Tips for Novice Visitors Traveling to Hong Kong
If you’ve been wondering where your next vacation should be, you better give Hong Kong a thought. It’s a travel destination that’s sure to check all the boxes. The city is full of amazing attractions and fun activities that promise a thrilling adventure. However, this former British protectorate stands out like a sore thumb when it comes to its operations, which can be quite the handful for first-time visitors. From its intricate public transport system, crowded marketplaces, and puzzling streets, HK definitely has the potential to overwhelm any tourist. For this reason, there are certain things that every novice traveler to Hong Kong should know.
One thing visitors don’t need to worry about is how to get to this magnificent city. Cathay Pacific has flight routes that connect Hong Kong to virtually all corners of the world. You can easily book direct flights from Chicago to Hong Kong on the airline’s website where you can get lots of insight concerning the aviation industry as well.
Without the correct information, it’s quite easy for your trip to go horribly wrong. This is especially so if you’re new to the destination. Therefore, to help you avoid this, here’s a list of things that every novice visitor to Hong Kong should know. After all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Understand the City’s Regions
One of the most important things to consider when going on a trip is accommodation. Where you stay during your trip is crucial as it’ll determine how you’re going to commute to the various attraction sites. Owing to this, it’s important for any tourist to consider the activities he or she intends to take part in, so as to choose the appropriate location to stay. Hong Kong is generally divided into two parts, the Hong Kong Island side, and the Kowloon side. Both sides are equally great, offering exciting attractions, shopping malls, and restaurants. Before coming to a decision on where you’d like to stay, it’d be wise to do ample research about both areas.
Get an Octopus Card
An Octopus card is an essential tool for everyone looking to tour HK. It’s a prepaid card that allows people to pay for all public transportation with the exception of taxis. What’s more, the card can also be used in a number of convenience stores, fast-food joints, and even vending machines. You can get an Octopus card at the information desk of any MTR station all over the city, with the option of choosing from various different types. Cards can be topped up using “Add Value Machines” which are installed in every MTR station. However, it’s important to note that these machines only accept cash. You can also refill your card at select establishments including 7-eleven, Watson, and Circle K.
Hong Kong has a total population of more than seven million people living in an area of only 1,106 square kilometers. Thus, public places such as markets and malls can get very crowded especially on weekends and holidays. Therefore, prepare to encounter crowds of people everywhere you go; this is the norm of the city.
Visit Museums on Wednesdays
Most of the popular museums in HK including the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, and the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum offer free entry on Wednesdays. Weekdays are also the best time to visit museums as there are generally fewer people, which means less queuing.
Prepare for Unpredictable Weather
Hong Kong is usually hot and humid during most times of the year. Thus, it’s recommended that you carry light and breathable clothing. Bringing an umbrella along is also a welcomed idea because at certain times, the weather can be unpredictable. You may encounter periodic showers that may last anywhere between a few minutes to a couple of hours. Arming yourself with an umbrella can also shield you from the sun, especially when you have kids accompanying you.
Carry Comfortable Walking Shoes
First-time visitors to Hong Kong are usually oblivious of how hilly the place is. In an effort to combat this, the city has placed escalators in Central that aid in getting up and down the hilly terrain. Still, encountering a steep street is inevitable; thus, ensure you carry a pair of comfortable walking shoes so as to avert injuries.
Hong Kong is a magical place that is definitely worth exploring; ergo, following these tips will surely make your trip a lot more convenient and enjoyable.