Hong Kong Travel Guide ->   Questions and Answers



Airport, Visa & Transport Questions | Directions to Attractions  | Surfing in Hong Kong | Trip to MacauBuses on Lantau Island | Plugs and Sockets in Hong Kong|  What to take  on a trip to Hong KongHong Kong - A Shopper`s Paradise?Short Stopover in HongkongTipping  | Budget Accomodation in Hong KongCost of Living | Power Voltage  |  Kowloon oder Hong Kong Island?Buying A Camera in Hong KongFashion Shopping | HKTAWeather in JanuaryTime Difference  | Where is Ocean Park? | 35 Hotels in Hong Kong Go to Hong Kong Travel Guide | New Question|

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Directions to Attractions

Q: Hi, I am currently looking for directions to all sightseeing in Hong Kong (where to got, which bus or ferry to take, etc).

A: Please visit the links at Sightseeing in Hong Kong.  We have provided as many detailed walking instructions, tips for buses, ferrys, etc. as possible.

Surfing in Hong Kong

Q:  Are there any decent places to wind surf in Hong Kongand around the main district?

A: Dear Reader, sorry,  Hong Kong is not exactly famous for its wind surfing opportunities. You might try some of the beaches in the New Territories or on Lantau Island.

Plugs and Sockets in Hong Kong
 

Q: Hello, I am visiting Hong Kong in the next few months.
The voltage is 220/240 as in the UK but are plugs/sockets 13amp square 3 pin as in UK or do I still need an adaptor ?
 
 

A: Dear reader, the plugs are most often like the ones in the UK but they may also be round. It is better to bring an adapter.

Here is a link to a good site about the plug/socket topic Interpower.
 
 

Buses on Lantau Island

Q: Hi,What are the numbers buses from airport International to Lantau for Po Lin Monastery ? And to go back to Hong Kong? 

A: Here is a route and fare table from the bus company (Po Lin corresponds to Ngong Ping):

http://www.newlantaobus.com/farelist.htm#route
http://www.newlantaobus.com/nlb-map.htm

Trip to Macau

Q:I am going to Hong Kong for 4 1/2 days in April. I've decided to go Canton for a day and will visit  Lamma island (in conjuction with the South side  of HK), is a day trip to Macau worth it especially since I will have only 1 1/2 days left to see Kowloon and Central, Wanchai etc. (where  my hotel is).

A: Macao is quite interesting (you can reach it by jet foil in  50 minutes from Hong Kong). A trip can be done in one afternoon (about 50 minutes by jet foil from Hong Kong and another 50 minutes for the trip back  - two or three hours
sightseeing are enough.) However, Kowloon offers more in terms of interesting sights.

Power Voltage in Hong Kong

Q: Can you tell me what to Power Voltage is in HK 110 or 240v. Do hotel rooms have facilities for making coffee or ironing cloths in  general?

A: The power voltage is 220/240. For 110 voltage devices you need a transformer. Some hotels, though by no means  all have coffee or tea making facilites in the room. As far as ironing is concerned, in every hotel, I think, housekeeping staff would be able and willing to lend you ironing/pressing equipment.

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What to take with you on a trip to Hong Kong

Q: Hi, I am looking for a list of what I should take to hong kong. I have never been there  and have no idea of what to expect.  Can you please help? I am from Texas, USA.

A:Do you mean clothes? Summer clothes are best, perhaps one sweater or jacket or cardigan (for air-conditioned rooms). You also need a passport that is valid for at leas the next six months. As far as money is concerned, take a credit card and traveller`s cheques. Special vaccinations are not necessary. Bring a camera (do NOT buy one in Hong Kong!), as you are likely to want to take pictures. What else? A guide book (or print the pages from our online guide for a start) and a city map (but the map can also be bought in Hong Kong). Oh - and a transformer (US electric devices like shavers etc. won`t work in Hong Kong, because the voltage is different). That`s all, as far as I know.

Good luck and have nice trip!

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A Shopper`s Paradise?

Q: I am from Japan and I recently came back from a trip to Hong Kong, and even though the city and sights were breath taking, one mishap did spoil my whole trip. This mishap occurred at 6 Canton Road, Kowloon...an electronics shop on Canton Rd., exactly opposite of the Louis Vuitton store and right next to a 7-eleven...it's hard to miss. This store overcharges by a whopping 100 - 400 HK$, depending on the product. So when the salesperson lowered the price of a pair of headphones from 400 HK$ to 300 HK$, naturally I thought that I had a pretty good deal. Later I found out that most other stores overcharge by about 50 HK$. I have to admit that I deserved to be overcharged for my hastiness and stupidity, but I would like to warn other tourists to be more careful, especially with this store. Prices also change with time and salespeople. With one store, a pair of headphones would cost 200HK$ at 9:00 PM, but next day, the price would have increased to 300 HK$, same store and same salesperson...only thing different was that the salesperson suddenly developed amnesia on the second day and couldn't remember me or the offer he gave me the night before.

