Travel Advice

Checking-in to flight

I will check everyone in the day before our flight. I’ve already selected seats for us all together towards the front of the economy class cabin. You can pay to be upgraded to ‘Main Cabin Extra’ for about $90 per flight (this gives you a little extra leg room). This would be a personal expense and will not be reimbursed.

Checked Bags

Upon arrival at the airport, go to a desk to check your bag(s). You can check 2 bags free of charge, but please remember the more you bring the more you have to lug around. Click Here to read all checked baggage policies.

Passport

Please make sure you have your passport with you and DO NOT put it in the suitcase you are checking. It’s happened before…

Airport Security

Security varies in length. Once you check your bags, go straight through security. You are allowed to take a max of three 3 ounce containers with liquid through security. Click Here to read travel tips from TSA.

Dealing with Jet Lag

Hong Kong is 14 hours ahead! Jet lag is a real thing, but you can significantly reduce the effects by being prepared. Here are some things I do to help me adjust:

    • Create a plan for the travel day. We are leaving early in the morning on Tuesday so you might be tempted to go to bed early on Monday night. I’d recommend you not do this. By the time we board the Dallas -> Hong Kong leg of the journey it will be HK nighttime and a great time to get some sleep!! It will also make the 16 hour flight go quicker 🙂
    • On the travel day it is imperative to stay hydrated! Orange juice & coffee wont cut it. Drink water. Lots of it. If you don’t, it can feel like you’re hungover when you arrive.
    • We land in Hong Kong around 6:00 PM local time – try not to sleep too much towards the end of our flight. Best plan is to get to the hotel, have some dinner and go to bed around 9:00 PM.
    • If sleeping pills work for you, it might to be a good idea to bring a few with you. They can be very helpful if you wake up in the middle of the night.
    • I am a huge believer that sunshine is one of the best cures. On Thursday we will do our best to get some time in the sun. This helps your body adjust to a new time-zone better than anything else.
    • My last piece of advice is to relax and enjoy the ride. Stress is not your friend. Unknowns can be intimidating, but we have an experienced team and an experienced host. Make a decision in advance to be flexible and relaxed for the duration of the trip.

Per Diem

We will provide you with a cash per diem for your time in Hong Kong. Some in USD for travel days and the rest in Hong Kong Dollars.

Credit Cards or Cash

Credit cards are widely accepted, but you need to tell your bank you are traveling! I’d also recommend exchanging some cash for personal spending. Hong Kong has a lot of outdoor markets that will only take cash.

Where Can I Exchange Cash?

At your bank, the airport or even the hotel in Hong Kong. You will receive the best exchange rate at your bank, but you might want to check how long it will take them to get Hong Kong Dollars.

What is the Exchange Rate?

The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar. Exchange rate is
$1 USD = $7.75 HKD
or
$10 HKG = $1.29 USD

Free Time

We will have some free time on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. We have already planned some fun things to do! (Maybe even a little Hong Kong Karaoke 😉). If there is anything you HAVE to do while in Hong Kong, let me know and I’ll see if its something we can do as a group.

If you have never travelled before and would like me to meet you at check-in, just let me know.

Cultural Advice

Meeting & Greeting

Shake hands with everyone — men, women and children — upon meeting and leaving. Note that Hong Kong Chinese handshakes may be less firm than a Western handshake.

Names & Titles

Address the Chinese with Mr., Mrs., Miss or professional title plus family name. Example: Lau Gan Lei would be Mr. Lau or Doctor Lau or Professor Lau.

Body Language

  • Hong Kong Chinese may stand close when talking, however, they are reserved and uncomfortable with body contact. Do not hug, kiss or pat people on the back.
  • Winking at someone is considered a very rude gesture.
  • Never point with your index finger. This is used only for animals. Point with your hand open.

Corporate Culture

  • Give and receive business cards with both hands. Be sure to look at a business card upon receiving it. Do not write on it in front of the person who gave it to you.
  • “Yes” may not mean agreement; it often means “I hear you.” “No” is generally not said. Instead, you may hear “I will have to wait,” or “This may be very difficult.”

Public Transport

Hong Kong has several options for public transport. The best two options for us will be the MTR (lite rail) and Uber. Please note: it is rude to eat or drink on public transport.

Dining & Entertainment

  • The Chinese find belching, slurping, clanging utensils and making loud noises at the dinner table acceptable, sometimes even complimentary.
  • Chopsticks are very common – but don’t play with them! Sticking them upright in your food has bad symbolism as does leaving them crossed.
  • Tipping is not required, even in restaurants. If you do want to tip at a restaurant, 10% is plenty. Tipping in some situations can actually be considered rude.

Other Helpful Hints

  • The Chinese are famous for communicating by “Saying it without saying it.” You will have to learn to read between the lines.
  • Compliment Hong Kong Chinese, but expect a denial. Politely deny a compliment to show humility. Do not say thank you.

Want to know more?

If you want to read up a little more, here is a helpful link: http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_hk.htm

You can also download an app called: Cultures
Once downloaded, search for China and they will give lots of cultural tips.

Here is a word of wisdom from our very own Greg Worthington: “If in doubt – Anti-Nike it: Just Don’t Do It”