We answer all your questions about Hong Kong, so you can book your flight to this once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience.
Hong Kong’s iconic skyline, famous cuisine and cultural vibrancy are just some of the temptations that draw Aussies to visit this buzzing destination.
Whether you fancy a cable-car adventure with breathtaking views of the mountains, forests and coast, or prefer the idea of a trip to the beautiful monastery Po Lin to see the giant Buddha and experience the natural beauty of Lantau Island, it’s undeniable that Hong Kong is almost magnetic.
What to know before you go
Is Hong Kong a country?
No. Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. It is an independent territory of China and is situated on the Pearl River Delta.
Is Hong Kong expensive?
Compared with the average Aussie price of a mid-range three-course meal for two Hong Kong is cheaper. In Australia we’d usually pay about $80 for a three-course meal for two people, whereas in Hong Kong, you’d be looking at something like $58.30 for the equivalent.
Generally, public transportation and taxi services are also substantially cheaper than back home.
Some things in Hong Kong however are much more expensive. Draught beer in Australia would usually be in the region of $7, whereas Hong Kong prices are closer to $8.10 (averaged out). Coffee is generally more expensive too. Whereas Aussies would usually pay in the region of $4, in Hong Kong, you’d be more likely to pay closer to $5.50.
Is Hong Kong an island?
Hong Kong comprises of the Kowloon peninsula and 261 islands. The largest island is Lantau Island and the second largest is Hong Kong Island.Hong Kong Island is the political and commercial centre of Hong Kong.
Do I need a visa to visit Hong Kong?
Aussies whose passports have at least six months validity can enter Hong Kong for a period of up to three months without a visa. If you want to stay longer than this, you’ll need to apply for a visa from a Chinese consulate. This must be done at least six to eight weeks before your scheduled departure. Applications for an extended visa can be addressed to either the Chinese embassy or consulate offices.
Is Hong Kong a developed country?
The People's Republic of China (China) is a developed country, however, Hong Kong is not a sovereign state, and thus it is technically not considered to be a country. at all
That said, it would easily be considered a developed economy, as its economy is independent and it has its own currency and central bank.
Where is Hong Kong International Airport?
Hong Kong International Airport is situated on the island of Chek Lap Kok.
Does Hong Kong Airport have free Wi-Fi?
It certainly does. You’ll just need to follow the steps below to activate your free Wi-Fi connection:
- Disable data service (eg GPRS or 3G) to avoid roaming service charges
- Select "#HKAirport Free WiFi" as your connection network (SSID)
- Launch the Internet browser and enter any valid website address. (Do not enter website address that starts with https://)
- Click "Agree and Continue" after reading all terms and conditions
- Enjoy the free Wi-Fi service
- Remember to disconnect your device from the Wi-Fi network after use
Does Hong Kong International Airport have showers?
Hong Kong airport’s extensive list of facilities include The Plaza Shower and Relaxation Lounge. This is the perfect place to freshen up after a long flight. There are also shower rooms, hair blow-dry rooms and a lavish resting area.
Should you tip in Hong Kong?
Most restaurants in Hong Kong will bill customers an extra 10% service charge. This is usually outlined in the menu and there’s really no need to contribute more than this. However if the service has been genuinely excellent, you can leave additional money above the service charge. That’s the way to ensure that your server gets the reward for their hard work as opposed to the company.
Taxi or cab drivers don’t expect tips, but it is considered the norm to leave any small change.
One place you might be unaccustomed to seeing attendants is in toilets. Many of the upscale hotels and restaurants do have toilet hands, ready to pass you towels etc. It is important to offer these attendants a couple of coins for their services.
Health and safety
Is Hong Kong safe?
Hong Kong is relatively safe, however, there are a number of dangers that anyone travelling to Hong Kong should be aware of.
- Typhoons. Typhoons are common in Hong Kong, with typhoon season in July and August. If a typhoon warning is announced, go to your accommodation immediately.
- Invitations upstair by market vendors. No matter how nice the store employees or owners seem, for your safety, politely say no. This is known to be used as a distraction tactic to enact robbery, kidnapping, or forcing the victim into sex trade.
- Street crime. It’s important to avoid travelling the streets alone. Be sure to learn basic words and phrases to use in Hong Kong, or travel with a certified tourist assistant/translator that can speak the language fluently. Most Hong Kong muggings happen because tourists are lured into situations without understanding what is being said.
As always, express due care and attention to your personal safety and possessions.
Does Hong Kong have zika?
No. At present, the only cases of zika virus reported in Hong Kong appear to have been imported incidents.
The zika virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which is currently not found in Hong Kong. Other Aedes mosquito species like Aedes albopictus, which are present in Hong Kong, are also considered to be potential vectors.
Getting around and things to do
Where is Hong Kong Disneyland?
Hong Kong Disneyland is a theme park located at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on Penny's Bay, Lantau Island in Hong Kong. It opened in 2005 and its design is centred around the original Disneyland in California.
You can get there from the city centre by MTR, Hong Kong's metro train system. There's a dedicated line branching off the system's main line at Sunny Bay Station to get you to the park.
Does Hong Kong have Uber?
Uber is in operation in Hong Kong. Your Uber options include uberASSIST, uberX, UberBLACK and 7-Seater. Do be aware that recently Uber have been forced to raise their minimum fares by as much as 80% due to an ongoing battle with the prominent local taxi association, and pressure from the government, which still has not awarded Uber with legal status.
Does Hong Kong have beaches?
Hong Kong has a beautiful coastline that is full of twists and turns with plenty of bays and beaches. Many of them are well sheltered by nearby mountains. As a result, large waves seldom appear at the bays, which makes them suitable for swimming.
What is Hong Kong famous for?
Hong Kong is famous for its impressive shopping scene, its culinary delights and for being the Cantonese speaking capital of the world.