Population/Currency/Facts, Hong Kong
This isn't a must for you to do, rather a resource if you are planning on coming here to visit or live...these websites should be helpful:
Some basic things to consider:
***POPULATION AND LANGUAGE***
The population is well over 6 million, 95% of which is Chinese.
Chinese and English are the official languages. Cantonese is the most widely spoken Chinese dialect, though Mandarin, Shanghainese and other Chinese dialects are also spoken. Many people, especially in shops, hotels, and service industries, speak English.
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate:
Spring (March - mid-May): Temperature and humidity rising. Average temperature: 23°C (73°F)
(late May - mid-September): Hot and humid. Temperature may rise to 33°C (91 °F) with humidity up to around 90%. Average temperature: 28°C (82°F)
(late September - early December): temperature and humidity drop. Clear sunny days. Average temperature: 23°C (73°F)
(late December- February): Cool with low humidity. Average temperature: 17°C (62°F)
Visitors must hold a valid passport. Citizens of some 24 countries, including the USA, Japan, and certain Western European and South American nations are permitted one-month visa-free visits. Three-month visa-free visits are available to another 23 countries as well as all Commonwealth countries. The British are allowed a 12-month no-visa stay.
Visitors may bring into Hong Kong free of duty:
Tobacco - 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco.
Liquor - A one-litre bottle of wine or spirits.
Ivory - The importation and exportation of raw or worked ivory is governed by strict regulation.
***AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX***
Adults: HK$50; children (aged 12 years and under) free.
The unit of currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$). Check VT currency exchange for latest rates.
Most foreign currencies and traveller's cheques are easily changed in Hong Kong, either at banks, hotels or moneychangers.
The voltage in Hong Kong is 200/220 volts, 50 cycles. Most hotels provide adaptors.
All water direct from government mains in Hong Kong satisfies the United Nations World Health Organization standards. Bottled water is widely available in hotels and supermarkets.
Telephones in Hong Kong are advanced, economical and easy to use. Local calls are free, and many stores and restaurants offer use of a telephone free of charge to patrons. Calls from public coin phones cost HK$1. Most hotels have International Direct Dialling (IDD). Please note that some hotels charge a handling fee for local and/or international calls. You can also make long-distance calls from (IDD) Public Coin Phones and from HK Telecom International Ltd. Offices. Call 013 for information.
The main post offices are on Hong Kong Island, next to the Star Ferry and in Kowloon at 10 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Both are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturday. All post offices close on Sunday and public holidays.
***OFFICE AND BANKING HOURS***
Most offices open from 9am to 5pm with a lunch hour from 1 pm to 2pm. On Saturday the hours are 9am to 1 pm. Some Chinese businesses open at 10am and close around 6pm or later. Major banks are open from 9am to 4.30pm on weekdays, 9am to 12.30pm on Saturday.
'Fragrant Harbour' Hong Kong's English name is derived from two Chinese characters, Heung and Gong, usually translated as 'Fragrant Harbour,' though the actual origins of the name are obscure.
Originally it was only the name of a small settlement near Aberdeen, the main fishing and entrepot port on pre-colonial Hong Kong Island. Some historians suggest that Hong Kong's Chinese name was inspired by its export of fragrant incense.
Fondest memory: Kowloon: 'Nine Dragons' ( click for postcard )
The explanation for Kowloon's name is even more romantic. In Chinese, the peninsula's name is Gow Lung, meaning 'Nine Dragons'. The name is thought to have been coined by Emperor Ping, one of two boy- emperors of the doomed Sung Dynasty whose court fled to Hong Kong eight centuries ago. He is said to have counted eight mountains in the area, and decided to name it 'Eight Dragons' (in accordance with the belief that every mountain is inhabited by a dragon).
The Emperor's tally of the peaks was corrected by a quick-witted courtier who pointed out that as emperors were also believed to be dragons, the place should be named 'Nine Dragons' - Ping being the ninth. The origin of Kowloon's name may be a legend, but it is a historical fact that the boy-emperor's travelling palace stayed there. One ancient carved-rock inscription recording the imperial visit stands in a small park on the very edge of Hong Kong International Airport.
There are more than six million people in Hong Kong. About 1.3 million live on Hong Kong Island, around 2 million in mainland Kowloon, and the remainder in the New Territories and Outlying Islands. For administrative and electoral purposes, the territory is divided into various Districts.
Almost 95% of the population is ethnic Chinese; the international community includes various nationalities.