visa question for Hong Kong (kinda basic, sorry!)

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#1
North America
273 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Hi, I feel like I should already know the answer to this question, but I don't. Please be gentle in your replies.

Next February I'll be on a cruise that ends in Hong Kong. We dock there the day prior for a full day before debarkation. I will stay on an extra day after that, for 3 days total.

The information I've seen suggests that U.S. citizens don't need a visa as long as we stay in Hong Kong and don't go to the mainland. My slightly silly question is this: does that mean only Hong Kong Island, or does Kowloon count? In other words, what is the geographical boundary of what is considered Hong Kong, and what is considered mainland China?

Secondarily, should I just play it safe and get a Chinese visa that covers the 3 days?
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Unibok
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Coming up: Silver Shadow, Feb 2019, Singapore to Hong Kong / Silver Muse, May 2019, Seward to Vancouver / Sonesta Moon Goddess, Feb 2020, Nile River Cruise
#2
SF Bay Area
1,624 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Hong Kong includes the Kowloon peninsula and New Territories. HKG airport is on another island, Lantau.

As a US citizen you can also go to Macau without a visa.

The border with mainland China is pretty well marked especially with a barbed wire fence and a small river for most of its length.

IIRC your allowed to stay for 30 days before doing more paperwork.
#3
North America
273 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by Philob
Hong Kong includes the Kowloon peninsula and New Territories. HKG airport is on another island, Lantau.

As a US citizen you can also go to Macau without a visa.

The border with mainland China is pretty well marked especially with a barbed wire fence and a small river for most of its length.

IIRC your allowed to stay for 30 days before doing more paperwork.
Thank you so much, Philob!!
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Coming up: Silver Shadow, Feb 2019, Singapore to Hong Kong / Silver Muse, May 2019, Seward to Vancouver / Sonesta Moon Goddess, Feb 2020, Nile River Cruise
#4
Big Apple
7,806 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
This is official HK Gov't tourism promotion & visitor's website - it has everything you'll need, links, tips, and recommended Apps to use ... download & install them ahead of time to use. Both the airport & cruise terminal has free WiFi and there are thousands of hotspots to use all across town, including all the MTR train station concourses, etc.
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/index.jsp
There is a tab for the cruise terminal.

One of the nearest & closest border town for crossing is the city of Shenzhen, about 30 km north of Kowloon, HK - that's at least 6 hours on foot, travelers usually take designated trains to/from mainland China, by cross-border buses, by taxi or private car to the border checkpoints, then walk on foot across - it is practically impossible to accidentally get across without being stopped on both side.

There is no such thing as a 3 days China visa for US nationals, or others, for that matter.
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#5
London
22,773 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Unibok
My slightly silly question is this: does that mean only Hong Kong Island, or does Kowloon count? In other words, what is the geographical boundary of what is considered Hong Kong, and what is considered mainland China?
This map, taken from Wikipedia, is a good indication of the extent of "Hong Kong" for these purposes. You'll be able to relate this to other maps of Hong Kong. No need to get a visa if this is all that you want to see. And don't go to the darker-coloured bit at the top of the map: There Be Dragons.

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#6
Lee-on-the-Solent, England
12,444 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
If you want to cross the border to spend a day in "red" China, you can do it without the expense and complication of a Chinese visa.

There are tour operators who offer day-tours from HK to places like Guangzhou (ferry + bus, and back by express train) under a group visa. Google "day tours from hong kong to china"
You need to book a minimum of somewhere around 48 hours out and pay-with-booking, in order to be added to the group visa. If you're uncomfortable with up-front money to an unknown operator half-a-world-away you can book through a reputable international booking agency like Viator - it'll cost pennies more.

Probably not worthwhile if you've already visited China, or mebbe even if you intend to do so sometime in the future. But its a relatively easy and inexpensive way to visit China.

JB
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#7
North America
273 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Thank you, all, for the detailed and specific replies — complete with links and a map. Now I feel like I have a handle on it.

I’ll likely be spending more time in Asia over the next few years, so I think I’ll focus just on HK this year, and plan more time to explore the Dragons on another trip.

Again, thank you all very much.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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Coming up: Silver Shadow, Feb 2019, Singapore to Hong Kong / Silver Muse, May 2019, Seward to Vancouver / Sonesta Moon Goddess, Feb 2020, Nile River Cruise