PRACTICAL INFORMATION

 

ABOUT HONG KONG

ABOUT HONG KONG

Population

Approximately 7.4 million and about 92% was of Chinese ethnicity in 2016.

 

Official Language

The official languages are Chinese and English, all major signage are bilingual. Cantonese is the most widely spoken Chinese dialect in Hong Kong, but majority of people can speak both Mandarin and English.

 

Weather

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. Weather in January is in the middle of Winter. It is normally clear and sunny but cool and dry with occasional cold fronts. Average temperature is 12℃ – 20℃. Further information can be found at the website of Hong Kong Observatory.

 

Time Zone

Hong Kong is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (i.e. GMT + 8 hours).

 

Currency

Legal tender is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), which is pegged to the US dollar at HK$7.8. The Hong Kong dollar in everyday circulation is available in 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5 and $10 coins, and $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 banknotes. Most foreign currencies and travelers cheques are easily changed at banks, hotels and moneychangers. Credit cards are widely accepted at major hotels, large restaurants, department stores and shops.

 

Electricity Supply

The Standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is AC 220 volts (50Hz). The British three-pin plug and socket-outlet system is commonly used in Hong Kong.

 

Opening Hours

The vast majority of shops are open every day throughout the year, some only closing during the Chinese New Year holiday. Retail shops generally are open from 10am to 7pm. However, most of the stores in busy retail areas like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui stay open until 9:30 or even later. Most restaurants stay open until 11 pm or later. Banks are open from Monday to Friday between 9am to 4:30pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 12:30pm, are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Offices generally are open from 9am to 5/6pm on weekdays.

 

Getting Around

Hong Kong is geographically compact and the public transport system is efficient, relatively inexpensive and user friendly. The Airport Express links Hong Kong International Airport directly to Hong Kong's central business district and buses connect the airport with most of the city. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and public buses allow easy access throughout the territories. Taxis are inexpensive with a HK$19 - HK$24 flag fall fare. And for those looking for a mode of travel that has been used for decades, there are the Star Ferries, Hong Kong Island's street trams and the venerable Peak Tram. Payments can be made using an Octopus Card, an electronic stored-value card that is widely accepted on all public transports. Road signs in Hong Kong are bilingual in both English and Chinese.

 

Telecommunications

Most of the world's mobile telecommunications systems like GSM 900, PCS 1800, CDMA and WCDMA operate in Hong Kong. Check if your service provider has a roaming agreement with a Hong Kong operator, and be sure to pay attention to the roaming rates. Free Wi-Fi service is available at Hong Kong International Airport. Some government buildings also offer free 'GovWiFi' services, including some public libraries. You can access the internet for free at many coffee shops in town, as well as at certain iCentres at selected MTR stations. Most hotels offer broadband internet access which may involve a charge in some cases.

 

Visa Requirement

In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong without a visa/entry permit for a period ranging from 7 days to 180 days. You may refer to the website of Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for more information on visa/entry permit requirements.

 

Visa to Mainland China

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Mainland China. Visitors are advised to obtain the visas from Chinese Visa Application Service Center in their resident countries. If you wish to apply a visa (single or double entry) to Mainland China during your stay in Hong Kong, you may apply through The Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR or China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited.

 

Useful Numbers

Directory Inquiry Hotline (Cantonese)                  1081

Directory Inquiry Hotline (English)                         1083

Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Ambulance)     999

Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Hotline             2508 1234

Hong Kong International Airport                           2181 8888

Hong Kong Immigration Department                   2824 6111

*For those calling from places outside Hong Kong, please dial the area code “852” before the telephone number

 

 

Further information on Hong Kong, travel and tourist attractions is available at Hong Kong Tourism Board.

 

 

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Important Dates

Population

Approximately 7.4 million and about 92% was of Chinese ethnicity in 2016.

 

Official Language

The official languages are Chinese and English, all major signage are bilingual. Cantonese is the most widely spoken Chinese dialect in Hong Kong, but majority of people can speak both Mandarin and English.

 

Weather

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with distinct seasons. Weather in January is in the middle of Winter. It is normally clear and sunny but cool and dry with occasional cold fronts. Average temperature is 12℃ – 20℃. Further information can be found at the website of Hong Kong Observatory.

 

Time Zone

Hong Kong is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (i.e. GMT + 8 hours).

 

Currency

Legal tender is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), which is pegged to the US dollar at HK$7.8. The Hong Kong dollar in everyday circulation is available in 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5 and $10 coins, and $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 banknotes. Most foreign currencies and travelers cheques are easily changed at banks, hotels and moneychangers. Credit cards are widely accepted at major hotels, large restaurants, department stores and shops.

 

Electricity Supply

The Standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is AC 220 volts (50Hz). The British three-pin plug and socket-outlet system is commonly used in Hong Kong.

 

Opening Hours

The vast majority of shops are open every day throughout the year, some only closing during the Chinese New Year holiday. Retail shops generally are open from 10am to 7pm. However, most of the stores in busy retail areas like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui stay open until 9:30 or even later. Most restaurants stay open until 11 pm or later. Banks are open from Monday to Friday between 9am to 4:30pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 12:30pm, are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Offices generally are open from 9am to 5/6pm on weekdays.

 

Getting Around

Hong Kong is geographically compact and the public transport system is efficient, relatively inexpensive and user friendly. The Airport Express links Hong Kong International Airport directly to Hong Kong's central business district and buses connect the airport with most of the city. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and public buses allow easy access throughout the territories. Taxis are inexpensive with a HK$19 - HK$24 flag fall fare. And for those looking for a mode of travel that has been used for decades, there are the Star Ferries, Hong Kong Island's street trams and the venerable Peak Tram. Payments can be made using an Octopus Card, an electronic stored-value card that is widely accepted on all public transports. Road signs in Hong Kong are bilingual in both English and Chinese.

 

Telecommunications

Most of the world's mobile telecommunications systems like GSM 900, PCS 1800, CDMA and WCDMA operate in Hong Kong. Check if your service provider has a roaming agreement with a Hong Kong operator, and be sure to pay attention to the roaming rates. Free Wi-Fi service is available at Hong Kong International Airport. Some government buildings also offer free 'GovWiFi' services, including some public libraries. You can access the internet for free at many coffee shops in town, as well as at certain iCentres at selected MTR stations. Most hotels offer broadband internet access which may involve a charge in some cases.

 

Visa Requirement

In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong without a visa/entry permit for a period ranging from 7 days to 180 days. You may refer to the website of Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for more information on visa/entry permit requirements.

 

Visa to Mainland China

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Mainland China. Visitors are advised to obtain the visas from Chinese Visa Application Service Center in their resident countries. If you wish to apply a visa (single or double entry) to Mainland China during your stay in Hong Kong, you may apply through The Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR or China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited.

 

Useful Numbers

Directory Inquiry Hotline (Cantonese)                 
1081

Directory Inquiry Hotline (English)                         1083

Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Ambulance)    
999

Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Hotline             2508 1234

Hong Kong International Airport                           2181 8888

Hong Kong Immigration Department                   2824 6111

*For those calling from places outside Hong Kong, please dial the area code “852” before the telephone number

 

 

Further information on Hong Kong, travel and tourist attractions is available at Hong Kong Tourism Board.