You may think that HK is a shopper's paradise, but from my experience, I have to disagree...I just hope that you'll include something in your webpage about warning shoppers. Thank you.

A: Such things can happen. We always advise to buy expensive things (like cameras, electronic equipment or jewellery) not abraod (no matter where), but at home, at a shop that you know and can trust. If you feel you absolutely HAVE to buy abroad, get at least before your trip an idea what things cost in you country (by the way, there are good headphones that can easily cost 100 US$ in western countries - I own a pair - perhaps yours are also of this type?)

Something else is the good price you got at 9.00 am. The reason for the better morning price is that Chinese merchants consider the first sale of the day to be very important. It is not unsual that they offer very special prices just to make that first sale.

And now don�t think of it any more - enjoy your headphones and forget the price!

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Short Stopover in Hong Kong

Q: We are going to Bali via Hong Kong and just discovered that we will have a 8 hour stopover! Help! Is there anything interesting that we can do in Hong Kong in this time?

A: Yes, 8 hours should be enough. You must calculate 1 hour for getting through immigration (you can store your bags, if any, in lockers. ) You must report back to the check-in counter 1 hour prior to the flight and will need between 1 and  2 hours  for getting to Kowloon and back with the airport express. That leaves you 4 hours for sightseeing, for instance for a Star Ferry ride to Central  (take a taxi form the train station in Kowloon to the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui) and either a tram ride into the Western District or a ride  to Victoria Peak (see Sightseeing in Central District). Or stay on the Kowloon side and do a little shopping on Nathan Road (See Sightseeing in Kowloon).

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Kowloon or Central District?
 

Q:  Hi,We are going to Hong Kong and staying in Kowloon at the Hyatt Regency.  I really thought that it would be better on the island but everyone has told us that the mainland is better.I have a real fear of seeing dogs in cages as food and would not be able to handle that .  Will I run into that on the main land?  Which is better mainland or island if you are only going to be there for 3 1/2 days and don't plan to return anytime in the near future?  Thanks for any information that you can give me.

A: Do not worry, you will not run into restaurants that serve dog meat in Hong Kong. (There are dogs, of course, but they are kept as pets!). It really does not matter for sightseeing purposes whether you are in Kowloon or in Victoria - they are only a 5 minute ferry ride apart (the Hyatt is very near to the Star Ferry pier). Many people think that nowadays Kowloon is better and more fun than Central - but this is a matter of taste. Both are good.  Have a nice trip!

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Cheap Cameras

Q: I will be travelling to Hong Kong next month.  Being my first trip their, I would like to take a camera - a digital video camera, to be exact.  I was about to buy one here in the USA, but then realized that I might be able to find the same item at a far lower price there.  Is there some way I can find out about this before I leave?

A: Dear reader,buy your camera at home from a reliable vendor in a shop that you know and trust. First of all, it is not guaranteed that the price will be lower in Hong Kong, and second, in the case of  problems or malfunctions of the camera, how will you hold the dealer responsible if you are back home? (The same kind of advice applies to purchases of expensive jewellery). You might also on return have to pay customs for the camera.  However, if you feel that you absolutely HAVE to buy your camera in Hong Kong, go to the HKTA office(in Tsim Sha Tsui directly at the Star Ferry pier) and ask for their recommendations brochure. Or visit Stanley Street in Central District, as a reader of our web pages suggested. This is where local professional photographers shop.

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Fashion Shopping

Q: We are coming to hongkong on a shopping and sightseein tour. We are particularly interested in designer clothes and we note that the fashion house 'episode' is located in Hong Kong. Could you advise where??

A: Yes,we can!  The address is:EPISODE Basement, Entertainment Building, 30 Queen's Road, Central, Phone (Hong Kong) 29212011Top

Weather in January

Q: We are planning a one week vacation in Hong Kong January 15-22/99, and would like to know of coming attractions and climate for tis time of year. Any information that you could provide would be appreciated.

A: January is unfortunately in general one of the colder and wetter months in Hong Kong (bring a sweater!), but it is not really icy cold (not like a European or North American winter.

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HKTA

Q: How can I contact HKTA? I want a shopping guide, because I'm going to to Hong Kong next week.

A:They have a web site (www.hkta.org) where they also list shops. You can also, once in Hong Kong, go to the HKTA office at the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon) and ask for their brochures.

