Standing in Central Kowloon, the Langham Hong Kong features a 3 Michelin star restaurant, T'ang Court and a rooftop pool. It is a 5 minute walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR. Each stylish room at The Langham Hong Kong is equipped with a 37 inch flat screen TV and a gourmet minibar. Some rooms feature an iHome docking station.
Guests can make use of the well appointed business centre and enjoy luxurious massages. Other facilities include a 24 hour gym. The Langham Hong Kong also provides car rental, laundry and babysitting services. The renovated Bostonian Seafood And Grill features a craft brew bar, a principal dining area and a private champagne room. Cantonese specialties are served at the multi-awarded T'ang Court Restaurant. Tea and light snacks are available at Palm Court.
Overlooking Victoria Harbour, Mandarin Oriental offers elegant rooms with 48 inch flat-screen TV, 8 dining options including Michelin Star restaurant Mandarin Grill and Bar, a spa and fitness centre. Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is located in the heart of Central, a major business and shopping district. It is a 40 minute drive to the airport.
Spacious and elegant, rooms at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong feature clear floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic city and harbour views. Modern comforts like an iPod dock, flat-screen TV and minibar are included. Guests can make use of the steam room, jacuzzi and sauna at the spa. It offers traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments. The fitness centre has an indoor heated swimming pool.
Mandarin Grill and Bar serves fresh seafood and western dishes. Cantonese specialties can be sampled at Man Wah. All day dining is available at Cafe Causette. Mandarin Oriental Hotel also has 2 bars and a cake shop.
Renaissance Kowloon Hotel is in the Tsimshatsui shopping, business and entertainment district in the southern tip of Kowloon Peninsula. The hotel is adjacent to the New World Shopping Center and the Avenue of Stars, and less than two kilometers from the Hong Kong Convention Center and Victoria Peak.
Hotel Features. The stylish hotel offers a variety of dining options. Panorama, the hotel's fine dining restaurant, offers panoramic views through floor to ceiling windows of the harbor and city skyline. Dynasty serves traditional Cantonese dishes, including dim sum. The Patio Coffee Shop offers all day dining. The Lobby Lounge provides live music at night and an afternoon tea buffet on weekends and holidays. The hotel also includes meeting facilities and a full business center. Wireless Internet access is available in the lobby, restaurants, meeting rooms, and club floors. A landscaped outdoor pool and a 24 hour fitness center are on site.
Guestrooms. The 19 story hotel includes 492 guestrooms and 53 suites that overlook Salisbury Road, Chatham Road or the pool. Rooms feature Marriott's signature bedding that includes thick mattresses, with separate pillow tops, down comforters, triple sheeting and extra pillows. Amenities also include high speed Internet access, cable TVs with movie channels and fax machines. Coffee and tea makers, minibars and refrigerators also are included.
Expert Tip. All modes of public transportation in Hong Kong have their own fare systems. Guests who intend to travel in the area may want to buy an Octopus, an electronic smart card that allows travelers to use buses, trains, trams, ferries and subways without having to worry about making exact change. Cards are sold at MTR train and subway stations. The cheapest Octopus is US$19. An Airport Express card costs US$39 and is good for three days of unlimited travel and an airport round trip. Prices may change without notice.
JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, the companys flagship property in Asia Pacific, offers exclusive high rise accommodations in the heart of the Hong Kong city center and features magnificent views of Victoria Harbour. The JW Marriott is adjacent to the Pacific Place Mall, a stunning collection of world class offices, apartments, superb shopping, fine dining and entertainment. The hotel has convenient access to the subway system MTR, and is close to the Hong Kong Convention Center and the famed Star Ferry Terminal, the gateway to the island since 1898.
The 35 story JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong offers 577 luxurious guestrooms and 25 suites, including five exclusive executive floors. All accommodations feature mountain or harbor views, and include separate showers and bathrooms with spa tubs, bathrobes and slippers, minibars, dual voltage electrical outlets, high speed Internet access, and bedside controls for lighting and draperies.
Several dining options are available at the JW Marriott. Designed with the casual atmosphere of a seaside restaurant, the Fish Bar offers fresh seafood, drinks and views of the harbor. Man Ho is the award winning Cantonese restaurant, open for lunch and dinner. The Marriott Cafe provides all day dining, while The Lounge features four different offerings Canton Tea Company, Q88 Wine Bar, Cigar Bar Q88 and the Book Lounge. JW California is the premier dining room, offering innovative California cuisine and sushi bar.
The JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong features an outdoor pool with poolside bar, full service health spa, well equipped business center, 14 conference rooms and banquet facilities. Also available is 24 hour room service, wireless Internet access in public areas, in room massage service, and limousine or Town Car service.
Connected to the Hong Kong International Airport, the Regal Airport Hotel is located on Lantau Island, the largest of Hong Kong's main islands. The hotel is adjacent to Inspiration Lake and Recreational Centre, 18 kilometers from Hong Kong Disneyland and 35 kilometers from the Hong Kong city center.
Hotel Features. The 12 story Regal Airport Hotel has conference and b anquet facilities, a fitness center, spa services, and two on site dining op tions.
The conference facility is equipped with 31 function rooms, inclu ding a ballroom, small group meeting rooms and a dedicated business area. Wi reless high speed Internet access is available in public areas (fees apply).
The on site fitness center offers a room for aerobics and classes can b e specially arranged. Cardio fitness equipment and free weights are also ava ilable.
Spa services at the Regal Airport Hotel include massage therapy, facials, manicures and pedicures. Guests also have access to a steam room, sauna, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a landscaped sunbathing area. .
There are two dining options at the hotel, Caf? Aficionado and China Co ast Bar and Grill. Caf? Aficionado is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner a nd offers both an international a la carte menu and a buffet. The cafe also features specialty dishes such as Hainan chicken rice. China Coast Bar and G rill serves Western fare and is available to cater business luncheons. It is open from midday till late night.
Guestrooms. The 1,171 guestrooms of the Regal Airport Hotel can be ac cessed by 10 lobby elevators. Each room is equipped with a cable/satellite t elevision with pay movies, a direct dial phone with voice mail and wireless Internet access (fees apply). All guestrooms are also outfitted with a minib ar, coffee/tea maker and complimentary bottled water. Bathroom features incl ude a shower/tub combination, bathrobes, complimentary toiletries and a hair dryer.
Summer Temptation Promotion:
Guests who book a Deluxe Room between July 23, 2008 through August 31, 2008 will receive a guaranteed room upgrade to a Premier Room with free breakfast (for up to two persons) and a 30 minute head and shoulder massage.
Shops: Shopping hours in big towns and cities start at around 10 or 11 am, and continue through to between 8 and 10 pm. Shops in cities and big towns are open 7 days; smaller places may close on Sundays, except tourist spots at high season. Public holidays are observed but you may find most things open in cities and bigger towns and tourist spots. Smaller towns will have more limited opening hours, and in hotter, non-tourist regions may close between 2 and 4 pm. Check locally.
Banks: Bank Branches are ggenerally open from 9am to 4pm in many cities and big towns, and some even open Saturday mornings. Global banks such as HSBC now open from 8am to 8pm six days a week.
Office Hours: Commercial Office hours tend to run in line with those of the US and the UK - 8am - 6pm. Lunch breaks usually last an hour, but business lunches can go on much longer.
Churches: Some churches are permanently open; others are locked up if there is no service going on, especially those hosting valuable art or artefacts. If you visit a church, be mindful of those inside who may be taking part in a church service.
Museums: Museums tend to have specific opening hours, sometimes close for a day in the week (often Mondays or Tuesdays, not always) - so check beforehand!
Archaeological Sites: Most are open 8am to 5pm, and some close for a day in the week (see museums, above). Check before you go.
|January 1st||New Year's Day|
|February||Ramadan / Eid al-Fitr / Chinese Lunar New Year / Valentine's Day|
|April||Easter / Passover|
|May||Internal Labour (Worker's) Day / Cinco de Mayo||September||Diwali|
|December||Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa|
People around the world celebrate holidays with special rituals and festivities.
Click Here to take a quick tour of some global holiday traditions.
Tipping - Part 1 of 2
Tipping is common in the United States: it is almost second-nature and practiced frequently at most service establishments. In Britain and some other European countries, it is not so common or customary to tip people for services.
In other locales, not only is it customary, it is expected in return for a good service rendered. Most people working in the tourism and service sectors rely on your tips to supplement their basic pay and they give good service to prove that it makes a significant difference to them! Always keep some loose change in your pocket - you never know when you're going to need some for a tip. If you did not get poor service, then you should always tip.
Restaurants: 10 to 15% is normal, depending on establishment and level of service you received.
Bellboys: around US$1 per bag;
Concierge: around US$1 equivalent if they do something for you (book a table at a local restaurant, etc).
Maids: about US$0.50 - US$1 equivalent, depending on the type of establishment, per night's stay. Leave the tip just before you leave the room for the last time.
