About Hong Kong

Language
Visitors to Hong Kong should not find any major difficulties in communicating in English. All signage is in English and Chinese. Taxi drivers may not speak a lot of English. It is preferable to get your destination written in Chinese on a piece of paper at the hotel reception desk.

Visas and Visa Requirements
Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods varying from seven days to six months, depending on their nationalities. Anyone wishing to stay longer than the visa-free period must apply for a visa before travelling to Hong Kong. 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 mainland China or Macau) and that they have adequate funds for their stay in Hong Kong without work. (Generally, a confirmed hotel reservation, a valid international credit card and/or an appropriate amount of cash will suffice.) All visitors to Hong Kong must have valid travel documents, endorsed where necessary for Hong Kong. These should be valid for at least one month beyond your planned departure from Hong Kong, and in the case of certain nationalities, at least six months.
For those requiring a visa, applications should be made to the Immigration Department, 2/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel: (852) 2824 6111, Fax: (852) 2877 7711) or the nearest Chinese Consulate. When applying for a visa, it is advisable to give at least six weeks' notice. Further information can be found on the Hong Kong Immigration Department's website.

Climate
Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical, tending towards temperate for nearly half the year, with annual average temperature of 23XC (72XF).. During November and December there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard these as the best months of the year. The temperature in December ranges from 15XC (59XF) to 21XC (70XF). A light sweater or jacket should be sufficient.

Currency and Tipping
The local currency is the Hong Kong Dollar. Paper currency is available in denominations of $1000, $500, $100, $50, and $20, while coins are available in denominations of $10, $5, $2, $1, 50c, 20c and 10c. Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of US$ 1 = HK$ 7.8, although exchange rate varies from HK$7.7VHK$7.9 per 1 US$. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at any bank and several exchange bureaus around the city. Credit cards are widely accepted in most large establishments. Most establishments add a service charge of 10%. All other tipping is optional.

Airport Tax
The airport tax is HK$ 50 for travellers aged 12 years or older.

Airport Transportation
The new Hong Kong International Airport is your first entry point into Hong Kong. To attend the symposium, you are recommended to take the shuttle bus provided by the hotel . A general way to get to the city by travellers is to take the Airport Express (AEL) train. The 448-seater Airport Express takes approximately 23 minutes between the airport and Hong Kong Station in Central, with 2 stops (Tsing Yi Station and Kowloon Station) in route, operating at speeds of up to 135 km an hour. Complimentary in-town check-in services for airline passengers at Hong Kong Island and Kowloon stations are also provided. Click Here to learn more about transport to/from Hong Kong International Airport

Local Transportation
Hong Kong is geographically compact, with plentiful and inexpensive taxis and excellent public transportation, so travel is generally quick and easy. Like most major cities, though, it's best to avoid rush hours (8am-10am and 5pm-7pm) if possible. All public transportation signs and street signs are available in both English and Chinese. If you plan to take the taxi, please get your destinations written in Chinese at your hotel reception desk. Please also carry your hotel name written in Chinese if you wish to find your way back to the hotel by taxi.

Hong Kong Tourist Association
For more information about Hong Kong, please visit the website of Hong Kong Tourist Association: http://www.hkta.org/