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Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will Christmas lights be switched on?

A: The exact period of Christmas lights and decorations varies among shopping malls and buildings. Generally speaking, you will find these from mid-November, with large shopping malls the first to set up Christmas decorations inside and out, and more added in various locations around the city from late November. Decorations usually remain until about 1–2 weeks after the New Year. Contact us if you need more details for your trip planning.

 

Q: When are fireworks displays usually held?

A: Fireworks displays are usually held on the second day of Chinese New Year and on New Year's Eve. Contact us for the latest updates. 

 

Q: Will public transport operate as normal during Chinese New Year?

A: Generally speaking, most public transport including taxis will still be running during Chinese New Year. However, please note that road closures and special traffic arrangements will be implemented during Chinese New Year (normally on the first and second days of Chinese New Year), which may result in route alterations. More details are released by the Transport Department as Chinese New year approaches.

 

Q: Will shops and restaurants be closed during public holidays?

A: Most shops and restaurants in major tourist areas will remain open during public holidays. Some of them will be closed on the first and second days of Chinese New Year and will reopen for business from the third day. Some traditional shops and restaurants, such as dried seafood merchants, Chinese medicine stores and small family-owned restaurants, may stay closed for longer. Call to check before visiting.

Hong Kong's official public holidays can be found here.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Hong Kong?

A: Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods of 7 to 180 days, depending on nationality. Please check our traveller information page, and the Hong Kong Immigration Department for more details.

 

Q: What items am I prohibited from bringing into Hong Kong?

A: It is against Hong Kong law, to bring some items into Hong Kong. All travellers, including those transiting through Hong Kong International Airport, are liable for prosecution if they are found in possession of these dangerous items. Please check our traveller information page and the Hong Kong Police Force’s advice to visitors before you travel.

 

Q: I need to take my medication with me to visit Hong Kong. Is it allowed?

A: According to the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, pharmaceutical products and medicines imported in the personal baggage of the person they are prescribed to, and in a reasonable quantity for their personal use, may be exempted from licensing requirements. Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a doctor’s certificate for the medication prescribed. For details, please visit the Customs and Excise Department website. Visitors are also advised to contact the Customs and Excise Department directly for more details. 

 

Q: Am I allowed to bring any form of electronic cigarettes to Hong Kong?

A: According to the Drug Office of the Department of Health, e-cigarette products containing nicotine are regarded as a pharmaceutical product in Hong Kong.  Under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60), all imports and exports of pharmaceutical products must be covered by import and export licences. Nevertheless, when e-cigarette products are imported in accompanied personal baggage of a person entering Hong Kong, and in a reasonable quantity for personal use, they are currently exempted from the licensing requirement.

Please note that the Hong Kong Government may implement a citywide ban on e-cigarettes in the near future. Please contact the Customs and Excise Department and Drug Office, Department of Health prior to your departure to obtain the latest information.

 

Q: Do I need a vaccination before visiting Hong Kong?

A: Vaccination certificates are not usually needed when travelling to Hong Kong, but please check with your local carrier because requirements may change.

You are also advised to check the website of Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health for the latest travel health advice from Hong Kong.

 

Q: My passport will expire within a month. Can I still travel to Hong Kong?

A: In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least one month after the period of their intended stay in Hong Kong. However, documents issued to stateless persons must be valid for a minimum of two months after the period of the intended stay.

Please contact the Immigration Department and your local carrier before departure.

Q: When should I visit Hong Kong for the best weather?

A: Hong Kong is a popular travel destination year round. The city enjoys a mild climate from the middle of September to the end of February, while the weather from May to mid-September can be hot, wet and humid, with August being the wettest month. For detailed weather information, please visit the Hong Kong Observatory website.

 

Q: Where is the best area to stay?

A: Hong Kong is very compact, so visitors are never too far from the action. Getting around is simple via Hong Kong’s extensive, reliable and affordable public transport system. Most hotels located close to the harbourfront are in Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and North Point on Hong Kong Island, and in Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsim Sha Tsui East and Hung Hom in Kowloon. You can also find plenty of accommodations within Kowloon’s busy areas of Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok. And there are a growing number of resort-style hotels in the New Territories and the outlying islands that offer more relaxing alternatives. 

