Hong Kong has a population of 7.07 million in 2010, of whom 95% are Chinese. Chinese and English are the official languages. English is widely spoken throughout the territory and is also used by Government departments and in business.

Hong Kong enjoys a generally sub-tropical climate. Temperatures in December vary from 15oC to 21oC. There may be occasional rain.

Hong Kong time is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Most foreign currencies and traveller's cheque are easily exchanged at banks, hotels and money-changers. A passport is required for money exchange services. Exchange rates of US$1 = approx. HK$ 7.8. The Hong Kong Dollar is available in $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000 denominations. Coinage is in 10, 20, 50 cents and $1, $2, $5 and $10.

Business hours:
Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday & public holidays Closed

Postal Service
Most post offices are open from Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. Hotels often provide simple postage services. A public post box is available at the entrance of the HKAM Jockey Club Building.

Electricity is supplied as alternating current at 220 volts. Hong Kong generally uses UK-style three-hole sockets.

For general transport, taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. The underground railway, MTR (Mass Transit Railway, <www.mtr.com.hk>), allows easy access throughout the territories. Public bus, tram and ferry services are also frequent. When you arrive at Hong Kong International Airport, you may take Airport Express, bus or taxi to your hotel. You may check <www.hongkongairport.com> for more details.

Hong Kong has more than 9,000 restaurants specialising in all the regional dishes of China and neighbouring Asian countries as well as European and American cuisine.

Most restaurants add 10% service charge automatically and waiters also expect to pick up loose change. Large gratuities are expected when there is no service charge. Small tips are common for bellboys, doormen and cloak room attendants. Taxi drivers also tend to pick up loose change.

Most shops and department stores are open seven days a week until 9:00 pm. Street markets are in business every day until late into the night. Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise for bargains, rapidly-made tailored clothing, antiques, jewellery, cameras and electronic equipment. Major credit cards are widely accepted.

Visas and Passports
Entry is visa free for over 170 countries/regions. For a few countries, issue of a visa may take some time and it is advisable to apply at least three months in advance. Please visit the Hong Kong Immigration Department <www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas_4.htm> for details.

Health Documents
Health documents are not required for visitors from most Western countries, but requirements do vary from country to country. Travellers arriving from areas where cholera or yellow fever is endemic may require vaccination certificates.