Hong Kong has earned its place among the top cities in the world. The city entices visitors with an unlimited supply of things to do, including an unrivaled cuisine scene, legendary nightlife, and a jaw-dropping skyline.
Hong Kong is a great treat to visit, with vibrant street markets, lovely parks, and towering skyscrapers that help the region rank among the world’s densely populated areas.
First-timers are undoubtedly enthusiastic about their vacation, but they are also unsure about several aspects, such as their visa, the local language, their accommodations, their shopping, their transportation, etc.
You’ll be able to explore the area more effectively with the help of this simple guide of things to know before visiting Hong Kong.
Did you know?
Hong Kong is not a nation. It was a British colony for many years during which time the country’s economy grew strongly capitalist. But in 1997, China assumed control of Hong Kong, converting it into a special administrative region (SAR) of China.
The “one country, two systems” policy is currently in effect, allowing them to maintain a significant amount of political and economic independence despite legally being a part of communist China.
Things to know before visiting Hong Kong 2023
Let’s get started!
1. Hong Kong Affordability
The Hong Kong Dollar, or HKD, is the local currency in Hong Kong. Currently, USD 1 is equal to HKD 7.81 and HKD 1 is equal to USD 0.15.
Here are the average costs for travelers in USD:
- The typical cost of a hotel stay is about $210 for a 3-star hotel and $275 for a 4-star establishment.
- Luxury 5-star hotels: There are many possibilities, especially if you want to splash out, and luxury 4-star hotels cost, on average, $450 per night. Standard rooms at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, for instance, start at $635 while Premier Executive Suites with harbor views cost $2,500 per night.
- If you’re on a tight budget, there are many hostels in Hong Kong where beds in a dorm will cost about $20 per night and private rooms will cost between $35 and $65 per night.
There is so much to do, including many inexpensive options, and the food in Hong Kong is amazing.
- A three-course supper for two at a midrange restaurant costs about $65.
- Expect to pay roughly $8 for a basic supper at a budget restaurant or from a street vendor.
- A cappuccino costs roughly $5, and a beer costs between $6 and $7.
- In Hong Kong, the MTR is the most effective mode of public transport. Tourists can purchase unlimited travel passes for the city’s metro, trams, and light rails for about $8.50 per day. If you don’t purchase the tourist pass, single journey tickets range from $0.90 to $3 and are distance-based.
- Taxi fares start at $3.20 and go up by $2 for each extra mile. There is Uber, and the costs are similar to those of a cab.
- Tourists can take the famous Star Ferry to get from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon for anywhere between $0.50 and $0.83, depending on the time of day and the deck you choose.
2. Local Eats And Drinks
Trying the local cuisine is one of the nicest pleasures of traveling, and Hong Kong is a great spot to do this. Don’t leave without at least attempting one of the following:
- Fish balls are a common snack made by forming cooked fish meat into balls.
- A pineapple bun is a soft, sweet bun with a crunchy sugar top that cracks as it cooks and has the appearance of a pineapple.
- Soft white buns called cha siu baau are steamed after being loaded with sauce and grilled meat.
- Chicken feet are deep-fried and simmered in a black bean sauce; they are more delectable than they sound.
- Condensed milk and Ceylon black tea are combined to make milk tea, which can be consumed either hot or cold.
- Using sweetened red beans, evaporated milk, vanilla ice cream, and crushed ice, red bean ice is a cool summer beverage.
- San Miguel and Tsingtao beers are the most popular beers in Hong Kong.
3. Top Attractions in Hong Kong
There are so many amazing sites to discover in Hong Kong. Here are a few of the top attractions to check out while you’re there:
- The highest peak on the island, Victoria Peak, must be seen as part of any vacation to Hong Kong. Riding the 8-minute Peak Tram will take visitors to the top. Amazing views may be seen from the top.
- Temple Street Night Market: This legendary market is best visited between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Visitors should come hungry. Fantastic street cuisine may be found there, along with inexpensive clothing and trinkets.
- The Hong Kong Museum of History is a fascinating museum with a focus on Hong Kong’s history. The Hong Kong Museum of History is an excellent resource for finding out more about the region’s lengthy and fascinating past.
4. Culture And Etiquette In Hong Kong
The customs and culture of Hong Kong are very dissimilar from those of the West. Before leaving on your vacation, take the time to read up on proper manners.
- DO NOT SMOKE IN PUBLIC. Smoking is not permitted inside or outside of buildings or in parks, beaches, or on public transit.
- DO raise your hand: If you’re at a restaurant and you need your waiter’s attention for something, raise your hand and wave.
- AVOID using the MTA at rush hour: Avoid taking the train between the hours of 7 and 9:30 in the morning and 5 and 7 in the evening since they are crowded with people traveling to and from work.
- DO employ chopsticks properly: Chopsticks should never be used to point at anything or anyone, and they should never be placed upright in a dish of rice. Additionally, use the community chopsticks rather than your own to eat from a communal platter.
- DON’T be alarmed: Seating in restaurants with other diners is usually because they are frequently crowded and aim to make the most of their available space.
- DO respect your elders: Respect someone older than you by giving them a courteous greeting, going where they lead, and giving up your seat on a crowded train.
5. How Safe Is It For Tourists?
Travelers can feel very safe in Hong Kong, as in many other Asian cities. To ensure their safety when visiting, visitors should nevertheless bear the following in mind:
The most frequent crimes that travelers will experience are pickpocketing and scams, but they are uncommon. Exercise particular caution in crowded areas, popular tourist destinations, and on public transportation.
Political demonstrations occasionally occur all across Hong Kong; if you come across one while there, it is not advisable to participate. Know how to contact for assistance: Dial 999 if you or a member of your group requires immediate assistance.
Travel insurance can assist with covering the costs of any travel accidents during your trip to Hong Kong as well as in the event of a medical emergency.
6. How’s the WiFi?
The average internet speeds in Hong Kong for April 2023, according to the internet speed testing service Ookla, were 52.61 Mbps download and 11.87 Mbps upload.
7. How Long Can I Stay?
As long as they depart from Hong Kong within 90 days, Americans can visit without a visa. Your passport must have at least one blank page and be valid for at least a month after the date you plan to depart.