Hong Kong, Asia's World City, is one of the premier meeting destinations around the globe. As a destination, Asia's world city offers you the opportunity to experience a vibrant living culture featuring a unique blend of East and West.
Major banks are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. They close on Sundays and public holidays.
Legal tender is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). There are 100 cents in a dollar. Coins, issued by the government, are bronze-colored for 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents; silver-colored for HKD1, HKD2, HKD5, nickel and bronze for HKD10. Notes issued by HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank have denominations of HKD10, HKD20, HKD50, HKD100, HKD500 and HKD1000. The Bank of China issues all of the denominations except HKD10.
Since the mid-1980s, the value of the Hong Kong dollar has been pegged at HKD7.8 to the US dollar, and consequent rates of exchange to other currencies. However, the market rate exchange to the US dollar fluctuates marginally. Banks and money changers charge commission. Similarly, commissions are payable in hotels and major retail outlets which provide exchange facilities for their customers.
The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50HZ, so you will need an adaptor for your 100-volt appliances and electrical equipment. The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged plug. You can buy an inexpensive adaptor for your equipment when you arrive in Hong Kong.
Using your mobile phone in Hong Kong is convenient as most of the telephone systems used around the globe - like GSM 900, PCS 1800, CDMA and WCDMA - operate in Hong Kong. Mobile operators in Hong Kong also have roaming agreements with most overseas operators enabling visitors to use their own mobile phone when they come to Hong Kong. Before leaving home check with your network provider to make sure they have a roaming service to the various destinations you will be visiting and be sure to check pricing.
The vast majority of shops are open every day throughout the year, some only closing during the Chinese New Year holiday. Generally, opening hours are 10:00am - 7:00pm. However many stores in busy retail areas like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui stay open until 9:30pm or even later, particularly on weekends. Shops in Central close as early as 7:00pm.
Most restaurants will levy a 10% service charge but waiters will expect to be given some loose change. Restaurants, which do not add a service charge, will expect a 10% tip. However, tipping is left to your discretion. Bellboys, porters, restroom attendants and taxi drivers will happily accept loose change.
Public transportation via bus, ferry or train is efficient, relatively inexpensive and user-friendly. The system covers extensive areas of Hong Kong with signs in English and Chinese. Airport Express links between Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong's vibrant Central business hub. All the Airport Express stations include an In-town Check-in desk and regular Airport Express Shuttle Bus services. For details of train service, please visit www.mtr.com.hk
In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least one month after the period of their intended stay in Hong Kong. However, documents issued to stateless persons must be valid for a minimum of two months after the period of intended stay. Please contact the Immigration Department for further details.
Nationals of most countries do not require a visa to enter Hong Kong for tourism and can stay for periods varying from seven to 180 days, depending on nationality. If you’re unsure of your status, please check with any Chinese embassy or consulate. You can also find further details about visa requirements on the Immigration Department website.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. Summer begins in June; it is hot, humid and sunny, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. Average Temperature: 26°C ‐ 31°C. You can find detailed information about current and seasonal weather and 7 days weather forecast on the Hong Kong Observatory website.
Useful Numbers (*)
Directory Enquiries: 1081 / 1083
Weather: 187 8200
Emergency Service (Police, Fire, Ambulance): 999
Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Hotline (8am - 6pm Hong Kong Time): 2508 1234
Hong Kong International Airport, English (24 hours): 2181 0000
(*) If you're dialing from outside Hong Kong, please add the area code (852).