Kong - the heart of Asia
a land area of only 1,090 square km, Hong Kong is one of the worldˇ¦s most
important centres of trade. Nestled on the southern coast of China, equidistant
from North America and Europe, Hong Kong is conveniently located at the
very heart of Asia ˇV it is halfway between Japan to the north and Indonesia
to the south, and within two or three hoursˇ¦ flight from all its Asian
neighbours. It is the regionˇ¦s top single travel destination with almost
70 airlines connecting it to more than 120 cities around the world. Millions
of visitors arrive annually by air, on board cruise ships which dock at
a downtown cruise terminal, and by road and train across its border with
mainland China. It consists of the Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula,
the New Territories and 260 outlying islands. A day spent in Hong Kong
is a lifetime spent anywhere else in the world. There is so much to do
in such a small area.
The estimated population is 6.8 million (almost 98% of whom are Chinese).
The official languages are Chinese and English. Cantonese is the most
widely spoken Chinese dialect, though Putonghua is also spoken. In 1997,
Hong Kong reverted to China and became a Special Administrative Region
of the Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China. Its existing capitalist system and
lifestyle has been guaranteed after 1997.
new international airport at Chek Lap Kok commenced service on 6 July
1998. It is situated on Lantau Island, Hong Kongˇ¦s largest island, 34
km away from downtown area. The Airport Railway operates a link to the
new airport and Lantau Island, from Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The
Airport Express rail takes 23 minutes to get to Central, Hong Kong, and
the round trip fare is HK$180 (US$23.10).
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate. Daytime temperature in February
varies between 10°C and 20°C. A jacket or sweater may be required,
especially as most of the in-door areas are air-conditioned.
The Hong Kong Dollar is the unit of currency. The official exchange rate
of the Hong Kong Dollar to the US Dollar is 7.78. Most currencies and
travellersˇ¦ cheques can be changed at banks and hotels. Major credit cards
are readily accepted in Hong Kong. There are no restrictions on the type
or amount of money that can be brought into or taken out of Hong Kong.
The electricity is supplied at alternating current, and the voltage is
220 volts / frequency 50 Hz AC. Most hotels will provide adapters upon
transport is inexpensive, efficient and frequent. The Mass Transit Railway
(MTR), or subway train, allows easy passage throughout the territory.
The Kowloon Canton Railway (KCR), or overland rail service, also operates
a service to the New Territories. Ferries run regularly between Hong Kong
Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the Outlying Islands. Buses, trams and
metered taxis are inexpensive and easily available.
and Other Requirements
of most countries do not require visa to enter Hong Kong for a short-term
stay of 14 days to 3 months. For details, please visit the official website
of The independent Hong Kong Immigration Department: www.immd.gov.hk.