Gasoline/Petrol Service Stations: If you rent a car and buy fuel, 3-5% of the cost of the fuel is normal, with 5-10% of the cost of the fuel if the attendant provides additional services (water, oil, tire pressure, etc). You'll need to ask for the additional services if you want them.
Bars and Cafes: Tables at these are often attended (you don't need to go to the bar to order food or drink) - and a tip of 10% of the value of your spending that evening is normal.
Tipping - Part 2 of 2
Car Valets: If you drive to a bar or restaurant and have your car parked by the establishment's valet service, you should tip the attendant around US$1 equivalent in local currency when you leave, unless the valet has a pre-advertised rate (probably higher than this) in which case, pay that and no more.
Car Park Attendants: Often, car parks will have an "attendant", a man or woman dressed up in a "security type" uniform, who may direct you to a free spot, and see you reverse out. These attendants are often older men who also keep an eye on things while you're away. A few coins is sufficient.
Health Spas: For personal services at Resort Spas, 10-15% of the value of the service (e.g. a Massage) is normal. If you're staying at a Destination Spa, you can tip good service personally, 5-10% of the service's 'stand alone' value is fine; or you can add a tip to your final bill, to cover everyone - even the 'behind the scenes' people - 10-15% of the bill is sufficient.
Toilets: Public Toilets (restrooms) are a rare sight, and if you find one, it may not be very pretty! Some public toilets now make a small charge for entry, and you'll find these are usually clean and tidy. If one of these is not available, go to a restaurant or bar (even if you're not eating or drinking at it) and answer 'nature's call' there. You may well find an attendant looking after the place, making sure it's clean tidy and that toilet paper is available on the rolls! When you wash your hands, you will see a small, flat box, sometimes with a piece of cloth inside (and usually a coin or three on it), placed beside one of the hand wash basins. US$.50 cents equivalent tip, depending on the class of establishment, is sufficient.
Bargaining & Barter
Bargaining and barter are common activities in international locales, especially at markets and artifact stores and workshops. If you speak the loal language (even phrases) you stand a much better chance of getting a better a deal on your purchases! Another good reason to learn the local language.
Never accept the first price you're offered, but be realistic with your offers. Remember that the people selling arts, crafts and artifacts are generally poor artisans making a simple living and often supporting a family.
Department stores and large (chain) hotel shops will not barter with you - you'll have more luck bartering with the check-out assistant of your local supermarket! Independent hotels may negotiate with you - especially if it is off-season locally.
Some taxis are not metered (especially in small provincial towns) - so agree your price before you get in and bargain down the first quote!
Shop owners and artisans will enjoy bartering with you - but will get upset and feel insulted if you are obviously trying to devalue them or their work into oblivion. Remember that they may be the creators of the wares they are offering for sale!
Time zones and the dates of daylight savings time (if observed) vary around the world.
Always check the domestic time zone difference if travelling within a country.
As an example; in 1996, Mexico decided to change its clocks in line with US "Daylight Savings Time", on the same dates that the US change its clocks. locales City therefore remained 6 hours behind the UK (7 hours behind Central European Time) and in-line with US's DST.
However, Europe's clocks go forward one week earlier than the US and Mexico, so, for one week each year, the US and Mexico are 7 hours behind British Summer Time (8 hours behind Central European Time).
Also be aware of date changes if you are travelling across the international date line.
Check dates and times at World Clock before you travel so you know what to expect.
When you're traveling in foriegn countries, you must take extra care when it comes to drinking water, or fresh beverages that may have tap water added to them, due to differences inbacteria content. Also check the ice - ask if it was made with tap water - it is unlikely that your ice will have been made with tap water; but it's worth asking in more rustic establishments and rural areas. Salads can also be dangerous if they have been rinsed with tap water - once again, the rule is... if in doubt, ask first!
All main hotels and good restaurants use purified water throughout.
Most hotels provide bottled water in all rooms, which you can use to drink and wash your teeth with, and many hotels now have potable water delivered through their taps using an on-site purification system; there will be a note in your room to advise you if this is the case. If you carry a water bottle / canteen, your hotel will usually fill this for you from a large bottle of purified water before you set out on your daytrip.
Many street vendors selling refreshments will sell you purified bottled water. Make sure that the cap is sealed All commercially produced beverages, including bottled and tinned water, fizzy drinks, wine, beer, spirits, et al will be perfectly safe for you to drink.
To make tap water safe, boil it for at least a few minutes; perhaps longer in locations situated at higher altitudes as the water boils at lower temperatures there. Water purification tablets and drops are available, but these generally have an adverse effect on the water's taste.
