Hong Kong travel tips

Hong Kong has Chinese roots, colonial heritage and a 21st century outlook, which makes it a fascinating place to visit. With so many different influences, a few Hong Kong travel tips will certainly come in handy. Hong Kong is officially regarded as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The area was a British Colony for over 100 years, and handed back to China in 1997. This British legacy has created a destination that it is truly unique, and in every neighbourhood you’ll discover the fascinating stories of Hong Kong’s past and present.

Hong Kong Visas

If you're visiting Hong Kong for tourism for less than 90 days, you generally won't need to organise a visa in advance. Note that if you plan to travel between Hong Kong and mainland China, you'll need a visa. Also be aware that these arrangements can change with short notice, so we recommend you refer to the Australian Government's Smartraveller website to get the latest information on what you need to know about travel to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Currency

The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), which is pegged to the US dollar and therefore pretty stable. The value obviously fluctuates but one Australian dollar is worth around 5HKD. Credit cards are widely accepted and Hong Kong is also well equipped with ATMs, allowing you fast access to funds without the risk of carrying cash.

Hong Kong Food

Food in Hong Kong is one of the city's highlights, and there are a few dishes you really shouldn't leave without trying. If one food symbolises Hong Kong, it is surely the dim sum – bite-sized steamed dumplings and rice noodle rolls are a core component of traditional Cantonese cuisine and as such, heading out to “drink tea” – or yum cha – is one of the most authentic Hong Kong dining experiences around. Stir-fried crab, barbecued pork and congee are some of the other culinary favourites.

Tipping in Hong Kong

There are a few customary practises for tipping in Hong Kong. In most restaurants, it's not expected because many establishments add a 10% service charge to the bill. Check the bill to find out. In fancier restaurants, tipping is not expected but many customers do tip in the top restaurants. Tipping is usually expected for hair salons and beauty treatments, but not so much in cafes. Tip in hotels if you have bellhops, room service, a valet and concierge looking after you.

Hong Kong electrical plugs and voltage

Hold on to your UK adaptors! In most cases, electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug, which makes things easy. The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotel bathrooms also have outlets for 100 volts, but if not, you will need a transformer for any appliance or electrical equipment.

Language in Hong Kong

Thanks to its history, Hong Kong has two official languages: Chinese and English. Cantonese is spoken by the majority of the population, but Mandarin (the official dialect of China) has become more widely spoken since the reunification of 1997. The preferred language of the Government and business is English, and all signage is bilingual.

Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong International Airport is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok and is one of the world's top ten busiest airports. There are two terminals, and the airport is known for its state-of-the-art facilities and fantastic service. It is often referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport and you certainly won't be bored if you're spending a few hours there – over 320 shops and 100 restaurants.