Are you on the first trip to Hong Kong? Well get everything right for easier movement, communication, and thrill in this global city. It is not surprising to get people very confused when they first land in Hong Kong. In this post, Business travelers; essential guide for Hong-Kong, you get everything you need to know after landing in Hong Kong.
Arrival at Hong Kong Airport
The airport is a thrill in itself. It is really beautiful, has lovely shopping malls, fast Wi-Fi, top restaurants, and a lot of movie theatres. In fact, many people travel to Hong Kong airport as a destination itself.
The Hong Kong customs (the main entry to Hong Kong)
To enter Hong Kong officially, you must go through customs unit of the Special Administrative Area. Because Hong Kong is an international city welcoming visitors from all over the world, you should expect to get a visa on arrival (our article about Hong-Kong Visa).
Make sure to read all the details of the visa carefully to note that you are not required to do business or even work illegally. What Hong Kong wants is to encourage you to open a company.
Free telephone calls from the customs
When you are still at the customs, you can make free phone calls. Simply ask the people you are going to meet to give you their phone numbers so that you can call them from the customs.
This is a very great idea to avoid getting stranded before getting a local phone line. However, the free calls are not available immediately you leave the customs and enter the public sections.
Once you have cleared with customs, the next step should be getting to the hotel of choice. The best means of transport across Hong Kong is Airport Express that charges 100 HKD or 13 USD (one-way ticket to downtown Hong Kong).
The train also makes a stop at Kowloon and Tsing Yi. Therefore, you need to confirm the location of your hotel before boarding the train. Note that Airport Express operates from 6 am to midnight every day. Consider checking the Hong Kong Express schedule about 24 hours before arrival especially if you have some luggage.
Getting a mobile phone and data setup
Because we live in an internet world, communication via email and WhatsApp can be addictive. How do you get the phone and data set right once in Hong Kong?
Roaming using your abroad provider
Many international mobile companies provide free roaming when you are abroad. Some have set a free unlimited monthly plan of $50 USD. However, you need to review the terms of your provider because some charge as much as 1USD per megabyte. The chances are that you will probably not use the international phone because no one will want to call the overseas line because of cost.
Hong Kong SIM cards
Even if you get the international roaming deals, a local number will also be critical for local calls and emergencies. A good method is having two phones; one for international roaming and another with the local number. In case you want to use your phone, ensure it is unlocked to accept lines from other companies.
You can also buy a new cheap phone to use in Hong Kong for as low as 200 HKD (about 26 UDS) and select the mobile provider. Some of the mobile providers include China Mobile Hong Kong, 1010, and Three Hong Kong among others.
Cash and currency
Once in Hong, you will need cash for daily operations. You will require cash to pay taxis, use in restaurants, and do shopping. Though you can use your credit card in some cases, it is advisable to check with the provider because some charge higher rates when used internationally.
- Exchange rates: The Hong Kong Dollar which is used almost everywhere in Hong Kong is fixed to the US dollar at about 7.8. Therefore, an easy way to do your conversion is dividing everything by a factor of 8 to know the amount of US dollars that you require (useful for non-resident in Hong-Kong).
- International ATM charges: If you are arriving for the first time in Hong Kong, the chances are that you do not have a bank account. Therefore, you will want to use the international ATMs that charge about 5 USD. The cost helps to cater for your bank at home and the Hong Kong ATM provider.