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Time Difference

Q:Would you happen to know the time difference between New York and Hong Kong? If you could reply, it would greatly be appreciated.

A:When it is 10 a.m. in New York, it is 11 p.m. in Hong Kong (of the same
day).

You can find an overview of time zones at:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

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Prices/Cost of Living

Q: I don'to know if you answer specific questions like this but I was on your web site (which is very informative by the way) and found this e-mail address. I'm going to Hong Kong for 4 days next week for a conference. Most things are paid for except a few meals and local transportation. I know what the exchange rate is, but that doesn't really help me decide how much money to bring. I guess what I'm asking about is the cost of living in comparison to the US. For example - I know over here I can get a decent meal for under $5US (roughly $37 HK), I can get a can of cola for $.65US ($4.81HK). How does that compare to the prices over there? Are they about the same, much lower/ higher?

A: Dear Reader, I understand your question. However, meals (and drinks, etc)in particular tend to be comparatively expensive in Hong Kong. For instance, in a relatively low-priced  seafood restaurant on Lamma Island you can get a good, decent  meal (clams or fish, rice, and a soft drink or tea) for about 80 Hong Kong Dollars (a little bit more than 10 US$ I think). You might be able to get a simple snack meal (vegetables or tofu and rice) for about 5 US$ if you buy it at a street stall. If you bought one in a supermarket, you could probably get a can of cola for something like 0,50 US$, but not in a restaurant or cafeteria. The restaurants in the middle to first class hotels are especially expensive (and not often not even good!) - e.g. you can end up paying 150 HK$ for a (mediocre) buffet breakfast.

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Where is Ocean Park?

Q: Hi, I lived in Hong Kong for 8 years.  I am now returning for a holiday this easter and I would really like to go back to 'Ocean Park'.  I have been unable to find any information about  it, so I would be very greatful if you would send me some information, and an address to contact them.

A: The only "Ocean Park" I know of in Hong Kong is the one on Hong Kong Island, basically a large amusement park with rollercoasters, large greenhouses with plants, aquaria with sharks, etc. There is also "Water World" (open only in the summer months) with pools, gardens, artificial lakes, etc, and The Middle Kingdom, where you can find reproductions of famous Chinese buildings. The park is located outside of Aberdeen, on a mountain opposite Lamma Island. You can reach it from Aberdeen with bus No.48, and there are also buses from Admiralty in Central District. You can see the location at Map of Southern Hong Kong & Lamma Island.

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Passports

Q:  Read somewhere, I can't remember where, that you must carry your passport with you at all times whilst in Hong Kong.  Is that true?

A: Yes, you should always carry your passport or identification card with you. I do noto know if it is the law, but it is definitely advisable. Also, in order to be admitted into Hong Kong, your passport must be valid at least for the next six months.

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Tipping

Q: Hello , I have a question about tipping in Hong Kong. would you tip a limo driver that you order thru your hotel. I have been told it would be an insult to tip the driver, but I have also been told you should tip. Which is right?

A: As far as I could observe, Hong Kong drivers are NOT insulted if you give them a tip - as a matter of fact, they like it! It is, however, not necessary. Give it only if the driver was polite and reliable (no detours). Don`t give too much - something like five per cent of the fare would be adequate.

Budget Accomodation

Q: I will be travelling to Hong Kong in the near future and intend to stay in a backpacker hostel when I arrive . I would appreciate any information/advice (address's and telephone numbers) you have with regard to this sort of accomodation in Hong Kong.

A: There are YMCA guesthouses (e.g. one in Waterloo Road in Yau Ma Tei/Kowloon) and one in MacDonnel Road, Central District, Hong Kong Island or the Anne Black YWCA Guesthouse in 5 Man Fok Road, Waterloo Hill, Kowloon) and they are good, but they charge between 800 and 1000 HK$ per night (the Anne Black Guesthouse only from 350 to 700 HK$) You must also book them well in advance. If you are looking for real dormitory type accomodation, try the Hong Kong Youth Hostels Site.

A reader of our web pages suggested the following: The Chungking Mansions alone (in Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon) has dozens of cheap guesthouses offering this type of accommodation.  There are  others in Kowloon and on the Hong Kong side in Causeway Bay.  You can
find dormitory accommodation from HK$100 upwards or a private room from about HK$200 upwards, depending on the area.

This reader also stressed that it is important to 1. Always ask to see the room first to make sure it's clean; and
2.    Some brothels or "love hotels" can easily be confused with budget tourist accommodation.  Check the signs - those genuinely aimed at tourists will  have signs in English describing the facilities and saying something like "tourists welcome".

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