Q: Is local transport easy to use?

A: Hong Kong has an excellent public transport system that is considered one of the best in the world. Depending on where you are going, you have a choice of MTR (subway and light rail), buses, trams, ferries and taxis. These clean and efficient options cover extensive areas of Hong Kong and have signs and announcements in both English and Chinese. See more details about Hong Kong’s transportation here

You may consider purchasing an Octopus Card, which is an electronic stored-value ticket that is accepted on most public transport, and at many fast food chains and stores. Check out the details here.

 

Q: How many people can a taxi carry? Will there be a charge for every piece of baggage when taking a taxi?

A: Taxis in Hong Kong can carry up to four or five passengers and you will see a ‘4’ or a ‘5’ on the rear of the vehicle to indicate the maximum passenger capacity. All taxis are metered and for every item of luggage (except light personal and hand baggage carried inside the passenger compartment), an additional charge of HK$6 per piece will be added. For further details on taxi fares and charges, including for tunnels, please visit here

Passengers with lots of baggage or larger items may consider using a Jumbo Taxi. You can look for one to flag on the street or book via their service hotline +852 5711 1222 (24 hours) with a booking fee. Jumbo Taxis provide a spacious interior and extra-large luggage space.

Q: When are summer sales / winter sales periods in Hong Kong?

A: Generally speaking, summer sales run from July to September and winter sales from December to February. However, the exact sales period may vary from shop to shop.

 

Q: Do shops and restaurants close during long public holidays such as Chinese New Year?

A: Most shops and restaurants in major tourist areas will remain open during public holidays. Some of them will be closed on the first and second days of Chinese New Year and will reopen for business from the third day. Some traditional shops and restaurants, such as dried seafood merchants, Chinese medicine stores and small family-owned restaurants, may stay closed for longer. Call to check before visiting.

Hong Kong's official public holidays can be found here.

 

Q: Is there any sales tax in Hong Kong?

A: Mostly, no. All goods, other than alcohol and tobacco, are tax-free. However, all retail businesses in Hong Kong will charge a minimum levy of HK $0.50 for each plastic shopping bag provided to customers in order to reduce waste.

 

Q: What are Hong Kong’s official business hours?

A: Opening hours vary from business to business, but here’s a rough guide:

  • Most offices will open from 9am to 6pm or longer from Monday to Friday, depending on the type of business. Many will also open from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
  • Major banks open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
  • Retail shops generally open from 10am to 7pm daily, although those in popular shopping areas such as Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui will stay open until 9:30pm or even later, especially on weekends. Many shops in Hong Kong remain open every day of the year, except the first two days of Chinese New Year.
  • Restaurants tend to stay open until around 11pm, while bars and clubs, as well as some fast food outlets, will close in the wee hours, with plenty of them operating all night, particularly in popular nightlife hubs such as Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai.

Q: Is English widely spoken?

A: Yes. English is widely spoken in Hong Kong and is the language of preference in the government, business and tourism sectors. As a visitor, you can expect to encounter minimal problems communicating in English, as most taxi drivers, salespeople, tourism industry employees and police have reached competent levels of the language. Also, all official signs and public transport announcements, as well as most menus, are in both English and Chinese.

 

Q: Will I be able to use my electrical equipment in Hong Kong?

A: 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 your appliances or electrical equipment.  Electrical outlets in Hong Kong are in the three-pronged UK-style plug format.

 

Q: Can I use a mobility scooter in Hong Kong?

A: According to the Transport Department, mobility scooters are not allowed to be used in Hong Kong. Please visit here for details.

Wheelchair rental is available for disabled visitors and those requiring mobility assistance during their stay in Hong Kong. Please contact us for more information.

 

Q: Where can I leave my luggage while I’m travelling around Hong Kong?

A: Left luggage services, such as counters and lockers are available in many places in Hong Kong, including the following, which can be easily located:

 

Checklists of Measures

The Hong Kong Tourism Board attaches great importance to ensuring equal access to its services by all members of the public and tourists from around the globe, irrespective of their ethnic background.

Please see more details on Hong Kong SAR Government’s Administrative Guidelines on Promotion of Racial Equality.

Contact us if you need more information.

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