Help - DD leaves for Hong Kong in 3 days...

Discussion in 'Asia' started by cheryld, May 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Hi, My daughter is going to Hong Kong with a group from her college. I want to make sure I have her prepared as much as possible. She will be there for 2 1/2 weeks - mostly doing school/research work - hopefully they will do a bit of sightseeing. She will first be staying at City Inn Happy Valley in Shenzhen then the Hong Kong YMCA and finally at Shaw College at CUHK.

    First - she let the ball drop on her shots and while she has Hep A/B and the normal other innoculations - she has not had typhoid - is this a concern? She won't be in any rural areas.

    She has a Droid Global phone from Verizon and I was able to have it unlocked last night. I have read the recommendations for purchasing a sim card in Hong Kong - is there one company that might be better for her? Based on where she will be located - will she be able to purchase one easily?
    Do I assume that her iPod, phone, laptop are all dual voltage and as long as she has the right adapter plug - she is good to go?

    She has a BofA debit card, Citi MC and an Amex - but it seems that Amex is not accepted as widely - should she leave that one at home?

    I am really hoping she will be able to shop a bit as everyone talks about how wonderful the shopping is in Hong Kong. Is there one area that would be best for this? I am assuming cash only in the markets - is that correct.

    Finally - is there anything I haven't thought of? :-o
     
  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I'd take the Amex if only as a backup, in case Citi decides her Hong Kong purchases are potential fraud. Sure, that can be cleared up, but it's nice to have another card, and while an ATM/debit card is great for getting cash I hate to use it to pay bills especially when there's some reasonable chance it's compromised, the fraud protections aren't nearly as good as with a credit card. It would hurt to have a bank account drained and try to deal with the fraud from abroad.

    I wouldn't be concerned about lack of typhoid shots for Shenzhen or Hong Kong.

    Local SIM cards are readily available.

    Roughly the only electric items that aren't going to be dual voltage these days and need a converter are hair styling products, so indeed all you need is an adapter.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For Shenzhen she will need a visa for China. As a USA citizen, no visa is required for a short visit to Hong Kong.

    I use AmEx in HK and Mainland China; it would especially be useful in an emergency. Of course, street vendors and small shops/restaurants don't take credit cards. Remember, HK uses the $HK while China uses the yuan currency.

    It would probably be convenient to get an octopus card in HK for public transit and other stuff. IIRC, this can be purchased with AmEx etc. at least at the airport and used for the airport express train too.

    The YMCA hotel is in a great location, next to the Peninsula and across the street from the art and science museums, Walk of Stars along the water, and ferry terminal.
     
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  4. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    Her BofA ATM card can be used without ATM fees at China Construction Bank ATMs. I find this to be very useful while in China and Hong Kong as the bank has many ATM locations in both places and it enables you to carry much less cash. She will need cash for the markets and such. You should be able to go to BofA tomorrow and get a temporary ATM card to carry as a backup. I like to have one just in case the ATM eats my original (only happened once, but better safe than sorry).

    Also, make sure you have copies of all of her cards (front and back), her passport and any other IDs she is carrying in case anything happens.

    If you're worried about the Typhoid take her to the Health Dept first thing tomorrow or her school's infirmary. The health dept will take some time, but should have the shots on-hand. If she's at a big school they should have typhoid on-hand (my state uni carried it). If it's really bothering you, the peace-of-mind should be worth an hour and $50.

    I highly recommend afternoon tea at the Pen in HK. It's a bit pricey, but it is truly a fantastic experience!
     
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  5. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    Thank you all very much for the information. Extrememly helpful! :)
     

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