Local Information

Hong Kong

A cosmopolitan city strategically located at the heart of Asia, Hong Kong is home to a diverse community that embraces excellence and quality living. Creativity and entrepreneurship converge in this free and dynamic place that is superbly connected to the rest of the world

Hong Kong is a major international hub for trade, finance, aviation and shipping. The rule of law, freedom of expression and openness to the world are Hong Kong’s hallmarks. Excellent universities, an eclectic mix of creative industries and a free press add to the recipe for Hong Kong’s success.

With its iconic harbor and skyline, beautiful countryside and amazing geology, Hong Kong is a fascinating city of contrasts, offering a rich tapestry of educational, cultural, leisure and sporting pursuits. People from all corners of the globe feel at home in this safe, stable and caring society.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

HKUST – A dynamic, international research university, in relentless pursuit of excellence, leading the advance of science, technology, business and humanities, and educating the new generation of front-runners for the world. Since its official opening in October 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has established itself as an intellectual powerhouse, energizing the community’s transformation into a knowledge-based society, and securing a place on the academic world map in record-breaking time.

Hong Kong Currency

The legal tender in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of about 7.80 HKD to 1 USD, although exchange rates may fluctuate slightly. While coins are issued by the Government, interestingly, the issuance of Hong Kong banknotes is shared between three commercial banks: HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of China. These notes vary in design and colour according to denomination. Find more on Hong Kong’s coins and banknotes here.

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. A currency converter can be accessed at:

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.


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

Local Time

Hong Kong’s time zone is GMT + 8:00.

Hong Kong Weather

Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical, with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees Celsius in winter and exceeding 31 degrees Celsius in summer. It is warm, sunny and dry in autumn, cool and dry in winter, and hot, humid and rainy from spring to summer.
Average annual rainfall: 2 847.3mm
Wettest months: May
Driest months: February

Electrical and Voltage

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.


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.

Official Language

Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely used in the Government and by the legal, professional and business sectors.
Cantonese speakers: 89.5% of population
Putonghua speakers: 1.38% of population
Other Chinese dialect speakers: 4.02% of population
English speakers: 3.5% of population
Other language speakers: 1.57% of population