Hong Kong FAQs

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Area geography

Hong Kong is located in East Asia and shares its boundary with South China Sea and China. It covers an area of 1,092 square kilometres, out of which 1,042 square kilometres is land area and 50 square kilometres is covered by water bodies.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, along with over 200 islands. The narrow Victoria Harbour, one of the world’s deepest natural harbours, separates Kowloon and the New Territories from Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong is a combination of hills and developed lowlands leaving very little land for agriculture (only around 6 per cent of the 1,104 square kilometres). Despite being located on volcanic plains, there are no major seismic activities, the last one being recorded in 1874.

Notes currencies cards

Hong Kong’s local currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HK $). ATMs can be found all across the city and many accept international cards. There are some HSBC ‘Electronic Money’ machines that offer 24-hour cash withdrawal facilities in the local currency for Visa and MasterCard holders.

If you are looking to exchange your currency, you can do so at the banks or any of the licensed moneychangers, located all over the city. You are more likely fetch a better exchange rate for higher denominations. Make sure that before the actual exchange is made, the moneychanger gives you a form to sign with the amount due to you, the exchange rate and any service charge. You can also exchange your money at Hong Kong’s International Airport, where the counters stay open from early morning till late into the night. However, bear in mind that you are least likely to fetch decent exchange rates here.

International credit cards such as American Express, Visa, Diners Club and MasterCard are accepted at hotels, retail shops and restaurants. Travellers cheques are accepted by most leading banks and hotels.

Cellular service for tourists

Pre-paid SIM cards can be procured from 7-Eleven and Circle K convenience stores. These top-up cards are available in a variety of price options.

Wifi internet

Regarded as one of the most wired cities on the globe, Hong Kong has excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. Wi-Fi is easily available throughout Hong Kong, in hotels, public areas and even shopping malls. One can also log in for free at major MTR stations (example, Central and Causeway Bay) and many public libraries.

Drinking laws

The legal age for drinking in Hong Kong is 18 years.

Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory in Hong Kong. A 10 per cent service charge is added to all restaurant bills. However, if are happy with the service you can leave a tip.

Custom visa

For visits up to 14 days, visas are available on arrival. For visits to Macau up to 30 days, visas are not required. If you are planning on staying longer, you will need to apply for a visa to the Chinese Embassy. While Hong Kong is a duty-free port, there are certain items on which duty is charged. Import taxes are levied on cigarettes and spirits, but not on wine and beer. Visitors to Hong Kong have a duty-free allowance of up to 60 cigarettes and 1 litre of spirits. If you are arriving from Thailand or Vietnam, be prepared for a thorough check of your luggage, as the custom officers are constantly on a look out for drug peddlers. 

Safety

Hong Kong is a safe destination, with police officers keeping a close watch day and night. However, tourists should observe certain basic precautions. It is advised to put away your passport, flight tickets, extra cash and travellers cheques, along with any extra credit or ATM cards into the safe the minute you check in. Keep a close watch on personal belongings especially in crowded places and avoid dark, deserted areas.

General information

Languages spoken

Cantonese, Mandarin and English

Time zones

IST (GMT/UTC + 8:00 hours)

Major religions

Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism

Domestic international calling codes

852

Electricity standards

220v/50 Hz. Majority of the electric sockets are designed for the British three pin plug. Plug adaptors are easily available at most convenience stores.

Common greetings

Hello: Néih hóu

Good Morning: Jóusàhn

Good Evening: máahn ōn

Goodbye: Joigin

Thank you: M̀h'gōi

Sorry: Deui-m̀h-jyuh. (In Hong Kong, it is more common to use the English word "sorry")

Do you speak English?: Néih sīk-m̀h-sīk góng Yīngmán a?

I do not understand: Ngóh m̀h mìhng

No: M hai

Yes: Hai

I do not know: Ngo m zi dou

How are you?: lay hoe ma

What is your name?: Néih giu māt yéh mèhng a?

My name is _____: Ngóh go méng giu ______

Where is the washroom?: Chi só hái bīn douh a?

Is this vegetarian? (point to a dish in a menu card): Ngóh sihk sou

How much does this cost?: Géidō chín a?

Too expensive: Taai gwai la.

A little cheaper: peng dee

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Emergency numbers

Emergency Number (police, ambulance, fire): 999

Police Hotline: +852 2527 7177

Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor CentreHotline: +852 2508 1234 (9 am to 6 pm, daily)

Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centre Locations:

Hong Kong International Airport Visitor Centre

Address: Buffer Halls A and B, Arrivals Level, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau Island
Opening Hours: 8 am to 9 pm, daily
Hong Kong Island Visitor Centre

Address: The Peak Piazza (between The Peak Tower and The Peak Galleria), The Peak, Hong Kong Island
Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm, daily

Kowloon Visitor Centre
Address: Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening Hours: 8 am to 8 pm, daily
Hong Kong International Airport: +852 2181 8888