Are you a first timer who is travelling from Boston to Hong Kong? Then you are at the right stop, here are 8 travel tips for Hong Kong to make the most of your trip!
Book an accommodation in advance
Selecting an accommodation in Hong Kong is something that needs extra attention, and you should book it in advance to avoid any troubles. If you don’t want to spend too much time in your accommodation, it is better to book a guesthouse than a hotel. Guesthouses in Hong Kong are affordable, clean, comfortable, and most of them are air conditioned. For your safety, always try to stay in only licensed guesthouses and you can find a complete list of licensed guesthouses on the Home Affairs Department’s official website.
Get yourself an Octopus Card
The first thing you should do in Hong Kong is to buy an Octopus Card. This can be bought outside the airport or at shops in Hong Kong. It is a prepaid smart card that can be used to pay for public transport including MTR trains, buses, trams and ferries. You can use it for purchases in supermarkets, coffee shops and even movie theaters. You are able to top up your Octopus card at all 7-Eleven and Circle K stores. You can return the card for a full refund of the 50 HKD price and any unused cash at some stations and ticket offices as well.
Learn some Cantonese
Learning some Cantonese will be handy if you are planning to travel to Hong Kong. You don’t have to be fluent. Just learning the essential phrases will do the trick. Most of the people there speak Cantonese, and a few speak English and Mandarin. If you don’t know Cantonese, it is better to ask the locals if they understand. If they do not understand, try to speak slowly and explain what you want using hand gestures.
Go smart shopping
Hong Kong is great for a shopping experience. You will find a great variety of goods; clothes, shoes, souvenirs, Chinese antiques, Asian art collections etc. but most department stores mark prices on their selling items. These prices may be expensive, and if so you have to be a smart shopper and try a little bargaining otherwise you won’t get discounts. And make sure to check the price before you buy anything in Hong Kong.
Try the traditional Hong Kong dishes
Hong Kong is home for approximately 10,000 restaurants and street food stalls, majority of them specialized in Cantonese foods as well as international foods. Therefore, a trip to Hong Kong is not complete if you skip the traditional dishes. Many Cantonese dishes are offered to eat with chopsticks and it’s a great experience you can learn how to do. And don’t miss the street food; fish balls, egg puffs, rice pudding, fried squid and dim sums.
Try the high-tech Airport Express Train
Airport Express train is an incredibly efficient train that links the Hong Kong Airport to various parts of the city in access within 25 minutes. All the trains are equipped with free Wi-Fi on board and you have to pay about $26 for a round trip. Try the “In-Town Check in” Service; it allows you to check in for the flight early and drop off your bags at the Airport Express station rather than having to do so all the way at the airport.
Download the Hong Kong Taxi App
You may find that many of the drivers near the airport don’t speak English well. This might be a big problem for you. So downloading the Hong Kong Taxi app is the best thing to do, to avoid the troubles you will get to when finding taxis in Hong Kong. This app works just like the other international taxi apps; but a little different in the way it works because it will translate where you’re going in Cantonese or speak it out loud to your driver so that he can understand it. Also, remember that most of the taxi drivers in Hong Kong prefer cash and therefore your international debit card won’t be any use to you in this case.
Follow the smoking rules in Hong Kong
For starters, a person can only carry 19 cigarettes or 1 cigar when entering Hong Kong. That means, you cannot carry a full packet of cigarettes with you and if you are caught doing so, you have a jail time for 2 years or be fined one million HKD. Also, you cannot smoke in the public areas but in the smoking rooms built specially for that purpose. Or you will be fined with 5000 HKD.
Now, how are you going to book flights from Boston to Hong Kong? You can book tickets online through Cathay Pacific. Team Cathay Pacific’s mission is to make the most out of your travels…so this applies when you fly into Hong Kong as well.