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Getting To Know Hong Kong Getting To Know Hong Kong

Situated on China’s southeast coastline, Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and more than 260 outlying islands, covering more than 1,100 square kilometres. As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, this Asia’s world city is home to over 7 million people, which is comprised of a diverse international community.

Essential Facts Essential Facts


Climate

Hong Kong’s sub-tropical climate features distinct seasons, with typhoons lasting from May to November. Autumn is generally the best time to visit Hong Kong, as pleasant breezes accompany comfortably mild temperatures.


Communication

Free Internet access is usually available at many coffee shops, large shopping malls and major MTR stations, either directly through terminals or via wireless. Mobile phones using GSM 900, PCS1800, CDMA and WCDMA can be used in Hong Kong. Smartphones are also popular with the locals, and mobile data prepaid cards are widely available at major convenience stores.


Currency

The legal tender in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$), which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of about HK$7.80 to US$1. Exchange rates may fluctuate slightly.

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Electricity and Voltage

Most electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug, with a standard voltage of 220 volts AC, 50Hz.


Goods and Services Tax

There is no goods and services tax in Hong Kong.


Hygiene

Hong Kong has strict laws to maintain environmental hygiene, including fixed penalty fines of HK$1,500 for littering or spitting.

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Language

While English is the language of business in Hong Kong, a general mix of the territory’s two official languages, English and Chinese (Cantonese), is widely in use. Many Hong Kong residents, shops and service personnel speak some English.


Medical and Health Services

There are 11 private hospitals and about 41 hospitals and institutions under Hospital Authority in Hong Kong, and some of the Hong Kong’s private hospitals are rightly considered to be among the very best of their type in the world. For details on Hong Kong’s medical facilities, please visit www.ha.org.hk


Octopus Card

The Octopus card is a rechargeable stored value smart card for making electronic payments through online or offline systems in Hong Kong. It is widely used on transportation services, as well as retail stores, parking, self-service machines, leisure facilities and other places displaying the Octopus logo.

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Smoking

Hong Kong banned all public smoking on 1 January 2007. The latest amendment on the law enlarges the smoking ban to indoor workplaces, most public places including restaurants, bars, Internet cafés, public lavatories, beaches and most public parks. Smoking bans in lifts, public transport, cinemas, concert halls, airport terminals and escalators, shopping centers, department stores, supermarkets, banks, game arcades are also in place.


Water

Tap water in Hong Kong is considered safe. However, the locals invariably boil their tap water before drinking it. Bottled water can easily be purchased from supermarkets and convenience stores.

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