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Information of Hong Kong

Bank
Major banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday. They close on Sundays and public holidays.

Currency
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.

Electricity
The standard electrical voltage in HK 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.

Exchange Rates
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.

Mobile Services
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.

Opening Hours
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 10am - 7pm. 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 7pm.

Tips
Most restaurants will levy a 10% service charge but waiters will expect to be given some loose change. Restaurants that don't 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.

Transportation
Public transportation via bus, ferry or train is efficient, relatively inexpensive and user-friendly. The system covers extension 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

Weather
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with distinct seasons. In February, the weather is cool with lower humidity. Temperature ranges from 14° to 20°C. Occasional chills make woollens and overcoats worth bringing.

Useful Numbers
Directory Enquiries: 1081
Weather: 187 8200
Emergency Service (Police, Fire, Ambulance): 999
Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Hotline (8am - 6pm HK 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).

 

   
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