The standard unit of currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar that comes in denominations of HK$1000, $500, $100, $50, $20, and coins of HK$10, $5, $2, and $1. Coins also come in 10, 20, and 50 cents. The HK dollar is clinched to the US dollar at a rate of US$1 = HK$7.8, subject to slight variations.
Almost all traveler's checks
and currencies can be changed at banks, hotels, or money-changers but
with a small handling fee. There is an EA$YXCHANGE currency machine that
operates 24 hours a day and are available at the following Wing Lung Bank
American Express card members can withdraw local currencies from Jetco ATMs, while Visa and MasterCard holders can go to HongKong Bank ATMs. There are no constraints on currency brought in or taken out of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong experiences four seasons annually, but sometimes a humid subtropical climate hits the country without warning. It is therefore advisable to bring along light jackets in case it gets too warm for a coat. Shirtsleeves are recommended during autumn.
In winter, it is advisable to wear light woolens and overcoats as it can get a little chilly at times. The seasons of spring and summer experience slightly higher temperatures and humidity, thus light clothing would be sufficient. However, do bring along some long-sleeves just in case you plan to dine at restaurants during your trip, and restaurants' air-conditioning are switched on full blast most of the time.
Hong Kong's departure tax varies from time to time, but it currently stands at HK$50 for those aged 12 years or more. The tax is payable to the airline check-in staff and a sticker is issued as proof of payment. Transit passengers who go through Immigration control must pay the departure tax before proceeding on to their flights.
A 24 hour information hotline is available in two languages: English (2181 0000) and Chinese (2181 8888).
A visa is needed to enter Hong Kong from other countries. However, provisos of stay depend on the nationality, and some nationalities are allowed to come in as visa-free tourists for the period of one month. Among them are the US and EC nationals. The previous one year unconditional visa on arrival with work permit has been changed after the handover to a six month tourist visa on arrival.
Tourists who enter with a visitor's permit are not permitted to work. Those who are taking up employment in Hong Kong must obtain an advanced work permit from the Immigration Department. Usually, the company of hire will assist with the necessary paperwork.
When traveling around the country, be sure to carry along your passport or a photograph identity, just in case. The Immigration Department is strict with its regulations on illegal outsiders, so - to be on the safe side - the passport would come in handy.