Know the legal minimum drinking age as it varies by country. Most are 21 but some locales it is 18, 3 years before most places in the US. Alcohol is even banned in some countrie so know the rules before you travel.
Although it has been rare in the past, requests for proof of age or identification when asking for an Alcoholic beverage around the world are on the rise. However, it is still nowhere near as strict as the US, where anyone who looks under 21 is "carded" - which in practice can mean those up to 30 years of age!
Altitude: Remember that many places are situated at higher altitudes, alcohol will have more effect on you than if you were drinking at or close to, sea level.
Measures: For people who are used to drinking in the UK - 'measures' in locales can be between 3 and 5 times larger than those served in one "measure" (25ml) in a Public House in Britain. Know the local customs.
Licensing Laws: In many countries stores, restaurants and bars are allowed to sell alcohol 24 hours a day.
Open Containers: Open containers are permitted in many tourist areas and certain zones while in others it is illegal to drink on the street, but people do, especially in popular aeas. If you want to drink a cold beer while walking down a street in the blazing heat - go ahead. But don't be stupid and get too drunk - it will call attention to yourself, and you may end up having to deal with the police. Do as the locals do - bend the rules sensibly.
Drinking and Driving: Drinking and Driving is a serious crime in most countries. If you drink, take a cab, they're not expensive and it is safer anyway. If you're driving at night, (or if you're a pedestrian) near a tourist area with lots of bars, be extra vigilant! Local police are stepping up their campaign against drunk-drivers, which will reduce accidents and deaths, but it will take time, as these things always do. Don't drink and drive in other countries, you will not get any leniency as a foreigner for driving drunk. If you hurt or kill someone in the process, you will end up in serious trouble.
Shaken: The Dont"s of Alcohol Abroad is a report put out by the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a private sector collaborator with the Department of State"s Bureau of Diplomatic Service. In the report, they outline incredible tips for alcohol consumption abroad. (They are relevant inside the United States, too!)
Electricity voltage and electrical outlets vary from country to country. Any electrical equipment you carry with you that operates at the higher (240v) rate will need to be dual-voltage (e.g. hair driers). A lot of electrical equipment (like video cameras, digital cameras, laptops) that operate on 12 volts via a product-specific adaptor will happily cope with dual voltage - check the adaptor and the device instructions to be sure.
You may need a socket adaptor. Global adapters can be bought for use in many different countries. Remeber that an adapter is not a voltage transformer.
Click Here for an overview of all countries of the world and their respective plugs/outlets and voltages/frequencies used for domestic appliances. The table shows that in most countries the mains supply is between 220 and 240 volts (50 or 60 Hz); countries that operate on 100-127 volts are greatly outnumbered. The list also reveals that types A and C are the most frequently used electric plugs worldwide.
Photography & Video
Buying Tape/Film: Video tape is readily available for purchase. Film is also widely available. The most widely sold brands are Kodak and Fuji film. You can buy film in 35mm as well as all other main (current) formats, including the newer "Advanced Photo System" (APS) film cartridges.
Rules and Etiquette: Some museums and all major archaeological sites will make a small charge if want to take a handheld video recorder into the museum or site with you; some make a charge for cameras, although this is rare. Some will not allow flash photography; especially on ancient stonework and murals as it affects the longevity of the work. You'll see notices written in the local language as well as English that will advise you at each location.
Tripods: The use of tripods at all archaeological sites and some museums requires a permit. If you want to use a tripod you will need to apply for special permission from the local governmental department that manages archaeological sites and museums. There will be a significant fee and plenty of paperwork involved. Contact the country"s Consulate or visit their website for information and details. These sites offer a "package hold" facility for people carrying tripods, where they can be left until you leave the site or museum.
Local Customs: Be mindful of people you photograph, and if possible, ask their permission first - especially in small provincial communities. Some places have restrictions on photography, and signs will be posted to advise you in such cases.
Military: It's probably best not to photograph the army or any military installations to avoid any misunderstandings.
Churches: Taking pictures inside a church when there is a service going on is considered disrespectful, so you should refrain from doing it. Taking pictures inside a church at other times is acceptable as long as you do not use the flash.
Filming Professionally: If you are planning to film or take photographs professionally (including research, cultural, artistic and educational programmes), you will need to apply for a temporary filming permit. Contact the local Consulate for details.
Always remember to pack your chargers, extra film and extra batteries!!
Newspapers & Magazines
English Language Media: Many major cities offer international publications in English and may even publish local newspapers or magazines in English. To be certain bring along digital copies of your favorite publications on your tablet or smart phone. Major airports are your best option for obtaining print copies of international publications.
