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What You Need To Know About Visiting Hong Kong

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A thrilling and increasingly popular tourist destination, as per reports, close to four lakh tourists from India visited Hong Kong in 2018. This buzzing, cosmopolitan, cultural melting pot which retains its distinct identity while being part of China is a big favourite with many Indian tourists. 

Here are some of the things you should know before arriving in Hong Kong.

 

The Essentials

Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

1 HKD = 9.15 INR is the approximate conversion as of August 2019. While not massively expensive, Hong Kong is not exactly a cheap holiday destination. To make the most of your stay there, it is best that you plan your trip well in advance and budget smartly.

Time: GMT +8 hours

Being farther East compared to India, Hong Kong time is two and a half hours ahead of India time. Just remember to minus 2.5 hours to get the time in India when you call your family and friends from Hong Kong.   

Language: Cantonese

The local dialect and official language Cantonese is spoken by majority of the population. But that doesn’t mean you need to take a crash course in Cantonese before visiting Hong Kong. Most people understand and speak English so you will manage just fine.

In fact you will find it easy to read the signboards and find your way around, since they are marked in both Cantonese and English. 

Hong Kong Tourist Visa For Indians

As per the new eVisa system Indian nationals can obtain a Hong Kong Tourist Visa by a simple online pre-registration. It allows you to enjoy a visa-free stay of up to two weeks. You can refer to a Hong Kong Travel Guide to know more or check with your registered travel agent.  

Best Time To Visit

To enjoy the best weather, plan your trip to Hong Kong during mid-March to early-June or from September to November.

How To Move Around

You will never face a problem with local transport in Hong Kong. There is a very good transport network of metro, tram, light rail and bus that is efficient, clean and affordable, especially when you buy the Octupus travel card which works across all public transport. Taxis are also easily available and so is the ferry to hop over to the islands nearby.  

Where To Stay

Hong Kong offers a range of accommodation to suit every traveller’s wallet. You can book a good budget hotel either on Hong Kong Island or in the Kowloon area.

Must-See, Must-Do

At first glance, seeing the dense concentration of glass-fronted tall buildings and skyscrapers, you may feel that all of Hong Kong is just an urban jungle. Not true. There’s a wonderful balance of nature vs glass and concrete with half of Hong Kong being open green spaces, perfect for outdoor activities like trail running, hiking, walking and cycling. Apart from the must-visit Disneyland, check out Ocean Park and the Dragonback Trail.

Purchasing insurance to cover your foreign travel is a must. While any kind of mishap is the last thing you want to think of while on vacation, it is best to be secured. A travel insurance policy for Hong Kong will cover you from financial loss arising from situations like trip cancellation, loss of luggage or passport or even sudden medical expenses.

Now that you can rest assured with travel insurance, why not enjoy some authentic Cantonese dishes.

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