Travel to Hong Kong & Macau

Hong Kong & Macau Hong Kong & Macau Hong Kong & Macau Hong Kong & Macau Hong Kong & Macau Hong Kong & Macau
Hong Kong & Macau

A visit to Hong Kong usually includes a side trip to Macau, and vice versa! These two diminutive destinations are tourism giants and have enough to keep travelers busy for a week, or, alternatively, make a great 3 night stopover choice.

Hong Kong - Delectable dim sum, floating islands, and a breath taking skyline are just some of Hong Kong’s unique features. Take the tram to the top of Victoria Peak for unparalleled views of the most vertical city in the world, then shop until you drop at any of Hong Kong’s markets or designer stores. Finally, dine on exquisite Chinese cuisine. And that is just day one…

Macau -  a short ferry ride across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. The local tourism draw is based largely on gambling, with numerous casinos reminiscent of Las Vegas, but Macao, a former Portuguese colony, also offers a rich blend of Chinese and European architecture and culture. A large section of Macau Peninsula has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Those who think Macau is only about nightlife are in for a delightful surprise.

Hong Kong and Macau, while distinct, share a similar history which links them. While Hong Kong was colonized by the British and Macau by the Portuguese, both were critical trading posts and links between the East and the West. A visit to both is to gain a deeper understanding of their shared history, which will enrich your appreciation of this dynamic duo.

History

Hong Kong -  The Hong Kong we know today was born when China’s Qing dynasty government was defeated in the First Opium War in 1842 and ceded Hong Kong Island to Britain.
As a British colony, Hong Kong served as a center of international trade. In the turbulent years of the early 20th century, the city’s population was bolstered by refugees, mostly from China. The arrival of immigrants in large numbers helped launch a new role for Hong Kong as a major manufacturing hub. It also brought economically stimulating energy and industry to the city’s character.
In recent decades, as the economy of Mainland China has undergone a process of opening up, Hong Kong has transformed yet again – this time into a service-based economy as well as an important gateway to the world’s largest market.
Under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997. This arrangement allows the city to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, including retaining its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade and freedom of speech.


Macau -
Macau was originally known as Ou Mun, or “trading gate”, because of its location at the mouth of the Pearl River downstream from Guangzhou (formerly Canton). During ancient times, Macau was part of the oceanic Silk Road, with ships loading silk bound for Rome here.
In the early 1550s the Portuguese reached Macau, and established a city that, within a short time, became a major entry port for trade between China, Japan, India and Europe. It also became the perfect crossroad for East and West cultures. A Christian college was built, beside what is now today’s Ruins of St Paul’s, where students such as Matteo Ricci prepared for their work as Christian scholars at the Imperial Court in Beijing. Other churches were built, as well as fortresses, which gave the city an historical European appearance that distinguishes it to this day.
Portugal’s golden age in Asia faded as rivals like the Dutch and British took over their trade. However the Chinese chose to continue to do business through the Portuguese in Macau, so for over a century the British East India Company and others set up shop here in rented houses like the elegant Casa Garden. As Europe’s trade with China grew, the European merchants spent part of the year in Guangzhou, buying tea and Chinese luxuries at the bi-annual fairs, using Macau as a recreational retreat.
Following the Opium War in 1841, Hong Kong was established by Britain and most of the foreign merchants left Macau, which became a quaint, quiet backwater. Nevertheless it has continued to enjoy a leisurely multicultural existence and make daily, practical use of its historical buildings, in the process becoming a favorite stopover for international travelers, writers and artists.
Today, like Hong Kong,  Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, and benefits from the principle of “one country, two systems”.

Currency

The Hong Kong Dollar is the currency of Hong Kong.

The Macau Pataca is the currency of Macau, however the Hong Kong dollar is widely accepted in Macau and is convenient for quick visits.

Best Time to Travel

Hong Kong and Macau enjoy pleasant weather from October to December and this is an ideal time for a visit. Spring time (March to April) is also a great time to travel.
Hong Kong and Macau tend to be hot and humid between May and October. While May is the wettest month, July is the hottest with an average high of 92°F. January and February are the coldest months with temperatures dropping to about 50°F.

Health Requirements

No medications or vaccinations are required for entry to Hong Kong and Macau.

Visa Requirements

US passport holders are granted a 30 day entry permit on arrival at no charge.  Passports should have at least 6 months validity.

Tipping & Porterage

Tipping is expected of US visitors, although the Chinese themselves do not routinely tip.  Tipping Guidelines will be included with final documents.

Credit Cards

Master Card and Visa are widely accepted in department stores, hotels and restaurants. American Express is often not accepted. Cash is required for shopping in markets and food stalls.

Electrical Appliances

The voltage in Hong Kong and Macau is 220 Volt, which is different from North America (120V) and may require a voltage adaptor for some devices. Hong Kong and Macau electrical outlets take three square pin plugs, type G. 
For more information on plugs and voltage, please visit http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/


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This Destination

Hong Kong & Macau

Related Destinations

Bali & Indonesia
Bhutan
Cambodia
China
Hong Kong & Macau
India
Japan
Laos
Malaysia
Myanmar
Nepal
Northern India
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Southern India
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam

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