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Hong Kong 101

Situated on the southeast coast of China in the Pearl River delta, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. For more than 150 years Hong Kong was a British colony. On 1 July 1997 Hong Kong’s sovereignty was handed over to China.

Hong Kong is Asia’s world city. It offers travellers the opportunity to experience a vibrant culture featuring a unique blend of East and West. Instilled with the exciting duality of a modern city’s vitality enhanced by a traditional society’s historical richness and colour, the cultural fusion and diversity of the city is evident in everything from its shopping, dining, arts, history, entertainment, nightlife, festivals and events. Hong Kong is also blessed with a striking natural beauty, from its iconic harbour to the stunning mountain views, idyllic islands and serene beaches of its great outdoors.

A lot of useful information may be found on the Discover Hong Kong website http://www.discoverhongkong.com

Electricity

The standard electrical voltage in HK is 220 volts AC, 50HZ. Most hotel bathrooms also have outlets for 100 volts, but otherwise you will need a transformer for any appliance or electrical equipment. The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-type plug.

Climate and weather

October is one of the best times to visit Hong Kong. In October the temperature in Hong Kong is mild, with an average high of 27°C (80°F) and average low of 23°C (73°F). The humidity is low and the weather mostly fine with little rain. The weather is pleasant for exploring the city on foot as well as for hiking and visiting one of the many beautiful sandy beaches on the South side of Hong Kong Island and in the Sai Kung area.

Clothing

Light cotton short sleeves shirts/t-shirts. Bring a light jacket, as the air conditioning indoors could sometimes be quite cold.

For detailed weather information, please visit the Hong Kong Observatory website: http://www.hko.gov.hk

Communication

Language

Cantonese is the most widely spoken language in Hong Kong. English is also widely spoken, particularly in places frequented by visitors such as Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. You should have no problem communicating with people in most hotels, shops, restaurants and even some taxis. Putonghua (Mandarin) is also widely spoken in Hong Kong. It might be useful to ask someone to write down your destination in Chinese characters at your hotel and show it to the taxi driver.

Internet access

Free Wi-Fi service is available at Hong Kong International Airport. There is also the free public GovWiFi service in some government facilities including public libraries, parks, museums and sports centres. You can access the Internet for free at many coffee shops in town including Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. The service is also available in some MTR stations and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Business InfoCentre. (Check with the Hotel Concierge for a nearby location.) Most hotels have Broadband Internet access.

Cell phones

Using your mobile phone in Hong Kong is convenient as most of the wireless systems used around the world – like GSM 900, PCS 1800, CDMA and WCDMA – operate in Hong Kong.

For more information, please visit
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/trip-planner/hongkong-communication.html