English-language global news magazines such as Time, Newsweek, People, etc are available in their US editions in cities and large towns in locales; The British based magazine 'Economist' is now available at larger news stands.
Newspapers and Magazines can be bought on street corners (you'll see newspapers and magazines hanging all over street cabins). Many supermarkets are now beginning to stock newspapers and magazines too; but not all of them.
Click Here for a comprehensive directory by country of World Newspapers, Magazines and News Sites in English.
Traveling with Children
Take your family to foreign countries with confidence! Favorite tourist destinations love children, and you'll find that your children will be made to feel very welcome in hotels, restaurants and attractions.
Many places have family friendly experiences full of bright shapes and colours, and the new sounds and sights you'll encounter that will provide great stimulation and experience for your children on family trips.
Besides the sea and sand of coastal areas, archaeological sites and museums generally provide attractions to climb, tunnels to explore and wide open spaces to roam about in.
Click Here to read 21 Reasons to Travel the World with Kids.
Click Here for an article on all the nuts and bolts of the logistics when traveling with your kids.
The Top 30 International Airports by Passenger Volume
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - Atlanta, Georgia - United States
- Beijing Capital International Airport - Chaoyang-Shunyi, Beijing - China
- Los Angeles International Airport - Los Angeles, California - United States
- Dubai International Airport - Garhoud, Dubai - United Arab Emirates
- Tokyo Haneda Airport - Ota, Tokyo - Japan
- O"Hare International Airport - Chicago, Illinois - United States
- London Heathrow Airport - Hillingdon, London - United Kingdom
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport - Pudong, Shanghai - China
- Charles de Gaulle Airport - Roissy-en-France, Ile-de-France (Paris) - France
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport - Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas - United States
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport - Guangzhou, Guangdong - China
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol - Haarlemmermeer, North Holland - Netherlands
- Hong Kong International Airport - Chek Lap Kok, Islands, Hong Kong SAR, China
- Seoul Incheon International Airport - Incheon - South Korea
- Frankfurt Airport - Frankfurt, Hesse - German
- Denver International Airport - Denver, Colorado - United States
- Indira Gandhi International Airport - Delhi - India
- Singapore Changi Airport - Changi, East Region - Singapore
- Suvarnabhumi Airport - Bang Phli, Samut Prakan - Thailand
- Soekarno-Hatta International Airport - Tangerang, Banten - Indonesia
- John F. Kennedy International Airport - Queens, New York, New York - United States
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport - Sepang, Selangor - Malaysia
- Madrid Barajas Airport - Barajas, Madrid - Spain
- San Francisco International Airport - San Mateo County, California - United States
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport - Chengdu, Sichuan - China
- Shenzhen Bao"an International Airport - Bao"an, Shenzhen, Guangdong - China
- Barcelona-El Prat Airport - Barcelona - Spain
- Istanbul Airport - Arnavutkoy - Istanbul
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport - SeaTac, Washington - United States
- McCarran International Airport - Las Vegas, Nevada - United States
Click Here to look up International Airports by Country.
Your Embassy Overseas
What can your embassy or consulate in a foreign country do for you?
The embassies and consulates of your home country located in the countries you travel to can usually help with administrative tasks like replacing a lost or stolen passport, provide you with a list of lawyers if you get into legal trouble, (and let your family back home know you're in a spot of bother), liaise with the local countrie"s foreign office to make sure that you are being properly treated if you've been arrested, and in exceptional circumstances, provide you with a loan to pay for repatriation home if you become completely stuck (you will need to pay the loan back).
The consulates and embassies of your home counry cannot get you out of trouble. When you are in a foreign country you are bound by its laws and customs, and subject to its legal penalties if you break the law, intentionally or otherwise.
Having a Passport is not always enough to enter a foreign country. Additional documentation, visa's, and requirements such as immunization shots may be required depending on where you are traveling from and to.
Everything You Need To Know About Visas.
List by Vaccination Requirements by Country from the World Health Organization (WHO).
General Travel Tips
Some general tips while traveling for a safe and fun trip!
- Make a List for Packing.
- Make copies of all important documents, ID, Passports, Reservations, etc.
- Share your itinerary and places you'll be staying with loved ones.
- Pack critical items like medications, toiletries, extra underwear in a carry on in case of lost luggage.
- Pack extra batteries and chargers/cords.
- Leave enough time for each step of the trip and be flexible.
- Stay Hydrated on Planes.
- Learn Common Phrases.
- Buy Travel Insurace.
10 Simple Tips for a Smoother Trip