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Hong Kong – Things to Know Before You Go

22 September 2016

Skyline of Hong Kong

Updated September 2017

So you’ve booked your Hong Kong cruise, and you’re almost ready to witness the beautiful skyline, vibrant community, and adventurous cuisine of this incredible destination. But there are a few things you should know before you embark on your exploration of this fascinating place.

Getting Around

You’ll find that there are many ways you can get around Hong Kong and its surrounding areas, depending on where exactly you’d like to visit.

MTR – Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway has been a quick and efficient way to quickly travel around Hong Kong since 1979. It is open from around 6am until 1am, and with over 80 stations and 60 rail stops, it is likely that you’ll be able to get wherever you want, whenever you want.

Air – If you’re looking to get to some of the other major cities in China, air travel could be the best option for you - Hong Kong is one of the best connected airports in the world.

Train - It is also possible to travel to and from Mainland China via China Railway's Kowloon station - also known as Hung Hom Station. Passengers can take day and/or night trains from here to destinations such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

Ferry – You will see a number of ferries in and around Victoria Harbour, in particular the famous Star Ferry that makes the crossing from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island around every ten minutes each day. Other ferries can take you to surrounding islands including Lamma and Lantau.

Safety Precautions

A great number of British nationals visit Hong Kong every year, and almost all trips go completely trouble free. Having said this, there are always things you need to look out for;. While crime rates in Hong Kong are relatively low, be aware that there is always the possibility of pick-pocketing. Personal possessions and valuable goods are best kept in hotel safes, or left in another secure place, however be sure to keep hold of your passports and credit cards at all times just in case of an emergency. Consider purchasing a money belt to keep these in, which can discreetly be worn on your person while you are out and about.


If you are a British Citizen, it is possible to visit Hong Kong without the need of a Visa, assuming your stay is for less than 6 months. If you wish to visit mainland China however, a tourist visa must be obtained. These are available for single, double, or multiple entries - check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for up-to-date information.


For food and drink, you can expect to spend around HK$ 100-200 per person for a meal, and maybe another HK$ 150 for drinks. Hong Kong is not the cheapest destination, however it is possible to spend less if you spend some time looking for eateries. Dining with the locals in the infamous Temple Street Market, Kowloon, is a particularly wallet-friendly option!


The standard currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), which is exchanged at the rate of around 7.80 HKD to 1 USD. Of course rates can fluctuate so be sure to check before getting your money exchanged. Denominations include $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000.

If you’re looking to explore outside of Hong Kong, it’s important to note that the general currency of China is the Renminbi (RMB), the main unit of which is yuan, followed by Jiao and fen. One Yuan equals 10 Jiao and one Jiao is equal to 10 fen.

Time Zone

The whole of China is set at GMT/UTC + eight hours, without the observation of daylight saving time.

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