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1999 PACIFIC RIM INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
ON DEPENDABLE COMPUTING (PRDC 1999)
part of the federated 1999 International Computer Congress (ICC'99)
December 16-17, 1999 
HONG KONG, CHINA 
Local and Transportation Information

Symposium Location

PRDC 1999 will be held in New World Renaissance Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Registration

The registration desk can be found in the Four Seasons Ballroom of the hotel. Registration desk will be open from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm on December 16 & 17, 1999. Participants are encouraged to pre-register for convenience.

Presentation Equipment

One overhead projector will be provided in each room for presentation. Request for any special equipment needed for your presentation should be made in advance to the symposium organizers by sending Email to PRDC1999@cs.ust.hk

Symposium Banquet

The symposium banquet will be held at Success Seafood Restaurant, 2nd Floor, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre,
66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon on December 16, 1999 starting at 6:30 pm.

Internet Access and Message Center

Internet access will be available at the venue. Arrangements for receiving messages on behalf of the participants will be made at the venue. Email messages can be directed to PRDC1999@cs.ust.hk. Electronic mail facilities may be arranged for the participants at the venue depending on availability. A message board will be used to post any messages addressed to the participants.

Language

The official language of the symposium is English. No simultaneous translation will be provided. Visitors to Hong Kong should not find any major difficulties in communicating in English. All signage is in English and Chinese. Taxi drivers may not speak a lot of English. It is preferable to get your destination written in Chinese on a piece of paper at the hotel reception desk.

Visas and Visa Requirements

Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods varying from seven days to six months, depending on their nationalities. Anyone wishing to stay longer than the visa-free period must apply for a visa before travelling to Hong Kong. On arrival in Hong Kong, visitors will have to satisfy immigration officers that they possess an onward or return ticket (unless they are in transit to mainland China or Macau) and that they have adequate funds for their stay in Hong Kong without work. (Generally, a confirmed hotel reservation, a valid international credit card and/or an appropriate amount of cash will suffice.) All visitors to Hong Kong must have valid travel documents, endorsed where necessary for Hong Kong. These should be valid for at least one month beyond your planned departure from Hong Kong, and in the case of certain nationalities, at least six months.
For those requiring a visa, applications should be made to the Immigration Department, 2/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel: (852) 2824 6111, Fax: (852) 2877 7711) or the nearest Chinese Consulate. When applying for a visa, it is advisable to give at least six weeks' notice. Further information can be found on the Hong Kong Immigration Department’s website.

Climate

Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical, tending towards temperate for nearly half the year, with annual average temperature of 23°C (72°F).. During November and December there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard these as the best months of the year. The temperature in December ranges from 15°C (59°F) to 21°C (70°F). A light sweater or jacket should be sufficient.

Currency and Tipping

The local currency is the Hong Kong Dollar. Paper currency is available in denominations of $1000, $500, $100, $50, and $20, while coins are available in denominations of $10, $5, $2, $1, 50c, 20c and 10c. Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of  US$ 1 = HK$ 7.8, although exchange rate varies from HK$7.7–HK$7.9 per 1 US$. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at any bank and several exchange bureaus around the city. Credit cards are widely accepted in most large establishments. Most establishments add a service charge of 10%. All other tipping is optional.

Airport Tax

The airport tax is HK$ 50 for travellers aged 12 years or older.

Airport Transportation

The new Hong Kong International Airport is your first entry point into Hong Kong. The best way to get to the city is to take the Airport Express (AEL) train. The 448-seater Airport Express takes approximately 23 minutes between the airport and Hong Kong Station in Central, with 2 stops (Tsing Yi Station and Kowloon Station) en route, operating at speeds of up to 135 km an hour. Complimentary in-town check-in services for airline passengers at Hong Kong Island and Kowloon stations are also provided. The fare is HK$70 for a one-way adult ticket from airport to HK Station. Travel time to Kowloon Station is around 19 minutes with an adult fare of HK$60 one-way. The MTR Corporation also provides free Airport Express Shuttle Service to all major hotels for the convenience of AEL passengers. Services are provided daily between 6am and 11 pm and at 10-20 minute intervals. The symposium hotel is reachable from the Kowloon AEL station by Airport Shuttle Bus K4.

Local Transportation

Hong Kong is geographically compact, with plentiful and inexpensive taxis and excellent public transportation, so travel is generally quick and easy. Like most major cities, though, it's best to avoid rush hours (8am-10am and 5pm-7pm) if possible. All public transportation signs and street signs are available in both English and Chinese.  If you plan to take the taxi, please get your destinations written in Chinese at your hotel reception desk. Please also carry your hotel name written in Chinese if you wish to find your way back to the hotel by taxi.
 



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