fourth international symposium on recurrence plots Hong Kong Polytechnic University

December 5-7, 2011
Hong Kong

Recurrence plot symposium Hong Kong 2011.

supported by 

Faculty of Engineering





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Location

Conference Venue

The symposium will be held at the the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The university is in the Hung Hom district within walking distance of Tsim Sha Tsui and adjacent to the Hung Hom MTR station (and at the terminus of the Hong Kong-Canton express trains service to Guangdong).

The symposium takes place on the seventh floor of the "Chung Sze Yuen Building", entrance via the lift well marked at location A (the entrance itself is marked with a large capital "A"). The lecture room is AG710. Posters and discussion will be in room AG712 (adjacent rooms). Coffee and tea will be served outside AG710 (attendees can also inspect posters during that time).

» Campus map » high-resolution Campus map with marked lecture rooms etc.


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Arrival Information

For international visitors, the primary arrival point is the Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok). Hong Kong's airport is large, busy and efficient — there are direct flights to around 150 destination world wide. From the airport there are three primary methods for getting into the city. Taxi is relatively expensive (around $HK350+), and not quick. The airport express train is very fast and convenient and will take you to a downtown terminal (in either Hong Kong or Kowloon) from which a short taxi ride will get you to your hotel. If you are staying close to the university campus, then there are also airport buses which are frequent, cheap and fairly convenient (the A21 terminates at the Hung Hom train station in downtown Kowloon — midway between the university campus and the Metropolis hotel). There are also airports in neighbouring Macau and Shenzhen with flights from cities across China and neighbouring countries.

If you plan to do any amount of moving around while in HK, then it may be useful to get an Octopus card on arrival. The Octopus is a stored value card, similar to the Japanese Suica and the London Oyster card, with the major difference that it is widely used and convenient. The card can be used on all public transport including taxis as well as for payment at convenience stores, supermarkets and some coffee shops and fast food outlets. You can add value to the card at convenience stores (just hand the teller the card and cash — they'll figure out what you want to do) or at automated machines in subway stations. Cards can be bought, and returned (for a refund) to the customer service counter at the airport (» http://hong-kong-travel.org/Octopus/).

Visas

Consult » Visa Information.

Getting around Hong Kong

The local subway system, the MTR, services most major urban districts (» system map). The system of buses, mini-buses, trams and ferries is comprehensive and will take you to most other places (there is a government run » route planner). Most buses and subway trains are fitted with trilingual announcements of each stop. Minibuses (smaller vans with either a green or red roof) are smaller, faster and more exciting (hint: the drivers are paid based on the number of passengers they carry, by law all minibuses are fitted with a large speedometer visible to the passengers). When you want to get off a minibus you need to yell out to the driver (roughly, "yau lok" in Cantonese).

Finally, taxis are very common and reasonably cheap (by world standards). However: there are three sorts of taxis. Red taxis service only the urban areas (these are the ones you'll mostly see), green taxis service the New Territories (Hong Kong's outer suburbs) and blue taxis are only for Lantau Island (these, you'll never see). Even among the red taxis, drivers will be very very reluctant (truculent even) to cross the harbour. Drivers on Hong Kong Island do not know the roads of Kowloon, nor vice versa. Either get to the correct side of the harbour before getting in a Taxi (generally, public transport will be quicker than going by taxi through the road tunnels anyway) or go to one of the specially indicated cross harbour taxi ranks.

Tourist Information

Wikitravel and Wikipedia are a good starting point. The Hong Kong tourist associate maintains it's own good (and comprehensive) website: » http://www.discoverhongkong.com/.

Tips (personal opinion)

  1. Hong Kong is a very safe city, by any standard. But do beware of pick pockets in crowded areas, don't keep valuables in a back pack on your back or in a hip pocket. There have been cases of thieves slicing open backpacks and quickly relieving the owners of the contents. I've never experienced any problems.
  2. Be aware that any beggars you see are most likely to be professionals imported from the mainland. For a large city, the actual incidence of pan handling and street sleeping is fairly low. Anyone you see wondering the streets dressed as a Buddhist or Taoist monk banging a bowl is unlikely to belong to a religious order. All charity collection is regulated and controlled.
  3. Unfortunately, one other scam is for someone to approach pedestrians offering some free gift (some sort of worthless trinket or dubious prognostication of your future wealth) which is soon followed by a request for "donation".
  4. Do not buy anything from any shop with the words "Tax Free" or "Duty Free" displayed outside. There is no sales tax in Hong Kong. Similarly, be very wary of electronics shops around Tsim Sha Tsui with large neon brand name signs outside. If you must go to these places be aware of how bait-and-switch works and be prepared to call the police and/or argue.
  5. Please don't let any of the above put you off. Hong Kong is very safe (very very little violent crime) and almost all shops (including smaller shops and market stalls) are honest, and even trustworthy.
  6. Tipping is not necessary. Restaurants add a (mandatory) 10% to the bill and Taxis will round up (unless you're prepared to insist on receiving the full change). However, if you feel well served, tipping at restaurants is always appreciated.
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