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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Hong Kong

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Hong Kong each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

January or February: Chinese New Year (national)

For three days, celebrations involve merrymaking and entertainment of many kinds, both at home with family members and outside in the streets: firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and demons, fireworks, etc. No effort is spared to celebrate the start of the new lunar year in style.

February or March: Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Jie, national)

Colourful paper lanterns line the streets of Hong Kong and throughout China on this day. Children and adults parade through the city carrying long bamboo poles hung with smaller lanterns.

May 1 : Labour Day (national)

August – seventh day of the seventh lunar month : Double seventh festival (Qixi, national)

Also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, this romantic tradition has been celebrated in China for centuries, from the time when young, single women prayed for a husband. The name of the festival refers to the seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor, a weaving maid, who was only allowed by her father to see her beloved once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Gifts of bouquets of flowers or chocolates, special dates, romantic dinners, and dance parties are among the celebrations during this day, highly anticipated by all single people in Hong Kong.

September or October – Fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month : Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie, national)

Also known as the Moon Festival, this is the day in the year when the moon is particularly round and bright, a symbol of unity and familial happiness. The main feature of this traditional celebration is the sharing of cakes with family and friends.

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a monsoon-influenced subtropical climate. Winters are mild and the skies are often cloudy, although it rarely rains. The spring and summer are hot, humid and rainy. Between June and September, the city experiences periods of extreme heat, with temperatures often above 30°C (86°F) and frequent summer showers. Autumn is the sunniest season, with mild temperatures.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 14/57 19/66 25/1.0 Not the best period to go
February 15/59 19/66 54/2.1 Not the best period to go
March 17/63 21/70 82/3.2 Not the best period to go
April 20/68 25/77 175/6.9 Not the best period to go
May 24/75 28/82 304/12.0 Not the best period to go
June 26/79 30/86 456/18.0 Not the best period to go
July 27/81 31/88 376/14.8 Not the best period to go
August 27/81 31/88 432/17.0 Not the best period to go
September 26/79 30/86 327/12.9 Good period to go Good period to go
October 24/75 28/82 100/3.9 Good period to go Good period to go
November 20/68 24/75 38/1.5 Good period to go Good period to go
December 16/61 20/68 27/1.1 Good period to go Good period to go
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Hong Kong International Airport

The Hong Kong International Airport is located about 34 kilometres (21 miles) north-west of Hong Kong Island.

  • Two terminals
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2

Getting from the airport to Hong Kong and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via A8 freeway.
    • Two parking spaces are available (P1 and P4), with rates ranging between HKD 20 for 1 hour and HKD 160 for 24 hours.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall as well as in the Ground Transportation Centre, on the underground level.
  • By rail
    • Airport Express trains connect Terminal 2 with the city centre about every 10 minutes from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., with a travel time of about 25 minutes (HKD 115 each way).
  • By bus
    • Several bus lines connect the airport to the centre of the city, with night service after midnight. Travel time is about 30 minutes and fares range from HKD 15 to 48.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall, using a colour code depending on their destinations: Red (Hong Kong Island), Green (New Territories), and Blue (Lantau Island), with fares ranging from HKD 320 to 395.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +852 2181 8888
  • Website: www.hongkongairport.com

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GETTING AROUND Hong Kong

Hong Kong covers quite a large area. And yet, getting around the city is easy and enjoyable, due to its highly developed, affordable, efficient and convenient public transport system.

By rail

The city has two ultra-modern rail systems. The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is the city's underground train system, comprising four lines serving all the main urban districts. The system is easy to use (all signs are in English), clean, air-conditioned and safe. It operates from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. The KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway) is Hong Kong's main suburban rail system, also serving more distant points in mainland China.

Useful tip: the prepaid and reloadable Octopus Card can be used for travel on all modes of transport in the territory. Before you leave Hong Kong, you can cash in your Octopus Card and receive your remaining balance. The initial stored value for adults is HKD 55.

By bus

Many bus lines operate in Hong Kong, serving all tourist destinations. They run from 6 a.m. to midnight. Fares depend on the distance travelled, starting at about HKD 10.60.

By tram

Hong Kong's double-decker trams, a holdover from the territory's time as a British colony, operate over 13 kilometres (8 miles) of track between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan, running every day between 6 a.m. and midnight. No matter how far you travel, each tram ride costs HKD 2.60. A 4-day pass is also available for HKD 34.

