When you arrive in Hong Kong you’ll quickly want to start exploring and finding your way around. This is easy here, with excellent transport. Other essentials you may want to familiarise yourself with include medical care and internet connectivity.
Hong Kong is an exceptionally quick, easy and cheap region to get around.
Hong Kong International airport (HKG) is a modern airport, serving as a gateway for flights from all corners of the world. Every year over 50 million passengers pass through the airport and you’ll find most major airlines operate routes through here. Transit to Hong Kong Central from the airport takes approximately 25 minutes on the Airport Express train.
Driving in Hong Kong
The roads in Hong Kong are well maintained. Cars drive on the left side of the road here. Road signs are typically in Cantonese and English. There are three main tunnels connecting Kowloon with Hong Kong Island, which makes access between the two main parts of Hong Kong easy and relatively quick.
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) operates 82 stations along 175km of tracks, in addition to the Airport Express Line and the Light Rail Network serving the northwest New Territories. The system carries 4.28 million passengers per day in clean and modern carriages.
Trams and buses
Trams and buses also operate throughout the region and are an inexpensive and reliable way to travel. They can also be a fun way to get around Hong Kong.
Taxis here are inexpensive, clean, and easy to hail. They are regulated and easy to identify, so they are a good and safe way to travel around. Many taxi drivers understand some English, but it’s worth having the address of your destination written down to show them too.
Paying for public transport
An Octopus Card can be obtained. It is an electronic pre-pay card that can be used to pay for public transport and also in some stores to pay for goods.
Attached to mainland China but encompassing 284 islands, water travel is also important here. Ferries operate back and forth between the mainland and Hong Kong Island throughout the day, taking as little as 8 minutes to make the crossing between Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai. Many more ferries also offer transport between the many islands.
Walking is a great way to find your way around some of the many districts of Hong Kong, and to find hidden gems and pleasant surprises. It is relatively safe here too, so in most parts of the region you will feel secure walking around.
Some parts of Hong Kong can be hilly, and the temperatures in the summer can make travel by foot uncomfortable. However, one of the fun things to do as a newcomer to Hong Kong is to start finding your way around the city using walkways below ground level, connecting buildings above level, and even jumping on the world’s longest escalator connecting the steeper streets of Hong Kong Central. Don’t be fooled by the heat in the summer too – you’ll want to remember your umbrella as rain can move in quickly and sometimes unexpectedly.
Standards of healthcare provision in Hong Kong are excellent and reliable. Hong Kong does not have a national health service, but it does have excellent heavily subsidised health care that costs very little. However, this is used by many people and therefore can be busy and difficult to get fast appointments. Many people may therefore choose to use a private healthcare provider.
There is plenty of choice in Hong Kong for Internet access and mobile phone contracts. You may wish to consult your relocation agent or a local contact to get best advice on which Internet service provider (ISP) to use for your new home.
There are many free Wifi hotspots available around Hong Kong. This includes the airport and MTR stations where you can access the Internet for free for up to 15 minutes per session and up to five sessions per day. Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) and Y5ZONE also offer free hotspot connections in a number of popular destinations around Hong Kong.