Best time to go: October – December
Best for: Religious Sites, Disneyland
The Special Administration Region of Hong Kong is situated at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta on the southwestern coast of China.
Hong Kong Island with its financial hub known as Central is the vibrant heartbeat of the region. Its towering skyscrapers and neon light night spectacular accentuate the capitalist (and often hedonistic) pursuits of its inhabitants, many of them expats.
Statue Square is now a must-see, on account of its dazzling ensemble of modernist buildings. The headquarters building of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) forms the south side of the square and just to the east of it is I M Pei`s Bank of China Tower.
After dark, it just gets better. The view of Hong Kong`s glittering lights from the Peak by night is unforgettable, particularly at 20h00 when the nightly Symphony of Lights laser and music show invigorates the towers of Central and Kowloon`s Tsim Sha Tsui.
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Official Name: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Capital: Hong Kong (HKG)
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). This is also legal tender in Macau.
Language: Cantonese and English. Mandarin is widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA: +852
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +8 (6 hours ahead of South Africa)
Side of the Road: Left
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style square three-pin plugs are used
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: Upon your arrival at Hong Kong International Airport or at a boundary control point, automatic sensors will take your temperature. If it is considered high, you may be required to participate in a quick health check. There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: When introducing yourself, the family name is given first. Littering and public hygiene laws are taken very seriously. Avoid causing someone to “lose face” by insulting them or contradicting them in public. Hierarchical values are practiced.
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is prohibited in public areas and hefty fines are charged for non-compliance. Fines are also charged for littering. Eating and drinking is not allowed on public transport.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Hong Kong by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 19 cigarettes or 1 cigar or 25g of tobacco.
• 1L of alcohol over 30% volume. No customs duty is payable on wine or spirits with less than 30% alcohol content.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited and restricted imports include psychotropic drugs, narcotics, controlled chemicals, antibiotics (except an acceptable amount for personal use accompanied by a doctor’s prescription), arms, ammunition, fireworks, strategic commodities, rough diamonds, protected animals, plants, endangered species, radio transmitting equipment, game, meat and poultry.
Prohibited Exports: Prohibited and restricted exports include psychotropic drugs, narcotics, controlled chemicals, antibiotics (except an acceptable amount for personal use accompanied by a doctor’s prescription), arms, ammunition, fireworks, strategic commodities, rough diamonds, protected animals, plants, endangered species, radio transmitting equipment, game, meat, poultry and powdered formula milk.