2012 IACMR Conference
June 20-24, 2012, Hong Kong, China
About Hong Kong
Roaming Around the City
About Hong Kong
Hong Kong (Chinese: ??) is one of two special administrative regions (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the other being Macau. Situated on China’s south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. With a land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong’s population is 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent from other groups. Hong Kong’s Han Chinese majority originate mainly from the cities of Guangzhou and Taishan in the neighbouring Guangdong province.
Hong Kong was one of two British colonies in China, the other being Weiheiwei. Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain in perpetuity under the terms of the Treaty of Nanking, as one of the spoils of the First Opium War (1839). The Kowloon Peninsula was added in 1860 and finally the New Territories were obtained on a ninety-nine year lease in 1898, the same year that Weiheiwei was obtained.
Hong Kong fell to the Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control until 1997, when China regained sovereignty. Hong Kong’s independent judiciary functions under the common law framework. Its political system is governed by the Basic Law of Hong Kong, its constitutional document, which stipulates that Hong Kong shall have a “high degree of autonomy” in all matters except foreign relations and military defence. Although it has a burgeoning multi-party system, half of its legislature is controlled by a small-circle electorate. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the head of government, is selected by an 800-person Election Committee.
Today, under the principle of “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong’s economic and political systems differ from those of mainland China. Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading international financial centres, with a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade. The Hong Kong dollar is the ninth most traded currency in the world. Limited land caused demand for denser constructions, which allowed the city to became a centre for modern architecture and made it the world’s most vertical city. Under colonial rule, it espoused minimum government intervention under the ethos of positive non-interventionism. The culture of Hong Kong was also influenced during its British colonial times along with an educational system that loosely follows the system in England. Hong Kong also has a highly developed transportation network with a traveling rate on public transport exceeding 90 percent, the highest in the world.
If you are a Chinese originated from mainland China and currently residing China, you need the Exit-entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office. Visit here for more details.
If you are a Chinese originated from mainland China and currently residing overseas, you need to apply entry permit. There is an exception that if you are taking flight and making transit to another area (e.g. heading to Shenzhen in mainland China or showing a flight ticket to other country within the future 7 days), you are eligible to enter Hong Kong without any document. However you MUST leave Hong Kong within 7 days. A round trip for less than 7 days without going to a third country/ area would not work. Visit here for more details.
If you are a Chinese resident of Taiwan currently outside Taiwan, you need an entry permit. Visit here for more details.
If you are a Chinese resident of Taiwan currently in Taiwan, you need to apply entry permit through one of the authorized airline companies. However if you are holding a valid “Mainland Travel Permits for Taiwan Residents” (commonly known as “Tai Bao Zheng”) may enter Hong Kong as visitor and stay for up to 7 days. Visit here for more details.
For all other countries, generally you do not need a VISA to visit Hong Kong. To check whether you need a VISA or not, please visit the in Hong Kong immigration department web site at http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas_4.htm. If you need a VISA, you may apply it in your local Chinese Embassy.
If you need a referral or contact person when applying your VISA, please use the following person, For more information, please check the Hong Kong Immigration Department web site VISA section at http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas.htm.
The official language in Hong Kong is English. Cantonese is the most spoken language. You will have no or very less problem in communication with either Cantonese, Mandarin, or English in most of the areas due to it’s diversified nature and internationalism.
Emergency – Fire/ Police/ Ambulance: 999
Consumer Complaint: 2929-2222
Tourists Complaint: 2508-1234
Immigration Department: 2824-6111
Local Telephone Number Inquiry: 1083 (Cantonese)/ 1088 (Mandarin)/ 1081 (English)
Time and Weather: 18503 (Cantonese)/ 18508 (Mandarin)/ 18501 (English)
Post Office: 2921-2222
Mass Transit Railway: 2881-8888
Hong Kong International Airport: 2181-8888/ 2181-0000
International Calls: dial 001 + country code + city code + telephone number
Country code of Hong Kong: 852
In short Hong Kong has a tropical wet-and-dry climate. The annual average temperature is around 83 degree Farenheit. It is expected that in June temperature will be around 85 to 95 degree Farenheit. The feeling is sweltering hot and wet. Please observe the weather forecast before you go.
The official Hong Kong currency is Hong Kong dollar (HKD). It is pegged with USD at an exchange rate from 7.75 to 7.85. Currency notes are issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 dollars. Coins come in denominations of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10 dollars.
Foreign currency and travelers’ cheques can be exchanged at most banks. Banks open 5.5 days a week typically. Exchange cash only in banks or reputable sources to avoid counterfeit notes.
Cash is the most common mode of acceptance. In addition credit card is widely accepted in most places except small local stores. Cash is needed for transportation. RMBs are accepted in many businesses and USDs follows.
Roaming Around the City
The public transport of Hong Kong is very well-developed. Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and taxi is recommended. With bus services almost every corner is covered. Taxi and bus drivers speak limited English, however.
As an international city, you can virtually enjoy any kinds of cuisines from around the world in good quality and many of them locates in Tsim Sha Tsui area near the conference hotel. You may be able to find restaurants in any time of the day. Smoking is strictly prohibited in any indoor venues.
You can find everything from the lastest esigner fashions and electronic gadgets to best-value antiques and collectibles in Hong Kong. No tax is imposed in Hong Kong.
There are a lot of shopping streets, including Nathan Road and Tsim Sha Tsui area which is next to the conference hotel, or the Causeway Bay area in the Hong Kong island across the Victoria Harbor. The Golden computer arcade in Shum Shui Po MTR station is the biggest mall in Hong Kong that provides the latest computer related products. Visit the Hong Kong Tourism Board web site at http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/index.html for more shopping locations.
Generally no tip is expected in restaurants as it will be added to the bill as service charge. You may leave a few dollars in the bill exchange at your discretion. Tip bellboys and room-service waiters however.
The Peak – spectacular views over the city and the harbor. details…
Star Ferry across Victoria harbor – a jewel that people marvel at. Also features symphony of lights at nights which is a laser and music show from the skyscrapers on the sides of the harbor. details…
Avenue of Stars – modeled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. details…
Giant Buddha – features the world’s tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. details…
Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car – incredible cable car journey and culturally themed Ngong Ping village. details…
Ocean Park – world famous aquatic park. details…
Disney Land – world’s most smallest and distinct Disney theme park. details…
Stanley Bay – formerly a fishing port which is now an open air bazaar. details…
1. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong