Hong Kong: forever moving forward, never forgetting where it came from. The streets thrum with energy, lighting up the laneways and skyscrapers and the smile on a street vendor’s face. From the top of Victoria Peak to the bustling harbour and out to the peaceful islands, Hong Kong is bound to delight travellers wanting to throw themselves into the thick of things. Shop till you drop in the markets and mega-malls, dine out on dim sum and put the yum back in yum cha, all within a single suburb.
The best time to visit Hong Kong is during the mid-shoulder seasons – from mid-March to mid-April and mid-October until late November. These are the periods most likely to feature pleasant temperatures and a relatively small amount of rain compared to the rest of the year, while the October/November period also tends to see more sunshine.
Hong Kong has traditionally been a very safe place to visit. That said, there have been ongoing protests directed at the Chinese government that can take place with very little warning. While these generally don’t present a direct threat to tourists, it’s possible you may get caught up if you don’t take precautions. Always monitor the local news for word of any possible protests.
Travellers from the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. If you hold a UK passport, you may stay for 180 days without a visa.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your country of origin. Check the Essential Trip Information section of your tour itinerary for more information.
Tipping isn’t a huge part of Hong Kong’s culture and most restaurants will add a 10–15 per cent service charge to your bill. That said, hotel staff, like luggage porters, will often expect a small tip for their service.
Free wi-fi is widely available across Hong Kong. You should be able to find hotspots at most major tourist attractions, libraries, major stations and shopping malls. Many hotels, bar and cafes will also offer complimentary wi-fi.
Mobile/cell phone coverage is exceptional across Hong Kong. Phones can be used pretty much everywhere and there are a number of tourist SIM cards available for purchase once you arrive. If you’d prefer to use your global roaming, be sure to activate it before departing and always check costs with your provider.
Tap water is considered safe to drink in Hong Kong unless marked otherwise. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
Major credit cards are accepted by large hotels, stores and restaurants, but may not be accepted by smaller vendors and market stalls. Be sure to carry a small amount of some cash in case your card is not an option.
ATMs are easy to find in Hong Kong and the majority will accept foreign cards.
Hong Kong experiences a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, wet and humid summers. The average temperature range across the year is 15–31°C (59–88°F) with rainfall at its heaviest from May through September. The large rain deposits over the summer come in the form of storms and downpours so while it will be wet, it won’t be wet for long.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Despite Hong Kong’s liberal values, the city tends to follow traditional Chinese beliefs when it comes to sexuality. This means that homosexuality was considered a mental illness up until 2001 and though things have certainly improved, discrimination laws are not equal between LGBT and non-LGBT identifying citizens. There is still no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
That said, Hong Kong is hassle-free destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers that display discretion. Public displays of affection are rare in Hong Kong for both heterosexual and same-sex couples anyway, and Hong Kongers are generally very tolerant given their British history. Hong Kong also holds an annual Pride Parade, which is banned in mainland China.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Hong Kong is one of the best cities in Asia for travellers with disabilities. Its modern public transport system is almost entirely accessible, including the MTR and ferry, though there are only a limited number of taxis with wheelchair ramps available. Most sights are accessible and there are plenty of accommodation options available depending on the individual traveller’s needs. Sidewalks in the touristed areas tend to have curb ramps too.
If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.
Your wardrobe while visiting Hong Kong ultimately comes down to personal preference. You can get away with loose-fitting shirts, dresses, shorts or trousers for most of the year without too much discomfort. In summer, however, it can be particularly humid and wet so it’s best to wear breathable clothing and a light waterproof jacket or poncho. The winter evenings can get a little chilly too so it’s good to have a light sweater or a few layers to stay warm.
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
In Hong Kong, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.