Hong Kong is located on the southern coast of China, covering 1,107 square kilometres of land and 50 square kilometres of water. Positioned at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, it is recognised as a major gateway between the East and the West. It also has an expansive skyline, deep natural harbour and is one of the world’s most densely-populated regions.
The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is the official currency of Hong Kong (symbol: HK$). ATM’s or Bank Automats can be found all around Hong Kong throughout the city, at MTR stations and shopping centres. International credit cards are also accepted in most hotels, restaurants and retail stores.
Hong Kong has an oceanic subtropical monsoon climate, with distinguishable seasons. November is one of the best months to visit Hong Kong, with the typhoon season and summer’s humidity gone. Warm weather and blue skies bring pleasant temperatures, with an average high of 24°C and an average low of 19°C. There is very little rain in November in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is one of the well-known shopping paradises in the world, ranging from fashionable apparel to classical products. It also has a rich and colourful array of Asian antiques, and an increasing number of art galleries selling paintings, sculptures and ceramic works. You can also try your luck bargaining in owner-operated stores and in the city’s famous street markets.
Cantonese is spoken by 88 percent of people in Hong Kong. Chinese dialects – Mandarin, Hakka and Taishanese are also present. English is widely spoken in Hong Kong and commonly used in business, government and tourism. All official signs, as well as public transport announcements and most menus, are bilingual.
The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Most electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug.
Visitors to Hong Kong will find authentic food from all the regions of China. There are stalls and restaurants serving most of the key Asian cuisines, as well as excellent Western cuisine. Hong Kong is also one of the leading centres for international cooking. Some popular dishes among the locals are fish balls, pineapple bun, egg tart, roast goose and wontons.
Yum Cha (drinking tea) is an integral part of Hong Kong’s culinary culture and is the perfect complement to most dishes. Hong Kong-style milk tea is also a popular beverage and typically served as a part of afternoon tea.
Public transport is highly developed in Hong Kong and covers 90 percent of the population. There are a lot of different ways to get around Hong Kong such as rail, bus, taxi, tram and ferry.
Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (“MTR”) is one of the best metro systems in the world. It is the quickest and easiest way for tourists to sightsee and visit premier tourist attractions, while enjoying cleanliness, air conditioning, comfort and safety. There are 11 lines with train fares ranging from HK$5 to HK$55.
The fastest way to travel between the city and the airport is by the MTR’s high-speed Airport Express which takes around 24 minutes to reach Hong Kong Island. Airport Express passengers are also able to take a free shuttle bus from Kowloon and Hong Kong stations to major hotels in the city.
Basic restaurants do not usually add service charges to the bill, and it is normal to leave a tip. Mid-range or high-end restaurants will normally add a 10% service charge, but it is common for customers to also leave an additional tip if the service was good.