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Hong Kong Travel Tips & Guide

1. Language in Hong Kong

English and Chinese are Hong Kong's two official languages, while the Cantonese dialect is the most commonly spoken language in the territory. English is the business and service industries, such as the hotel employees, many urban Hong Kong residents, most young people and shop and service personnel understand and speak it to some degree. Other Chinese dialects, such as Mandarin, Shanghainese, and Chiu – Chow can be heard as well.

2. Superstition & Beliefs

Despite the relatively modernized way of life, Chinese superstition still plays an integral part of the culture. Concepts like Feng shui are taken quite seriously. Expensive construction projects often include the hiring of consultants that are believed to make or break a business. Other objects like bagua mirror are still used regularly to shield evils. Numbers in Chinese culture also play a role in people's everyday life. Numbers like "4"(because of its similarity to the Chinese word for "(to) die") are avoided when possible by believers. Other rituals like not using scissors on Chinese New Year are still around.

3. Holidays & Festivals

There are some distinctive holidays celebrated by Hong Kong as part of the eastern culture, not participated in the west except in select overseas Chinese communities. The most well known is Chinese New Year, which occurs after every regular New Year. Other events include Dragon Boat Festival where Zongzi is made by the millions at home as part of the tradition. Dragon boats also compete for regional awards. Mid-Autumn Festival is another highly celebrated event with massive purchase of moon cake around Chinese bakery shops.

4. Lifestyles & Leisure

When not at work, Hong Kongers devote much time to leisure. Mahjong is a popular social activity, and family and friends may play for hours at festivals and on public holidays in homes and mahjong parlors. The image of elderly men playing Chinese chess in public parks, surrounded by watching crowds, is common. Other board games such as Chinese checkers are also enjoyed by people of all ages. Among teenagers, shopping, eating out, karaoke and video games are common, with Japan being a major source of digital entertainment for cultural and proximity reasons; there are also popular local inventions such as Little Fighter Online.

5. Religion & Culture

Most Hong Kong ethnic Chinese people naturally lean toward eastern culture, because demographically they are the majority. Many, though, have adopted western ways with substantial numbers still adhering to Chinese traditions. On various social aspects, the bottom-line Chinese values of "family solidarity", "courtesy" and "saving face" carry significant weight in the culture. Heavy influence is derived from Cantonese culture from the neighboring province of Guangdong. There are also substantial communities of Hakka, Fukien, Teochiu and Shanghainese people. On the contrary, people have long been referred to by their origin in China.[2]. Overall the background of Hong Kong Chinese born after 1965 can be classified as westernized, since they have been influenced by liberal western cultural symbols.

6. Currency

Hong Kong Dollar (HKD; symbol HK$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of HK$1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of HK$10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20 and 10 cents.

Foreign currency can be changed in banks, hotels and bureau de change. Banks usually offer the best rate of exchange.

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. There are also plenty of ATMs.

7. Passport & Visa

Passport valid for at least six months after the period of intended visit required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. All visitors must show evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.

Not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for the following durations:

 1. British Citizens for stays of up to 180 days (British Overseas Citizens, British Subjects, British Protected Persons and nationals of British Dependent Territories may stay for up to 90 days);

 2. Nationals of Australia, Canada and USA for stays of up to 90 days; 

 3. Nationals of EU countries for stays of up to 90 days, except 1. British citizens for stays of up to 180 days.

8.  Climate & Weather  

Hong Kong experiences four distinct seasons, with the climate influenced in winter by the north-northeast monsoon and in summer by the south-southwest monsoon. Summers are very hot, with the rainy season running from June to August. Spring and autumn are warm with occasional rain and cooler evenings. Winter can be cold, but most days are mild. There is a risk of typhoons and tropical storms from April to October, although direct hits are rare.

9. Hong Kong Time

Hong Kong Time is the time in Hong Kong, and the time is UTC + 8 all year around. Hong Kong time is also the Beijing Standard Time in Mainland China, same as Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines.

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