Traveler’s Information

Banks & Currency Exchange

The official currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). One ($) USD will give you approx. 7.76 HKD.

Major banks open from 09:00 to 16:30 on weekdays and 09:00 to 12:30 on Saturdays. You can exchange your currency for Hong Kong dollars at any authorised money exchanger. For extra peace of mind, look for a money exchanger that is accredited by the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme. ATMs are widespread and operate 24 hours. Exchange rates fluctuate daily depending on currency markets.

Changing money

You can exchange your currency for Hong Kong dollars at any authorised money exchanger. For extra peace of mind, look for a money exchanger that is accredited by the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme. At Hong Kong International Airport, currency exchange counters are open from early morning until late at night and many located within the city stay open into the evening. ATMs are widespread and operate 24 hours. Exchange rates fluctuate daily depending on currency markets.

Traveller's cheques and credit cards

Traveller's cheques are accepted by most leading banks and hotels. International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard are also welcome at many hotels, retail shops and restaurants. Such premises usually display stickers showing the credit cards they accept at their entrances.

ATM

ATMs can be found almost everywhere. Many take international cards and some HSBC 'Electronic Money' machines provide 24-hour cash withdrawal (HK$) facilities for Visa and MasterCard holders.

Currency rates for main currencies

At time of publishing (Summer 2015), the values of selected currencies were:

  • 1 Australian Dollar (AUD) = 5.77 HKD
  • 1 United Kingdom Pound (GBP) = 11.98 HKD
  • 1 China Yuan Renminbi (CNY) = 1.25 HKD
  • 1 Euro (EUR) = 8.50 HKD
  • 10 Japan Yen (JPY) = 0.63 HKD
  • 1 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) = 5.16 HKD
  • 1 Indian Rupee (INR) = 0.12 HKD
  • 1 Thai Baht (THB) = 0.23 HKD
  • 1 U.S. Dollar (USD) = 7.76 HKD

For up-to-date exchange rates, please refer to the Currency Converter at www.xe.com

Taxes

There are no goods and services tax (GST), harmonized sales tax, value added tax (VAT) or any other sales tax in Hong Kong.

Tipping / Service Charge & means of payments

International credit cards are welcome everywhere in Hong Kong, although most local smaller restaurants prefer cash payments.

A 10 to 15% tip is usually left on the table or at the cash register. However, some tea cafes do not impose service charges. Please check with the waiter about the charges before being seated. 

Electricity

The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotel bathrooms also have outlets for 100 volts, but if not, you will need a transformer for any appliance or electrical equipment. The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug. You can buy an inexpensive adaptor for your electrical equipment at most convenience stores.

Time zone & Weather

Hong Kong is 8 hours ahead of the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and has no Daylight Saving Time in 2015. Weather in summer months is hot, humid and sunny, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. The temperature can exceed 31°C but high humidity levels can make it feel even hotter. Average Temperature: 26oC – 31oC

Travel and health

We recommend that visitors take out travel insurance before visiting Hong Kong. Also, check with the travel insurance company about 24-hour emergency coverage and contact numbers. When you are in Hong Kong, carry records of the insurance policy as well as the insurance providers’ hotline with you for identification purposes in case of an emergency. Keep in mind, that some insurance companies require records from hospitals, police or other appropriate authorities in order to process claims.

Upon your arrival at Hong Kong International Airport or at a boundary control point, automatic sensors will take your temperature. If it is considered high, you may be required to participate in a quick health check.

Vaccination certificates are usually not needed when travelling to Hong Kong, but please check with your local carrier because requirements may change.

Hong Kong tap water is soft in character and conforms to the World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines for drinking-water quality. Mineral water, including major imported brands, is readily available from supermarkets and convenience stores.

Smoking restrictions

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places in Hong Kong, including restaurants, bars, malls and karaoke venues. The smoking ban is also implemented on public transport carriers, within public transport facilities, and in both the indoor and outdoor areas of some premises, including public beaches and swimming pools, escalators, and inside the Hong Kong Wetland Park.
Any person smoking or carrying a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe in a designated no-smoking area will be liable to a fixed penalty of $1500 HKD.

We strongly recommend always carrying a (government-issued) piece of identification with you while walking in Hong Kong as police patrols control is frequent.
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