Hong Kong offers a huge range of vacation experiences, from vivid city streets to gorgeous hiking trails. Our Hong Kong packing list will have you completely prepared for a vacation in this remarkable destination.
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It’s not always clear what to pack for a vacation somewhere completely new. Our list for Hong Kong includes all the practical essentials to prepare in advance, as well as advice on clothing and accommodation, as well as the serious stuff like insurance and medicine.
Preparing For A Vacation In Hong Kong
There’s a handful of practical considerations to tackle long before you actually start to pack your bags. You’ll want to organize these upfront to avoid headaches and unnecessary expenses once you arrive in Hong Kong.
- Passport – Hong Kong authorities require that your passport is valid for at least one month after your intended departure. It’s best that your passport is valid for at least a year if you’re traveling on to another country.
- Visa – People from most countries can enter Hong Kong visa free, although there are some restrictions. Check the official regulations on the Hong Kong Immigration Department website for the most up-to-date information on visa and entry permit requirements.
- Flights – Hong Kong is a major travel destination and there are plenty of options available for flights. It’s worth booking early to avoid dealing with higher ticket costs. If haven’t booked flights yet, you can check and compare flights online to get the best deal.
- Travel Insurance – Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
- Vaccinations – Although there aren’t any serious risks in Hong Kong, it’s worth getting vaccinated for common tropical diseases such as tetanus, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies, if you’re traveling to a developing country after Hong Kong. Check the Fit For Travel website for the most up-to-date Hong Kong vaccination information.
- Prescription Medicines – If you use any medication, make sure you have your doctor’s prescription packed into your luggage along with the medicine when you enter Hong Kong.
- Face mask – COVID is still very active in many countries and you may be required to wear an SFP2 facemask on the plane and in some indoor spaces. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser when you travel.
- Credit and Debit Cards – Credit and debit card are widely accepted across Hong Kong, and ATMs are common and easy to find. Notify your bank to ensure they know you’re in Hong Kong.
- Document Scans – Keep digital copies of your passport, driving license, insurance, and other important documents before you travel. Store them safely in your email account, along with a list of contacts for your bank and other emergency numbers.
- Travel Guidebook – Although there’s plenty of free travel information about Hong Kong online, having a guidebook on hand makes finding things much easier when you’re out and about. This also remains the most efficient way to get the measure of a new destination before you arrive. Lonely Planet Hong Kong is arguably the best book in this category.
- MTR Mobile App – Hong Kong’s underground MTR is the easiest way to get around, and the MTR Mobile app makes checking train times and planning trips an easier experience. It’s available for both iOS and Android.
What Should You Pack For Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is a busy, modern city, and you will easily find most of the items you normally use on a daily basis once you arrive.
There’s no real need to pack toiletries like toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, hair conditioner, razors, soap, tampons and other everyday products, as these are all easy to find in convenience stores and supermarkets.
Everyday medicines like paracetamol, nasal spray, cough medicine and others are also readily available in Hong Kong, at pretty much the same cost as your home country.
The following is a list of the items you’ll want to bring regardless of the time of year you travel:
- Backpack – You’ll be walking a lot in Hong Kong, so a good backpack is essential for daily use. A small laptop backpack should be the right size and offers more than enough space for day-to-day items.
- Luggage Locks – It’s a good idea to secure your luggage from tampering fingers. TSA luggage locks are cheap, reliable and fine to use if you’re traveling from the USA or other countries with luggage inspection laws.
- Travel Billfold – A good travel billfold makes keeping your documents safe a breeze. Choose a larger travel billfold with space for your passport, booking details, credit cards and other essentials.
- T-Shirts, Shorts and Summer Clothing – Hong Kong is warm most of the year, making summer clothing the best kind of clothing to bring. Breathable fabrics like cotton are a good choice here, due to the extreme humidity during the spring and summer months.
- Underwear – Hong Kong is usually hot and humid. Sports brands with high-tech synthetic fabrics like Under Armour are often a better choice for comfort than regular underwear.
- Footwear – Hong Kong is very hilly with numerous urban hazards like concrete staircases and walkways, making a comfortable, supportive, and lightweight walking shoes essential. A good pair of men’s or women’s casual shoes will serve you well in Hong Kong. If you plan on hiking, comfortable boots from a brand like Merrell will offer more than enough support and comfort, as Hong Kong’s hiking trails aren’t too rugged.
- Hats and Sunglasses – Hong Kong can be very sunny in summer, so packing a hat and sunglasses a good idea to keep you comfortable.
- Swimwear – Hong Kong has several good beaches and there are numerous hotels with swimming pools, some of which have views of the harbor.
- Pens – Pack a couple of pens in your carry-on luggage, as you’ll need to fill out an immigration card when you enter Hong Kong.
- Tissues – These are also worth keeping in your day bag. Many street-food vendors don’t provide tissues, so it’s good to have them to hand to clean up after you’ve had something delicious to eat.
- Ear Plugs – Hong Kong isn’t a particularly noisy city, but areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui and Lan Kwai Fong can be a little loud at night. A good set of noise-canceling ear plugs will make it easier to get a full night’s sleep if you’re a light sleeper.
- Bug Spray – Mosquitos and other insects aren’t a problem in urban Hong Kong, but you’ll encounter plenty if you go hiking. Any DEET insect repellant will keep you safe and protected while you’re out and about.
Cell Phones And Electronics
- Smartphone – If you have an unlocked smartphone, it’s worth bringing with you to Hong Kong. You can pick up a Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card at Hong Kong International Airport, or just use Wi-Fi during your stay.
- Camera – Hong Kong is a photographer’s paradise, making it a great place to visit if you’re interested in photography. A good DSLR or mirrorless camera and wide angle lens will let you capture the city’s spectacular skyline in amazing detail.
- Kindle – From the Airport Express to cabs, busses, and MTR rides, you’ll have plenty of downtime while getting around Hong Kong. An Amazon Kindle is a great tool for passing the time.
- Power Bank – Taking photos and using online maps will burn through your battery pretty quickly. Ensure you have power for your phone while you’re out and about by getting a power bank.
- Power Adapter – Hong Kong uses UK-style three-pronged power outlets, meaning you’ll need an adapter if you’re visiting from a country with different plugs. A universal travel adapter will let you use any plug type in Hong Kong without any issues.
Visiting Hong Kong In Winter
Although Hong Kong is rarely cold by Western standards, it does have a short winter that is cooler than the other seasons. If you’re visiting Hong Kong from December to February, you’ll want to pack some light winter clothing.
- Rain Jacket – Hong Kong is rainy during winter and spring, so you’ll want a rain jacket if you’re visiting between December and May. Umbrellas are readily available across the city.
- Sweater / Light Jacket – A sweater or relatively light fleece jacket will usually be enough for dealing with Hong Kong’s “cold” season, as well as helping you deal with the freezing air conditioning in malls and movie theaters.
If you’re coming in via a long flight, be sure to check our Must Have Accessories For Long Flights guide, which covers key items for journeys from Europe, North America, Australia and other far afield destinations.