While Hong Kong is renowned for its bustling cityscape and lively atmosphere, it ...
Over the years, we have compiled a series of travel tips in Hong Kong for tourists and business travelers. Our tips cover transportation, mobile connectivity and weather information, essentially everything you need to know for traveling around Hong Kong.
1. Get an Octopus card
The penultimate travel tip in Hong Kong would be to ensure you and all your travel companions get an Octopus card. The Octopus card is basically like a prepaid debit card, and it works all over Hong Kong. It is used to collect fares on almost all types of public transport, and also for payments in supermarkets, convenience stores, car parks, shops, fast food and retail outlets.
Business travelers will appreciate this tip as it saves time and money. Instead of fumbling with coins, queuing up at the ticket machine before every train journey, you can just scan your card over the reader and the payment is deducted from your prepaid stored value. There is also a discount on fares for using Octopus Card over a single ticket, it is about 5% cheaper than ordinary fares on the MTR.
We suggest buying one at the Airport Express station at the Hong Kong Airport before you head to the city. It can also be purchased at all MTR stations. The card requires you to pay a HKD$50 refundable deposit that covers the cost. When you are departing Hong Kong, simply return the card to an MTR customer service counter and get your deposit back minus a HKD$9 administration fee.
2. Take the MTR to get around
Besides the Octopus, the second travel tip to follow in Hong Kong is to travel on the MTR as much as you can. Safe, efficient and clean, the MTR is the most reliable way to get to most destinations in Hong Kong, with trains operating on time at an average of 99.9%. Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system covers most of the city, runs nine lines serving Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories; The Airport Express to and from the airport; A light rail network in Northwestern New Territories; and trains to Guangdong, Beijing, and Shanghai.
Most lines run from 6am to after midnight. Despite interchange stations (Central, Admiralty, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Tong) being jam packed during peak hours: 7.30am to 9.30am and 5pm to 7pm on weekdays, trains run every two minutes, making the MTR the most reliable mode of transport in rush hour. As such, the MTR is a staple for Hong Kong business travelers.
Key routes are the Island Line covering Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay and Tsuen Wan line which connects Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. For more information about the MTR, download the
3. Travelling by taxi in Hong Kong
Hong Kong taxis are cheaper compared to Europe and North America. Most taxis are red (starts at HKD$24); green (starts at HKD$20.5) ones operate in certain parts of the New Territories; blue ones (starts at $19) on Lantau Island. Ensure you prepare cash for payment, as most taxis take cash only.
When hailing a taxi, look for a stationary or approaching cab with a red lit 'For Hire' sign at the front, and note that taxis do not stop if there are double yellow lines on the side of the road, or at bus stops.
For tourists or business travelers in Hong Kong who don’t speak Chinese, a big tip would be to carry the business card from your destination with its name in Chinese characters so you can show your taxi driver, since not all taxi drivers can communicate in English.
Travelers in Hong Kong should especially take note that vehicular traffic on major roads and the cross-harbour tunnels can be painfully slow during peak hours. So if you need to take a taxi, plan ahead and allow more time for traffic. A bonus tip for business travel: use the HKTaxi app Android | to book a taxi in advance to ensure you make it to your meetings on time.
Ride sharing giant, Uber, also operates in Hong Kong. While it provides an alternative transport option, note that Uber is typically more expensive than taxis, especially when operating around the main areas, but are cheaper for longer rides, such as to the airport.
4. Stay connected 24/7
Want to look for some online information, but do not have internet access in Hong Kong? Both leisure and business travelers in Hong Kong will get to enjoy free Wi-Fi that is widely available in the city provided by Wi-Fi.HK, part of the government initiative to turn Hong Kong into a wireless city.
Wi-Fi.HK network provides time-limited free of charge, or complimentary Wi-Fi service to the public at thousands of hotspot locations around Hong Kong. Download the
to search for an extensive list of hotspot locations. The providers are required to comply with the laws in Hong Kong, including the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. No personal information will be collected from the users. However, it is not recommended to perform transactions via the Wi-Fi.HK network.
5. Check the weather before heading out
A key travel tip for Hong Kong that is often overlooked by many is to get into the habit of checking the weather before heading out. Hong Kong weather is very unpredictable, with some days being very gloomy in the morning before the sunshine comes out in the afternoon, or the other way around.
Hong Kong gets an average of 101 rainy days a year, so to save yourself from being stuck in traffic or buying a new umbrella from a 7-Eleven or even running for shade while walking around, check the weather before you start your day. You can use the
app for the most comprehensive and up to date weather information.
6. Networking in Hong Kong
Business travelers in Hong Kong will benefit from some networking. We recommend Hong Kong, as the website is frequented by people of all nationalities and all interests. There is a wide range of interest groups: from hiking, language exchanges, to cryptocurrencies, photography, and many more.
The other option is to visit some popular happy hour bars. Hong Kongers loves liquid refreshment and it’s common for workmates to head straight to the nearest cocktail bar at the end of the day. Lan Kwai Fong, SOHO, and Wan Chai area are famous for their expat appeal.
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