Hong Kong Tourist Association
9-11F Citicorp Centre, 18 Whitfield Rd
North Point, HONG KONG
Tel: (852) 2807 6543, Fax: (852) 2807 6595
Internet: http://www.htta.org

Hong Kong

Physical geography

Hong Kong is less than 160km south of the Tropic of Cancer. The 1,070 sq. km. of the Territory consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, New Territories and 235 small islands.


Hong Kong has a subtropical climate:

Spring (March to mid-May): Temperature and humidity rising. Jackets or sweaters suggested. Average temperature: 23°C (73°F), humidity around 82 per cent.

Summer (late May to mid-September): Hot and humid. Temperature may rise to 33°C (91°F) with humidity up to around 33°C (91°F). Shirtsleeves, cotton clothing, a sweater for indoors and an umbrella for outside are suggested. Average temperature: 28°C (82°F), humidity 80 per cent. <P>Autumn (late September to early December): Temperature and humidity drop. Clear sunny days. <P>Shirtsleeves to sweaters and light jackets suggested. Average temperature: 23°C (73°F), humidity 72 per cent. <P>Winter (late December to February): Cool with 1ow humidity. Suits, light woollens and sometimes overcoats suggested. Average temperatures 17°C (62°F), humidity 72 per cent. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Economic geography </H3> Horticulture and vegetables in the plains of the New Territories; light industry in new coastal towns. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography </H3> In 1995 - 6.3 million; 98 per cent are of Chinese origin. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>A brief history </H3> Hong Kong as a Crown Colony dates from the year 1842 when the Treaty of Nanking was signed. This international agreement ceded the island of Hong Kong to Britain. In 1860 the Convention of Peking added the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula and the small Stonecutters Island in the harbour to the area. In 1898 the area was further extended by the lease for 99 years for the New Territories which includes the rest of Kowloon Peninsula and islets. <P>Hong Kong is one of the most beautiful, colourful and fascinating cities in the world. <P>In 1997 Hong Kong will revert to Chinese sovereignty, In the 20th century thanks to a mix of geography, an industrious population and a vigorous blend of East and West, Hong Kong has become a great international trading post a powerful manufacturing base and the world's eight largest trading entity. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions </H3> European population, all Christian sects; Chinese population Christian, Buddhist and Taoist Confucianist. There are also Muslims, Hindu, Sikhs and Jews in Hong Kong. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals </H3> Chinese (mainly Cantonese dialect) and English. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> Hong Kong standard time: eight hours ahead of GMT. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> Currency exchange rates fluctuate daily, but the following indicates the approximate value of HK$1 (accurate as at July 1996) in various foreign currencies: USA - US$0.13, Canada - C$0.18, Australia - A$0.16, New Zealand - NZ$0.19, UK - £0.08, Germany - DM0.2, France - FFr0.67. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Official holidays (all banks and offices closed) </H3> Every Sunday <BR>The first weekday in January - Wednesday 1 January <BR>The day preceding Lunar New Year's Day - Thursday 6 February <BR>Lunar New Year's Day Friday - 7 February <BR>The second day of Lunar New Year - Saturday 8 February <BR>Good Friday - 28 March <BR>The day following Good Friday - Saturday 29 March <BR>Easter Monday - 31 March <BR>Ching Ming Festival - Saturday 5 April <BR>Tuen Ng Festival - Monday 9 June <BR>The Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen - Saturday 28 June <BR>The Monday following the Queen's Birthday - Monday 30 June <BR>HK Returning to China, SAR Establishment Day - Tuesday 1 July <BR>The day following SAR Establishment Day - Wednesday 2 July <BR>Sino-Japanese War Victory Day - Monday 18 August <BR>The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival - Wednesday 17 September <BR>National Day Wednesday - 1 October <BR>The day following National Day - Thursday 2 October <BR>Chung Yeung Festival Friday - 10 October <BR>Christmas Day Thursday - 25 December <BR>The first week-day after Christmas Day Friday - 26 December. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see </H3> Hong Kong Island - Main attractions: Central and Western District, Hollywood Road, Man Mo Temple, Ladder Street, Middle Kingdom, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen, Stanley, Ocean Park, Food Street, Causeway Bay, Cityplaza and Aw Boon Haw Gardens. <P>Ocean Park is SE Asia's largest oceanarium and fun park. A cable car system and a covered escalator link up the lowland and headland area, an Ocean Theatre with performing dolphins and sea lions, a Wave Cove a shark aquarium and an Atoll Reef, Water World, a fun-filled water play park in the lowland is open from June to October. Next to the Ocean Park, the Middle Kingdom takes you on a trip back through 13 Chinese dynasties. Victoria Peak - you can enjoy a panoramic view of one of the most beautiful harbours in the world Stanley - Market - a popular street market with bargain prices for jeans, ready-to-wear, sportswear, and other souvenir items. Shopping in the numerous boutiques, department stores in Central District and Causeway Bay. Aberdeen - home of the Tanka people, the fishing folk and floating restaurants. <P><I>Kowloon Peninsula</I>: Main attractions: Tsimshatsui, Tsimshatsui East, Mass Transit Railway, Space Museum, Science Museum, Jade Market, Bird Street, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, night market in Horticulture and vegetables in the plains of the New Territories, Temple Street, Sung Dynasty Village, Wong Tai Sin Temple. Sung Dynasty Village, faithful recreation of a Chinese Village 1,000 years ago, with wax museum, wedding parade and cultural show. Organised tours with meals available. Self-guided tours are of Chinese origin. The variety of shopping, dining and night entertainment possibilities is unlimited. You can spend days in Tsimshatsui and Tsimshatsui East area and there is more to see in Mongkok and Jordan too. <P><I>New Territories: </I>Main attractions: Shatin - temple and race course, Sai Kung and Tolo Harbour, Luk Keng, Ching Chung Koon Temple, Miu Fat Monastery, Kam Tin Walled Village, Lok Ma Chau Border Lookout, Man Shek Ton Ancestral Hall, Temple of 10,000 Buddhas, Sam Tung uk Folk museum. Organised tours. The Land Between, New Territories Tour, Sports & Recreation Tour to Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, Heritage Tour, Come Horseracing Tour. <P><I>Outlying islands and other areas</I> - Places to see Lantau Island: Po Lin Monastery and the world's largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha; Tai O; Cheung Sha. Cheung Chau Island: Pak Tai Temple, fishing community, street market and beaches. Lamma Island with beaches and seafood restaurants. Others: Macau, Shenzhen and Zhongshan areas in China. <P>Organised tours: Cheung Chau Island Tour, Lantau Island Tour, Macau Tour, China day trips. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring </H3> Year round. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress </H3> Summer: summer clothes with cardigans for air-conditioned places; Oct. to Nov.: same; Dec. to April: light woollens and sometimes overcoat. Women: long or short dresses for evening. Men: suits and ties all year for business calls and some bars and restaurants. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts</H3> On Lantau Island, twice the size of Hong Kong with a fraction of its population, several resort developments are open. The largest of these, the Discovery Bay Resort, has chalets for rental, restaurants, a golf course, a beach, swimming pool, indoor sports facilities. The Sea Ranch is an exclusive residential resort with sports facilities. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> Fishing, boating, sailing, water-skiing, golfing, horse-back riding, tennis, lawn bowling, cycling, hiking, bowling, basketball, diving, squash, swimming, jogging, windsurfing. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> Dining out in Hong Kong is a gastronomic experience. With every major national cuisine represented in some of the world's finest restaurants, its reputation as a gourmet's paradise and the culinary capital of Asia is well established. The Hong Kong Food Festival, an extravaganza to held every year in March celebrates this fact with special dining programmes, culinary related events and exhibitions. Hong Kong's chefs are careful to preserve not only the true tastes of Chinese food - perhaps one of the world's finest cuisines - but also the authentic flavours of other Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, to name only a few) and the best that the West has to offer - from Europe from the States, from Down Under. