Hong Kong in Cantonese means ‘fragrant harbour’. The poetic name that is said to have been inspired by the heady scent of agarwood, as the Qing dynasty’s original trading port exported fragrant incense. After the Opium Wars, the region became a Crown colony ceded to Britain on a 99-year lease. In 1997 the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, New Territories and outlying islands became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China under the principle ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
Best time to visit
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate so the best time to visit is the dry season from October to January. Beware of major Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year, as there will be an influx of tourists during celebratory times.
Hong Kong has their own currency know as the Hong Kong Dollar (HK$).
Cantonese, Mandarin and English.
The visas differ from those of mainland China. British passport holders can stay up to 180 days without a visa, meanwhile citizens of Australia, Canada, the EU, New Zealand and the USA can stay up to 90 days.
Cabs are cheap and an easy way to get around. They have a coloured code system; red for Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, blue for Lantau and green for new territories. Be mindful of the shift changeover time around 3-4-pm when it can become impossible to hail one down.
If you’re staying more than just a couple of days buy an Octopus Card at the MTR. Load it with credit and use it for the MTR, trams, buses, ferries and it can even be used it to buy things in convenience stores.
Cheap, practical and historic. The star ferries are the best way to get between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Hop on and hop off, it’s easy once you get the knack for it.
The mid-level escalators and walkways are the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system. Make your life easier by joining the locals who use the escalator to commute up this steep, half-mile long stretch.
For more information on flights to Hong Kong, visit www.cathaypacific.com.au
For more information
Visit Discover Hong Kong: http://discoverhongkong.com.au
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