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about hong kong

Hong Kong is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a more recent contemporary ex-British influence. Today, the former British colony is a major tourism destination for China's increasingly affluent mainland population. It is also an important hub in East Asia with global connections to many of the world's cities - Hong Kong's magnificent harbour has been the key to its development as a trading port and entrepôt for China, progressing through an industrial era to become a leading financial and services centre in Asia. The unique blend of eastern and western influences, matched by diverse attractions and stunning countryside, has also made Hong Kong Asia's prime tourist destination.

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  • weather

    Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with distinct seasons. In Summer (June to August), weather is hot, humid and sunny, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. Temperature is around 27°C to 32°C during day time. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable clothing to avoid heatstroke. Autumn (September to November) is the best time of the year to visit Hong Kong as there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. A jacket or sweater may be recommended for air-conditioned rooms. There may also be occasional rain, so it is advisable to bring an umbrella.

  • languages

    Cantonese is the Chinese dialect spoken by over 88% of the people in Hong Kong. However, English is widely used in the Government and by the legal, professional and business sectors as well as tourist areas. Most taxi drivers and salespeople are able to communicate in English. Since reunification with China in 1997, Mandarin, more commonly known as Putonghua - the official dialect of China, has gained in prominence and most locals can at least comprehend it to a certain degree.

  • currency

    The legal tender is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$), which is linked to the US dollar at a rate of about 7.80 HKD to 1 USD, although exchange rates may fluctuate slightly. Foreign currencies can be conveniently changed at banks and hotels. There are also money changer kiosks available at major tourist spots and the airport. Most major hotels charge a nominal fee for currency conversion. Most banks open from 9:00am to 4:30pm on Monday through Friday and from 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays. ATM machines are highly prevalent and can be easily found all through the city.

  • local time

    Hong Kong time is 8 hours ahead of GMT (GMT + 8:00)

  • electricity

    The voltage in Hong Kong is 200/220 volts, 50 cycles. Three-rectangular-pin plug is the standard. Most hotels provide adaptors.

  • communications

    Telecommunications in Hong Kong are efficient and sophisticated. Local private landline calls are free and cost only HK$1 for five minutes from public telephones. Hotels usually make a charge. International Direct Dial (IDD) service to most countries and regions of the world is available at most of the hotels in Hong Kong.

    mobile / cell phone:

    Using your mobile phone in Hong Kong is convenient as most of the wireless systems used around the world - like GSM 900, PCS 1800, CDMA and WCDMA - operate in Hong Kong. Mobile operators in Hong Kong also have roaming agreements with most overseas operators. You can also get local SIM cards or mobile phones when you arrive in Hong Kong, at the airport or in town.

    internet connection:

    Hong Kong is has a very good Internet network. Many hotels, restaurants, cafés and shopping malls provide free or low-cost wireless Internet access. Free WiFi service is available at HK International Airport. There is also Free GovWiFi service is in some government buildings including some public libraries.

  • transport

    Hong Kong is geographically compact and boasts one of the world's most efficient, safe, affordable and frequent public transport systems. Whether by taxi, ferry, rail, bus or tram, you can get around easily and catch wonderful glimpses of the city along the way.

    Make use of the Octopus Card, an electronic fare card that is accepted by almost all forms of public transport, and at many fast food chains and stores. It's easy and convenient to use, save time and eliminates the need for small change. Add money to it whenever you need to, and any unspent value in On-Loan Octopus is refundable along with the HK$50 deposit (minus HK$7 handling fee for cards returned within three months). You can also opt for a non-returnable Sold Octopus.

  • visa arrangements

    Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong without a visa/entry permit for a period ranging from 7 days to 180 days. For more information on visa/entry permit requirements, please click here

  • useful numbers

    Please click here for a list of useful numbers.
    For more information about Hong Kong, please visit www.discoverhongkong.com

  • walking tours
  • Special offers and discounts during your stay

    'Once you register for 'Hong Kong 2012', we can offer you a range of privileges and superb offers during your stay in Hong Kong.

    Brought to you in association with the Meetings and Exhibitions office of the Hong Kong Tourism Board under its 'Business Right Here!' campaign, you can enjoy discounts and special offers in dining, shopping, sightseeing, transport and airport services.

    In addition, Cathay Pacific Airways, the home carrier of Hong Kong, together with its sister airline Dragonair, are offering registered delegates an exclusive opportunity to enjoy great savings on flights to Hong Kong.

    Click here for full details

    PsIf you decide to book a flight online, you will need to quote the MICE Event code which was provided in your registration confirmation email (for confirmation emails dated after 22 August). If you cannot find the code or you registered before this date, please contact our event secretariat (secretaraiat@ica-hk.org) who will provide you with the code. You can then book up to five tickets to visit our event in Hong Kong.

To download our 'Tourist Information for Spouse/Partners' pack, please click here

what’s new?
  • Over 1,000 delegates took part in our 'Hong Kong 2012' event. Thank you to everybody who joined us - we hope you enjoyed it. Click here to see the photos
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