Location – Hong Kong
Aberdeen is an area and town on southwest Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Southern District.
In Aberdeen, modernity meets tradition with skyscrapers overlooking a community living on traditional junks. The typhoon shelter on the south side of Hong Kong Island is also a popular seafood dining spot and home to one of the world’s largest floating restaurants.
Aberdeen is famous not only to tourists but also to Hong Kong locals for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants located in the Harbour.
Octopus CardYou won’t be in Hong Kong long by the time you notice locals bleeping their way through MTR turnstiles and supermarket checkout counters with Octopus cards. This is an extremely versatile stored-value electronic card that can be used for most public transport, as well as purchases in convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, cake shops, vending machines and more.
Simply place the Octopus card over a reader and the payment amount will be automatically deducted from the stored value.
Various types of Octopus cards are available. The best types for visitors include Sold Tourist Octopus card at HK$39 and On-loan Octopus card with a refundable deposit of HK$50. The Sold Tourist Octopus card has an iconic Hong Kong design, making it an ideal souvenir that can be used again when you come back. A refund handling fee will be charged if you return the On-loan Octopus less than 90 days from the date of issue.
Hong Kong is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Hong Kong has subtropical climate. In September, there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard these as the best months of the year to visit Hong Kong. The average temperature is around 19oC to 28oC. Most of the premises in Hong Kong are air-conditioned. You may consider bringing along a coat for staying indoor. For most up-to-date weather information, please visit the Hong Kong Observatory at http://www.hko.gov.hk/
Hong Kong has two official languages. While 88% of people speak Cantonese, both English and Putonghua are also widely spoken and signage is usually in both Chinese and English.
The Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) is the official currency of Hong Kong. Most foreign currencies and traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at the airport, hotels, banks or exchange offices. There are no restrictions on the type or amount of money that can be brought into or taken out of Hong Kong.
For approximate exchange rates, please refer to: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
Banks and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
The most commonly used international credit cards in Hong Kong are VISA, MasterCard and American Express. Major banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday, closing on Sundays and public holidays. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found almost everywhere and provide 24-hour cash withdrawal (HK$).
Taxes & Tipping
There is no sales tax on goods and services in Hong Kong. The only tax you may be charged is 5% government tax on hotel rates. Most upscale hotels add this to a 10% service charge, making for a total surcharge of 15%. Tipping is not mandatory in Hong Kong, a 10% service charge is usually billed in at restaurants, but you are still expected to leave a tip of between 5-10%, depending on how well you feel you have been treated. Taxi drivers tend to round up the fare to the nearest dollar and if not, will appreciate a little extra. Bellboys, porters and washroom attendants will also expect a small tip.
Starting from April 1, 2015, all retail businesses in Hong Kong are required to charge a minimum levy of HKD 0.50 for each plastic shopping bag provided to customers.
The standard voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC/50 cycles. The plug/socket system in Hong Kong is a 3-rectangular-pin type as is found in the United Kingdom.
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.
Vaccination certificates are usually not needed when travelling to Hong Kong, but please check with your local carrier because requirements may change.
Hong Kong tap water is soft in character and conforms to the World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines for drinking-water quality. Mineral water, including major imported brands, is readily available from supermarkets and convenience stores.
You can find more health advice on the Department of Health website.
Hong Kong has world-class hospitals providing outstanding care. Visitors requiring accident and emergency services can seek treatment in the city’s public hospitals for a fee, and will always be treated even if they cannot pay immediately. For further details, please visit the Hospital Authority website. English is spoken by most public and private sector medical professionals.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places in Hong Kong, including restaurants, bars, malls and karaoke venues. The smoking ban is also implemented on public transport carriers, within public transport facilities, and in both the indoor and outdoor areas of some premises, including public beaches and swimming pools, escalators, and inside the Hong Kong Wetland Park.
Any person smoking or carrying a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe in a designated no-smoking area will be liable to a fixed penalty of HK$1,500. Please click here for further details and to download your copy of the Designated No Smoking Area Guide.
Hong Kong is remarkably safe by day and night. Police officers frequently patrol many areas and are both professional and helpful.
Nonetheless, it would be unwise to let your guard drop completely anywhere in the world. And the fact that Hong Kong is so safe makes it all the more reason to guard against having your trip spoiled by the loss of your belongings:
- Keep your money, valuables and travel documents in a safe place, such as inside a hotel room safe.
- Watch out for your belongings when you are carrying them, especially when you are in a crowded place.
- Beware of people making dubious offers and attempts to distract you in order to steal your belongings.
- Be wary of people offering gambling or investment opportunities.
For more safety advice when visiting Hong Kong, please visit the Hong Kong Police Force website.
Please remember to observe the rules and regulations of public venues including tourist attractions and shopping malls.
Useful links of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Tourism Board
- Hong Kong Immigration Department (Visa Entry Requirement)
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Hong Kong Observatory