Situated on the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong’s strategic location on the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea has made it one of the world’s most thriving and cosmopolitan cities.
Under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China on July 1, 1997. This arrangement allows the city to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, including retaining its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade and freedom of speech.
Hong Kong can mostly thank its colonial history and international harbor for the rich blend of cultures that give it its unique character. While the majority of the city’s population are Chinese speakers, simply walking the streets will expose you to a medley of Asian and European languages.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. The only predictable weather events that could have a significant impact on your travel plans are typhoons. Typhoon season begins in May and ends in November. When a typhoon is approaching, warnings are broadcast on television and radio. There are various degrees of warning signals issued by the Hong Kong Observatory, but when the no. 8 signal is in place, most businesses and shops close down and flights may be cancelled. There is a separate warning system for heavy rain.
Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods of seven to 180 days, depending on nationality. Check with the Hong Kong Immigration Department for details about visa requirements. U.S. Citizens visiting Hong Kong for not more than three months/90 days are not required to obtain visas. They must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months, and evidence of adequate funds for their stay and onward transportation. Those wishing to stay more than three months must obtain visas from a Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Visitors are not permitted to study or work (whether paid or not).
Asia’s world city is bursting with enough retail and dining options to keep the hungriest bargain-hunter weighed down with shopping bags and confounded by menu options for years. Here are some tips to make your shopping and dining mission in Hong Kong even easier.
Shopping Tips: You can trust shops displaying the QTS sign because they must pass stringent annual quality
You can trust shops displaying the QTS sign because they must pass stringent annual quality assessments showing that they: Provide clearly displayed prices; Display clear product Information; and Ensure superb customer service.
Dining Tips: You can trust restaurants displaying the QTS sign because they must pass stringent annual quality assessments showing that they: Provide quality food in clean and hygienic premises; Provide clear and precise menus with prices for food and beverages; and Ensure superb customer service.
The Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme is organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, which also provides assistance for enquiries about purchases from shops, restaurants and accommodation accredited by the QTS Scheme.
Hong Kong is internationally famous for its safe, affordable and reliable public transport system that keeps the city moving at its trademark lightning speed. If lightning is too fast, you can switch gears by hopping on an unhurried tram or ferry, and savor the city at an old-world pace.