While traveling is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, some basic health precautions are recommended in order to enjoy a smooth trip.
Tourists traveling to Southeast Asia for the first time may require a visit to the doctor’s office for certain immunizations prior to their departure.
Foreign nationals wishing to visit Hong Kong may need to apply for a Hong Kong travel visa depending on the purpose of their trip and the passport they carry.
Read our expert recommendations to help you prepare an amazing vacation in Hong Kong.
Do You Need Vaccinations to Visit Hong Kong?
Foreign nationals visiting Hong Kong are advised to make sure they are up-to-date on routine vaccines prior to departure.
Routine vaccines may include:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
- Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
- Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
- Polio vaccine
- Flu shot
International travelers visiting Hong Kong with children need to address whether their child may need additional doses for routine vaccines specifically required before traveling.
Aside from routine vaccinations, the following vaccines are recommended prior to visiting Hong Kong:
- Hepatitis A (may be caught by eating and drinking contaminated food or drinks)
- Hepatitis B (sexual transmission, contaminated needles and blood products)
- Typhoid (may be caught by eating and drinking contaminated food or drinks)
- Rabies (only if planning outdoor activities or research involving contact with bats)
Is There Rabies in Hong Kong?
Travelers visiting Hong Kong to take part in outdoor activities in remote areas where bats may be found, such as caves, are at a risk for rabies.
Researchers and wildlife experts working around bats may also be at risk. Both groups of international travelers visiting Hong Kong should get vaccinated for rabies.
Is There Malaria in Hong Kong?
Visitors may rest assured since there is no risk for malaria in urban areas of Hong Kong. Malaria has been well controlled over the past decades in Hong Kong.
Risk is extremely limited in rural areas so healthcare authorities do not currently advise malaria prophylaxis for people traveling to Hong Kong.
Is There Zika in Hong Kong?
Zika disease is mainly transmitted to humans through a bite from a specific mosquito. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the Zika virus are the most important vectors for this disease. The specific mosquito that carries Zika is not currently found in Hong Kong.
Aedes albopictus, a common mosquito in Hong Kong is, however, considered a potential vector.
Zika virus can also be transmitted by sexual contact, blood transfusion and perinatal transmission. You are advised to use condoms should you have intercourse with a new partner during your trip.
Is There Dengue Fever in Hong Kong?
Dengue fever is only transmitted to humans through the bites of an infected female Aedes mosquito. Dengue is not transmitted from human to human.
The specific mosquito that serves as a vector for dengue, Aedes aegypti, is not currently found in Hong Kong.
Aedes albopictus, another mosquito that may also spread the disease, however, is commonly found in Hong Kong.
Prevent Bug Bites When Visiting Hong Kong
Travelers, especially those visiting the countryside and rural areas are advised to avoid bug bites, since they can sometimes spread diseases as explained above.
- Wear loose, light-coloured, long-sleeved tops and pants.
- Use insect repellent that contains DEET on exposed skin and clothing, especially during the warm and humid summer.
- DEET effectively protects against ticks and mosquitoes.
- DEET-containing insect repellent is safe for pregnant women and babies over 6 months of age.
- Avoid using cosmetics or skin care products with strong fragrances.
- Re-apply insect repellent regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Treat clothes and mosquito nets with permethrin when spending many hours outdoors. Permethrin cannot be applied directly on skin.
- If you already have a bug bite: Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching. Avoid scratching.
- Remember to check your body for ticks and remove any appropriately, after taking part in outdoor activities.
Health Precautions During Your Stay in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a beautiful destination with a subtropical climate and many sights to see. The summer is usually very hot and humid so if you are wondering what the best time of year to visit Hong Kong is, make sure to consider the weather while planning your trip.
Foreign nationals visiting Hong Kong in the summer are advised to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. Dressing appropriately, along with a few simple precautions will ensure a very enjoyable vacation.
Food and Drink Safety in Hong Kong
Tourists visiting Hong Kong are advised to consume food and drinks prepared in appropriate sanitary conditions. Unsanitary food and drink may pose a risk for traveler’s diarrhea.
How to Avoid Traveler’s Diarrhea When Visiting Hong Kong
- Make sure your food is properly cooked and served hot. Avoid raw food, rare meats, or dishes served at room temperature.
- Eat hard-cooked eggs. Avoid soft-boiled eggs, or eggs with a runny yolk.
- Peel fruits and vegetables after having washed them in clean water.
- Choose pasteurized milk and other dairy products. Avoid raw dairy.
- Avoid ”bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game may be served in Hong Kong).
- Drink bottled water that is appropriately sealed, or, disinfected drinking water.
- Serve your drinks with ice made with bottled or disinfected water.
- Have bottled or canned drinks. Avoid drinks made with tap or well water (for example reconstituted juice or lemonade).
General Safety Advice for Hong Kong
Although Hong Kong is one of the safest places in the world, travelers are still advised to use common sense precautions during their stay:
- Bring any medication you may need along with you.
- Stay up-to-date with the news: Especially if you are visiting Hong Kong during typhoon season (May to November).
- Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Hong Kong: Always look to the right before crossing the street and pay attention to the direction in which traffic is flowing.
Now that you know everything you need to safely enjoy your trip to Hong Kong, make sure to check whether passport holders from your country are eligible for visa-free entry. Otherwise, you may have to apply for a Hong Kong visa at an embassy or consulate.
Additionally, Indian passport holders planning a trip to Hong Kong should complete the Hong Kong pre-arrival registration, also known as PAR. This registration grants Indian nationals a 14-day stay in Hong Kong.