Hong Kong has great shopping, sumptuous dining, fascinating culture and heritage. The city also features a stunning harbour and green vistas that will surprise you. There is diversity and sophistication at every turn.
Time: Local time is GMT +8.
Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. UK-style three-pin plugs are standard.
Language: Hong Kong 's official languages are English and Chinese. The most commonly spoken Chinese dialect is Cantonese, but Mandarin - the official language of China , known in Hong Kong as Putonghua - is gaining in popularity. In hotels, major restaurants, stores, and tourist centres, almost everyone speaks English. This is not always the case, however, with taxi drivers, bus drivers, and workers in small shops, cafes, and market stalls.
Health: The major health risk for travellers overseas is traveller's diarrhea, caused by eating contaminated fruit or vegetables or drinking contaminated water. Watch what you eat: stay away from ice, uncooked food, and unpasteurised milk and milk products. Note, too, that eating raw shellfish has been associated with recent hepatitis outbreaks in Hong Kong . Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least 20 minutes. Expect to pay HK$5 to HK$10 for a litre of bottled distilled water.
Tipping: A 10% service charge is usually added to restaurant bills, but waiters will expect some loose change, and if no service charge is included a 10% tip is expected. Taxis fares are rounded up to the nearest dollar.
Safety: Hong Kong is a safe travel destination although caution should always be exercised when travelling to a city. Pickpockets are likely to target unsuspecting tourists so one should minimise these incidences through vigilance.
Communications: The international access code for Hong Kong is +852. The outgoing code is 001 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 00144 for the United Kingdom ). City codes are not required. Local calls from public coin phones cost HK$1 for five minutes. Using your mobile phone in Hong Kong is convenient as most of the telephone systems used around the globe like GSM 900, PCS 1800 and CDMA operate in Hong Kong . The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators. Before leaving home check with your network provider to make sure they have a roaming service to the various destinations you will be visiting and be sure to check pricing. Mobile phones can also be rented on arrival at the international airport. Internet cafes are widely available.
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