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy </H3> A great variety of goods are widely available in Hong Kong. such as silk and cotton goods, leather items such as shoes, luggage and handbags, toys, rattan, rugs and carpets, camphorwood chests, teak and blackwood furniture, embroidered silk and linen, tailored silk and wool and linen costumes made to order, fur, pewter and copper wares, jewellery and jade. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> <H3>Entry regulations: Passports</H3> All visitors to Hong Kong must hold valid travel documents, endorsed where necessary for Hong Kong (see below). <P>Identity cards: Hong Kong residents are required to carry an identity card- to avoid any possible confusion, visitors are advised to carry at all times a similar identification with a photograph, such as a driving licence. <H3>Visas</H3> a) For visit only, Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods varying from seven days to six months, depending on their nationality. However, on arrival in Hong Kong, visitors will have to satisfy immigration officers that they possess an onward or return ticket (unless they are in transit to China or Macau) and that they have adequate funds to cover the duration of their stay without work. (Generally, a confirmed hotel reservation, a valid international credit card and/or an appropriate amount of cash or travellers cheques are sufficient). Visitors are not allowed to enter employment (paid or unpaid), to establish or join in any business, or to enter school as a student; nor, except in the most unusual circumstances, are visitors allowed to change their status after arrival. Anyone wishing to stay longer than the visa-free period permits must apply for a visa before travelling to Hong Kong. Visa applications should be made at the nearest British Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or Visa Office, or Directly to the Immigration Department 2/F Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong (Tel 824 6111) When applying for a visa, it is advisable to give at least six week's notice. <P>British citizens who hold UK passports which are not endorsed to show that they are subject to immigration control do not require a visa for a visit. A stay of 12 months is normally granted initially. Ii) Nationals of the following countries do not require visas for a visit of one month or less: Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Nepal, Nicaragua, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Iceland, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Tunisia, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. ii) Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa for a visit of three months or less: Britain and Commonwealth countries, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Irish Republic, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey. Including British Dependent Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British subjects as defined at i) above. <P>For transit visit visas are not normally required except for persons described at (a)(vi) above. However, all transitees must conform to the following regulations: Arrivals by air: (i) An onward booking is held. (ii) Valid documents for country of destination are held. <P>Arrivals by sea: For duration of ship's stay in port, providing: (i) Onward or return booking are held for the same vessel. (ii) Valid documents for country of destination are held. <P>Air/sea and sea/air transits: Not required, under conditions listed above. Note: The above is only an outline of Hong Kong's visa regulations. Even when all immigration requirements are met, an automatic entry cannot be assumed. The Hong Kong immigration authorities reserve the right to refuse permission to land. For advice on individual cases, please enquire at the nearest British Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or Visa Office, or write directly to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. <H3>Customs</H3> Visitors may bring into Hong Kong free of duty 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco) and a one-litre bottle of alcohol; are also permitted. b) Firearms must be declared and handed over for safekeeping until departure. <H3>Health regulations </H3> Health regulations are liable to change at short notice, and it is always advisable to check current health regulations with carriers when making reservations. Visitors in transit through Hong Kong should also