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I am thinking of going to Hong Kong at Christmas. I haven't travelled on a plane since I was 5 so this is "new to me" and I would probably be travelling alone. I've been looking on lastminute.com for flights and I'm getting quotes at around £532 return, flight only (hotel not required)from Newzealand airlines. Only a few days ago I was getting £571 from a different airline on the same website. Can anyone recommend any other decent/cheap websites?
1) Are prices lower the later you book?
2) The quote was for an economy ticket - would this be OK? The flight will be direct and I don't need to travel in luxury but it would be around 20 hours.
3) I understand British nationals don't need a visa to enter Hong Kong but it is a requirement to get into China. I will be catching a bus from Hong Kong into Guangzhou (it's quicker that way to get to where I want to go). Can I get a visa from the Chinese embassy in Manchester?
4) Is it compulsory to have certain injections to enter China?
Try E-bookers or Airline Network, these are the ones I generally use for International Tickets
1, Sometimes but it is best to book as soon as you find a fare within your budget
2, Direct flights from UK to Hongkong take approximately 13 hours and and it is best to book an isle seat if possible. Yes you should be able to get Visa in Manchester usually takes about 1 week but you can get a visa in the Chinese consulate in Hongkong in 1 day.
3,No visa needed for Hong Kong for British nationals for 3 months, to Guangzhou, bus takes approximately 3.5 hours but this depends on the border crossings(2 times passport control 1 for leaving Hongkong and 1 for entering China. You can get the bus directly from the airport to Guangzhou. You can also get an express train from the Central station in Hongkong this only takes 2.5 hours and is faster for passport control as this is done before your board the train and when you arrive in Guangzhou.
4. You will need to check this at the Chinese Consulate web site.
It's a perfectly fair question for CustomerWatch as it involves use of a computer and trawling appropriate websites.
offers lower prices at the moment but no doubt these will rise over the Christmas and New Year period.
Some health and safety advice about China:
Thanks very much. Very useful information.
will take around 20 hours? I fly to Hong Kong regularly, and the flying time rarely exceeds 12 hours. It depends slightly on winds and so on, but Cathay Pacific normally gets me there in around 11 hours 45 minutes.
I fly business class, but my son has done the trip in economy, and he says it was fine. If you take my tip you'll try to get an aisle seat. the airline will create an artificial night on the flight, and most people try to sleep through much of the journey. This means that if you want to use the toilet, or take a stroll around the aircraft you'll have to wake one or two people if you're on an inside seat, and some of them aren't that understanding.
As you haven't flown in a long time you might find the following useful:- Take a good book or two, and some wet-wipes. Wear comfortable, loose, dark-coloured clothing, it will hide the odd stain from the food/drink that almost inevitably finds its way there - you'll eat on more than one occasion. Don't drink much alcohol - you'll dehyhdrate like mad in the aircraft, and alcohol makes things worse. The crew will provide plenty of water/juice, just ask. Walk around the aircraft when things are quiet - don't try it when the crew are in the middle of a food service, they'll get irritated.
When you get to Hong Kong go straight to the little kiosk that sells train tickets as soon as you've retrieved your bags - the queues build up quickly when a few aircraft have landed. The ttrain will take you fast, straight into Hong Kong, and the trip is across the sea - it's a spectacular way to arrive.
You can get your visa for Guangzhou from the Chinese consular office in Hong Kong, but as you're a little unfamiliar with the way things work out there I advise you to get a travel agent to do it for you - they all provide the service.
You might want to reconsider your decision to go to Guangzhou by bus. the drivers speak no English, and the journey can be a tad wearing. There's a Turbo-cat ferry to Guangzhou every day from the HK ferry terminal in Kowloon. It's a great way to travel, and you'll enjoy the experience - the catamaran is fun when it's going full tilt.
I have never had any vaccinations before travelling to HK or mainland China, and I've been going there for years. They're strict about people who enter from areas where there are endemic diseases, but you're not coming from one, so you'll be OK. You'll have to make your own decision about malaria protection - all I can say is that the ex-pats in HK all told me not to bother - none of them do. I've never used malaria pills in all the years I've travelled to the far east. Most hotel rooms have air-con and plug-in mosquito deterrents.
Don't be in a rush to get out of HK, it's a fabulous place, and there's much to see. I recommend that you make an effort to go to Lantau, where you'll see the world's biggest statue of Bhuddha - it's an unforgettable experience. Go into the street markets in the evening, when all the neon lights are on - very atmospheric.
You'll be going to HK at the best time of the year for weather - it will be pleasant during the day, with some cooling breezes and very little rainfall. Have a great trip - if there's anything else you want to know before you go, just ask.
can you give me approx travel dates
inbound and outbound?
1)generally yes, but not always
2)like FE said, get an aisle or visit a site like click here
see if you can prebook an emergency exit row (lots more room) remember you can often check in online up to 24 hours in advance.
also economy plus is usually available for a little more money, but lots more legroom. it's a good compromise.
there's some good prices out there
but it depends on when you want to go
and how flexible you are
eg £445 depart lhr 12 dec, return 15 jan
or miss christmas day leave 28th dec, return 15 jan £400.10 GBP
the above examples include all taxes, and fuel surcharges
and the lowest £350.10
leave jan 3rd return jan 18
that's all for now!
Forum Editor, thanks a lot for the advice- very useful. The 20 hours was a miscalculation on my part. I don't drink alcohol so thats not a problem. I want to sort the visa beforehand in the UK as I will not be booking any hotel accomodation in Hong Kong because I will be staying at a freinds house in Guangzhou centre. I speak average Cantonese so I think I should be OK for the bus trip. My friend says 2 buses from Honk Kong will take me to outside the house.
I'll take the risk and not have any injections and I'll be careful about the water and food etc. My friend will take me back into Hong Kong after touring Guangzhou and Shenzen.
I lived in Hong Kong for a few months in 1981 before arriving in this country. I can't even begin to imagine how much it has changed. I'm lucky there will be someone showing me around. Today I had Dim Sum in Nottingham which cost £85 for 9 people. My friend told me that it would cost a tenth of that in Guangzhou, and also people are still shopping/walking until 10pm.
FUl2tiV3, thanks. I'll be departing around the 21st Dec and returning around 2nd January. Thanks to everyone else for their advice.
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