Hong Kong General Information
Since July 1, 1997 Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is a part of the Pearl River Delta region, one of the leading economic regions of China with high population density. The region also includes Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Macau, Shenzhen and Zhongshan. Hong Kong as Asia's premier international city is a world-class destination. Every year millions of travelers visit Hong Kong for business and leisure.
Geography and climate
Geography: Hong Kong is situated on the southern coast of China and its territory consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, including more than 250 outlying islands. The total area size is about 1,100 sq km. It borders to the north with Shenzhen and is located about 60 km from Macau. A narrow strip of water that separates Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula is known as Victoria Harbour. It is one of the deepest natural seaports in the world.
Climate: Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with hot and humid summer from May to September, and cool and dry winter. The typhoon season is from July to September. From March to the middle of May is spring, which brings warm and more humid weather. The temperature ranges between 20°C-26°C/68°F-79°F. Summer in Hong Kong is hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms. Most rainfalls occur in summer and August has the highest average rainfall of any month. The temperature ranges between 27°C-32°C/80°F-90°F. From the middle of September to early December is autumn. It's the sunniest season in Hong Kong with warm weather and low humidity, and probably the best time to visit Hong Kong. The temperature ranges between 23°C-28°C/73°F-82°F. From the middle of December to February is usually the winter. Winter in Hong Kong is cool and dry. The temperature ranges between 15°C-20°C/59°F-68°F.
Time Difference: GMT + 8 hours. Abbreviation: HKT - Hong Kong Time.
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world with land population density of about 6 400 persons per square kilometre. Fertility rate in Hong Kong is remaining at a low level. Medical services are at a high standard.
Population size: ~ 7 million.
Population growth rate: ~ 0.9%.
Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%; other 5%.
Religion: Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist, with Christian and Muslim minorities.
Language: Chinese and English are the official languages. Cantonese (Chinese dialect) is spoken by most of the population. English is spoken by more than one-third of the population, particularly in business circles, shops and hotels. Also, some hotels in Hong Kong have the staff who speak Japanese and German.
Hong Kong Dollar (HKD or HK$) is the official currency. It is pegged to the US Dollar at HK$ 7.8 to US$1. There are 100 cents in a dollar. The coins have the following denominations: 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, HK$1, HK$2, HK$5 and HK$10. The notes have the following denominations: HK$10, HK$20, HK$50, HK$100, HK$500, HK$1000. Also, the notes of HK$20, HK$50, HK$100, HK$500, HK$1000 are issued by three banks: Bank of China, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank. The notes of HK$10 are issued by the Hong Kong Government.
MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. There are no sales or value-added (VAT) taxes in Hong Kong.
About 90 percent of the population in Hong Kong depends on public transport. Taxis, buses, and the mass transit railway (MTR) are readily available, inexpensive, and generally safe. The MTR is an underground railway network and is the most popular mode of public transport, carrying an average of 2.3 million passengers a day. In Hong Kong, traffic moves on the left. During the daytime, traffic congests Hong Kong's urban areas. Speed limits are 50 kilometers per hour in urban areas, 80 kilometers per hour on highways and 110 kilometers per hour on expressways unless otherwise marked. Read more
A visa is not required for nationals of most countries for a period of stay ranging from 7 days to 180 days. It's highly recommended to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the period of intended stay. If you are planning a trip to Mainland China then you will require a visa. Read more
Electricity: The local voltage is 220 volts AC (220V/50Hz). Visitors will need an adaptor for their 110-volt appliances and electrical equipment. Adaptors are available in local shops. The majority of electrical outlets have a British three-pin rectangular blade plug that has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits.
Telephone Code: +852
Bank Hours: Major banks are open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Monday-Friday), 9:00 am to 12:30 pm (Saturday).
Office Hours: From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday-Friday), 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (Saturday)
Shopping Hours: Normal shopping hours are from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (daily). Some of the shops, shopping malls or department stores are remain open till 10:00 pm.
Crime: Hong Kong SAR has a low crime rate. Even so, travelers should exercise caution when in congested areas and pay particular attention to personal belongings in crowded markets and while traveling on public transportation. Protect yourself from pickpockets and carry as little cash as possible. Violent crime, though rare, does occur. The local equivalent to the "911" emergency line in Hong Kong is 999. Police who speak English have a red shoulder badge.