check health regulations for subsequent destinations, to ensure that all necessary valid certificates have been obtained. <P>Automobiles: visitors may bring in their cars for personal use and must apply for the First Registration Tax. A valid driving permit issued in the country of origin is required by all visitors (except Hong Kong residents) to drive in Hong Kong for a maximum period of 12 months contact the Transport Department, 41st fl, Immigration Tower, Gloucester Road, Hong Kong. <P>Animals: restrictions, visitors should write in advance to Senior Veterinary Officer, Agriculture & Fisheries Dept., 393 Canton Road, Govt. Offices, 12th floor, Kowloon. <H3>Currency regulations</H3> Currency is free of restrictions and may be bought or sold on the open market. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Bangkok - Singapore - Manila - Australia - New Zealand Japan- Taipei - Kuala Lumpur - Middle East - Europe - USA, China. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous </H3> <H3>Chinese festivals and events </H3> Ox 1997 <BR>Chinese New Year* - 7th February <BR>Lantern Festival - 21st February <BR>Ching Ming Festival* - 5th April <BR>Birthday of Tin Hau - 29th April <BR>Cheung Chau Festival - to be confirmed <BR>Birthday of Lord Buddha - 14th May <BR>Dragon Boat Festival* 'Tuen Ng' - 9th June <BR>Maiden Festival (Seven Sisters) - 9th August <BR>Yuen Lan Festival (Hungery Ghosts) - 17th August <BR>Mid-Autumn Festival - 16th September <BR>Birthday of Confucius - 28th September <BR>Cheung Yeung Festival** - 10th October <P>* Public holidays <BR>** Public holiday the following day <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> Australia/New Zealand: Incentive Travel Bureau, Level 5, 55 Harrington Street, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia, Tel: (02) 251 2855, Fax: (02) 247 8812 <P>New Zealand representative, PO Box 2120 Auckland, New Zealand, (09) 575 2707, Fax: (09) 575 2620 <P>Europe, Africa and Middle East: <P>Hong Kong Convention and Incentive Travel Bureau, 4/5th floors, 125 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5EA, UK. Tel: (0171) 930 4775, Fax: (0171) 930 4777 <P>France - 53 rue Francois 1er, 75008 Paris, France, Tel: (1) 4720 3954, Fax: (1) 4723 0965 <P>Germany - Humboldt Strasse 94, 60318 Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Tel: (069) 95 91 29-0, Fax: (069) 597 80 50 <P>Southern Europe - c/o Sergat Italia srl, Via Monte dei Cenci 20, 00186 Roma, Italy, Tel: (6) 688 013-36, Fax: (6) 687 3644 <P>Spain and Portugal rep: c/o Sergat Espana SL, Pau Cassals, 08021 Barcelona, Spain, Tel: (93) 414 17 94, Fax: (93) 201 86 57 <P>South Africa - C/o Development Promotions (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 9874, Johannesburg 2000, Tel: (011) 339 4865, Fax: (011) 339 2474, Tlx: 421741/421740 <P>Scandinavia: C/o Airline Marketing Services, Box 12 179, S-102 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: (46) 8 653 57 11, Fax: (46) 8 651 10 67 <P>Japan/Korea: 4th floor, Toho Twin Tower Building, 1-5-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Tel: (03) 3503 0731, Fax: (03) 3503 0736, Tlx: 072 2225678 LUYUTO J <P>8th floor, Osaka Saitama Building, 3-5-13 Awaji-machi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541, Tel: (06) 229 9240, Fax: (06) 229 9648 <P>Korea: C/o Glocom Korea, Suite 1006 Paiknam Building, 188-3 Eulchiro 1-ka, Chung Gu, Seoul, Tel: (822) 778 4403, Fax: (822) 778 4404. <P>Southeast Asia: 13-08 Ocean Building, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 0104, Republic of Singapore, Tel: (65) 532 3668, Fax: (65) 535 3592, Tlx: 087 28515 LUYUSN RS <P>Taiwan: 9th Floor, 18 Chang An East Road, Sec 1, Taipei, Tel: (02) 581 2967, Fax: (02) 581 6062 <P>USA/Canada: Suite 1220, 10940 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024-3915, USA, Tel: (310) 208 4582, Fax: (310) 208 1869 <P>Hong Kong Convention and Incentive Bureau, 610 Enterprise Drive, Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL 6051, Tel: (708) 575 2828, Fax: (708) 575 2829 <P>5th Floor, 590 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10036-4706 USA, Tel: (212) 869 5008/869 5009, Fax: (212) 730 2605 <BR>Suite 909, 347 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2R7, Canada, Tel: (416) 366 2389 <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"> <I>We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Hong Kong thanks to the co-operation of the Hong Kong Tourist Association. <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>