etchells Australia!
There are many things to do in Hong Kong. Below is simply a taster of what is on offer.
Hong Kong may look like a collection of high rise concrete buildings but there are many lush green country parks to go hiking in. Most locals hike and make a it day out, culminating in lunch somewhere along the way. You can get taxi’s to various drop off points. Hong Kong Island offers the Hong Kong Trail (among many) and if you are game, you can walk the 50 km’s from one end to the other or just sections of the trail for shorter walks. Being a hilly place, there are always fabulous views to see along the way. Recommend the Dragon’s Back out at Shek O.
Visit the local markets in Kowloon - the Ladies Market, the Jade Market, the Night Market and many more.
Go to Lantau Island and climb the steps to the giant golden Buddha.
Take a day trip to Macau and look in amazement at the entertainment capital of China bursting with casino’s. Old Macau is still present and there are many historic buildings to visit plus local stores, a new museum. Ferries take approximately one hour each way. Bring your passport.
Visit Stanley and have a relaxed lunch after some shopping at Stanley Markets. Easily accessible by a bus from Central / Causeway Bay. Recommend to sit upstairs at the front to catch the scenery as the bus winds it way around the south side beaches to Stanley.
For children, Hong Kong has two amusement parks. It has it’s own Disneyland out on Lantau Island (train ride to get there) and also Ocean Park located on the south side of Hong Kong Island. There are many other activities for kids such as the trampoline centre called RISE, ice skating rinks, exploring street food stalls, beaches and dinghy boats to sail.
Most gentlemen who visit Hong Kong get suits and shirts made. There are many tailors available and we would be happy to recommend some favourites in both Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island. They usually take three days and you need to allow for fitting session in between.
For the ladies, trips across the border to Shenzhen can be arranged for some local shopping bargains but you will need a China visa to go there. These are available to be issued in Hong Kong and depending on the passport you carry, your a visa could take a couple of days or you could get one at the border.