By taxi

In contrast to many other cities, taxis are not expensive in Hong Kong. A colour-coding system is used to distinguish taxis serving different areas and destinations:

  • Red taxis operate throughout the territory
  • Green taxis serve only the New Territories
  • Blue taxis operate only on Lantau Island

The flag-down fare is between HKD 19 to 24 depending on the taxi's colour, including the first 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), then between HKD 1.50 to 1.70 for every additional 200 metres (⅛ mile).

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Hong Kong, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Hong Kong Tourism Board

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Visitor information centres operated by the Hong Kong Tourism Board

At various locations throughout the city, the Hong Kong Tourism Board operates centres where you can obtain information and recommendations for your stay in Hong Kong. Listed below are the main addresses for the HKTB's visitor information centres :

  • Hong Kong Island Visitor Center: The Peak Piazza
  • Kowloon Visitor Center: Star ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Lo Wu Information Center: 2/F Arrival hall, Lon Wu
  • International Airport Visitor Center: Buffer Halls A & B, Arrival level, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau Island

China travel guide

The official website of the China National Tourist Office (CNTO) provides a wealth of information on Hong Kong.

Website: www.cnto.org

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Hong-Kong is the Hong-Kong Dollar (HKD).

JPY1 = HKD0.07

HKD1 = JPY14.29

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Hong Kong counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Hong Kong

Except for citizens and nationals of certain countries, a visa is required to enter and stay in Hong Kong.

For further information, visit the website of the Hong Kong Immigration Department: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Hong Kong, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Chinese phrases that will make your stay in Hong Kong a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Nǐ hǎo Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Nǐ hǎo</em>

Good evening: Wǎnshàng hǎo Good evening: <em>Wǎnshàng hǎo</em>

Goodbye: Zàijiàn Goodbye: <em>Zàijiàn</em>

Yes: Shì Yes: <em>Shì</em>

No: Bùshì No: <em> Bùshì</em>

No, thank you: Bù, xièxiè No, thank you: <em>Bù, xièxiè</em>

Thank you very much: Fēicháng gǎnxiè Thank you very much: <em>Fēicháng gǎnxiè</em>

Please: Qǐng Please: <em>Qǐng</em>

I don't understand: Wǒ bù míngbái I don't understand: <em>Wǒ bù míngbái</em>

Could you repeat ?: Máfan nín zài chóngfù yībiàn Could you repeat ?: <em>Máfan nín zài chóngfù yībiàn</em>

What time is it ?: Qǐngwèn xiànzài jǐ diǎn ? What time is it ?: <em>Qǐngwèn xiànzài jǐ diǎn ?</em>

Sorry / Excuse me: Bù hǎoyìsi Sorry  / Excuse me: <em>Bù hǎoyìsi</em>

Airport: Jīchǎng Airport: <em>Jīchǎng</em>

Train station: Huǒchē zhàn Train station: <em>Huǒchē zhàn</em>

Taxi: Jìchéngchē Taxi: <em>Jìchéngchē</em>

Hotel: Jiǔdiàn Hotel: <em>Jiǔdiàn</em>

Hospital: Yīyuàn Hospital: <em>Yīyuàn</em>

Bank: Yínháng Bank: <em>Yínháng</em>

Telephone: Diànhuà Telephone: <em>Diànhuà</em>

I'm (…): Wǒ shì (…). I'm (…): <em>Wǒ shì (…).</em>

I'm looking for (…): Wǒ zhǎo (…). I'm looking for (…): <em>Wǒ zhǎo (…).</em>

How much is (…)?: Qǐngwèn duōshǎo qián (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn duōshǎo qián (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Qǐngwèn nín yǒu ma (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn nín yǒu ma (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ zhǎodào (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ zhǎodào (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ mǎi dào (...) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ mǎi dào (...) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Wǒ xīwàng (…). I'd like (…): <em>Wǒ xīwàng (…).</em>

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Good to know

+852
+ phone number (without 0)
-1 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
No daylight savings time in China.

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
Tipping is not expected in Hong Kong's restaurants and cafés. On the other hand, it is quite common to thank tour guides and drivers by offering a small gratuity. Of course, the amount you choose to give is entirely up to you.

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