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Greater Bay Area Travel Information

Mandarin is the official language of China, while Cantonese is also a common language in the region. Most hotels in the country have staff fluent in other languages, but English may only be reliably spoken by individuals in tourist facilities. It’s therefore recommended to have addresses or instructions written down in Chinese to show to taxi drivers. All major streets have signposts in pinyin (the Romanisation system for Chinese characters), which make it easier to get around with the help of a map.

Many people in China, especially young people, study English and welcome the opportunity to practise with foreigners. Don't be afraid to ask for directions in English from people on the street. You’ll usually be rewarded with a polite and often heroic attempt to help.

Visas to the Mainland

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter the Mainland. Visas should be obtained from the Embassy or Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in the applicant’s country before departing to the Mainland. A standard China tourist visa is good for sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives, and can be obtained for a single entry, double entries or multiple entries. Other visas such as business visas or working visas are also available. For details, please contact your nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.


144-hour Convenient Visa to Guangdong Province

Foreign nationals in Hong Kong can visit China’s Guangdong province for a maximum of 144 hours (six days) via entry ports in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, Huizhou and Shantou* using the 144-hour Convenient Visa.

To be eligible for the 144-hour Convenient Visa, visitors:

  1. Must join a tour organised by a registered Hong Kong travel agent.
  2. Must travel in a group consisting of a minimum of two persons and a maximum of 40 persons.
  3. Can have a choice of ports of entry or exit in Guangdong province.
  4. Must enter and leave the areas together in their group via the ports of entry stated above.

*Travellers must enter and exit via the same port.


At the ports of entry and exit in Guangdong province, immigration officers will examine passports and the list of names in the group. Group members will not need to fill in any immigration cards for passport stamping.

The above policy is applicable to ordinary passport holders of nations with diplomatic relations with China, and subject to change without prior notice.

You may contact your hotel concierge or tour operator in Hong Kong to find out about the application procedure and related service charges.


Visas to Macao

Visitors to Macao Special Administrative Region are required to possess a valid passport and entry permit or visa for entry. Nationals of 76 countries and regions are exempted in accordance with the written instruction of the chief executive of Macao. Please see further details here.


Visitors entering the Mainland must follow the regulations of  the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China. For details, please check the China National Tourism Administration website.

There is a whole host of transport options connecting Hong Kong to the Greater Bay Area.



The MTR runs regular high-speed rail services to the Mainland, connecting Hong Kong to 58 Mainland stations without interchange. Travellers clear both Hong Kong and China immigration at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.



There are fast ferries to and from Macao and destinations along the coast of the Mainland. These services operate from the Hong Kong–Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island; and the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Ferry services to and from Macao are provided by:

Ferry services to and from the Mainland are provided by:



Visitors can use cross-boundary coaches to travel to Hong Kong from Macao and cities in the Mainland. There are cross-boundary coach services via the six major road-based land crossings in Hong Kong: Shenzhen Bay Port, Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok, Heung Yuen Wai and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.


Find details in our handy guide and get planning.


Be prepared for your trip by checking out the Weather Website for GBA before you depart.

The currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB), the primary unit of which is the yuan. The smaller units are the jiao and the fen. 1 yuan is equivalent to 10 jiao and 1 jiao equals 10 fen. The banknotes available are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan; and 1 and 5 jiao. Coins available are 1 yuan; and 1 and 5 jiao.

Electronic payment is also widely used in China.

The standard electrical voltage in the Mainland is 220 volts AC, 50Hz, so you will need an adaptor for 100-volt appliances.

The whole of China is set at GMT/UTC plus eight hours. The country does not observe daylight saving time.

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