As a rule of thumb, one can say that citizens of the so-called Western countries (US, Western and Southern Europe, Australia, also a lot of Asian countries like Japan or Thailand) do NOT need a visa if the visit is restricted to Hong Kong or Macau. They can stay as tourists in Hong Kong for up to 6 months without a visa. However, if you want to work, study or join/establish a business in Hong Kong, you ALWAYS need a visa. You must apply at least six weeks prior to departure at your nearest Chines consulate/embassy.
You can look up details at:
Also, if you want to visit Guangzhou, Shenzen or any other part if mainland China, you need a visa!
Obtaining a visa for China in Hong Kong
It is relatively easy to get a China visa in Hong Kong (it costs HK$ 180- 600, it depends on the kind of visa). Most of the travel agencies in Hong Kong provide this service, (1 or 2 days) a bit of service charge is probably worth the hassle to go to the authority yourself.
You can also apply for the visa yourself at the consulate; it is cheaper (prices start at HK$ 100), but it usually takes longer.
Department Office of
Most visitors arrive via plane (the airport code is HKG). Hong Kong`s new airport, Chek Lap Kok was opened on 6th of July, 1998 and the old city airport, Kai Tak, that was located in Kowloon and famous for the spectacular and difficult landing manoeuvers it required, is now closed.
The best means of transport from Chek Lap Kok airport into the city is the new Airport Express Train that takes you from the airport to Kowloon in ca. 20 minutes, to Central District in 30 minutes. The fare is HK$ 60,00 to Kowloon and HK$ 100 to Hong Kong Island (October 1998). Baggage trolleys are not allowed on the trains, but the station staff will assist you with your bags. From the train stations in Kowloon or Hong Kong Islands it is best to take a taxi (depending on the distance to you hotel between HK$ 25,00 and ca. 60,00 HK$). For your return flight: you can check in at the airline counters in the Airport Express Train stations (but you must be there at least 2 hours prior to your flight!) Taxies directly from the airport into the city are very expensive: HK$ 300,00 to Kowloon, more to Hong Kong Island.
Please visit our Airport, Visa & Transport FAQs!
Hong Kong has a very good public transport system. Most famous are the lovely old-fashioned Star Ferries (each of them is named after a star, e.g. "Morning Star", "Evening Star", etc.) which cross the harbour and run two routes: between Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon and the Central District on Hong Kong Island, and between Tsimshatsui and Wanchai on Hong Kong Island. The subway is called (MTR) and is a very fast and efficient (though a little bit boring) means of transport. MTR has three lines: the island line from Sheung Wan via Central and Wanchai to Chai Wan, the Tsuen Wan line (from Central via Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan Street and Mongkok up to Tsuen Wan in the New Territories), and the Kwun Tong line (from Yau Ma Tei in the middle of Kowloon via Kowloon Tong, where you can change to the Kowloon-Canton Railway to Lam Tin in the east of the New Territories). MTR Fares range from HK$4 to HK$11. The Kowloon- Canton Railway (KCR) takes you into the New Territories, for instance to the Temple of 10.000 Buddhas. Here is a link to the MTR web site: http://www.mtr.co.hk.
In addition, there are a lot of buses that run routes all over the territory of Hong Kong, and lovely double-decker trams in Central District (they run the route between Kennedy Town in the West and Shau Kei wan, and are a slow means of transport, but offer very good views of Hong streetlife, especially if you manage to get a seat on the upper deck), as well as a lot of taxies; they are red on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, green in the New Territories, and blue on Lantau Island. The taxi fares are very low. (Some drivers, though, do not speak English; it is wise to have your destination written in Chinese characters) New Territories taxis will pick up and drop off only in the New Territories.
The Outlying Islands (Lamma, Cheung Chau, and Lantau) can reached by boat; there are regular ferry services several times a day (you can get printed schedules at the Outlying Islands pier). You can choose between ordinary ferries and hoover ferries, the latter are faster and more expensive (but they cannot be recommended for people who tend to get seasick!). The Outlying Islands Ferry pier is located in the Central District, you can walk there from the Star Ferry terminal. A visit to at least one of the outlying islands (either Lantau or Lamma) should be part of any visit to Hong Kong. The ferry schedules can be found at the Hong Kong Ferry Website.
Please visit our Airport, Visa & Transport FAQs!
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