About Hong Kong

Hong Kong is located on the southern coast of China, bordering the Chinese Guangdong province in the North, the Pearl River in the West and the South China Sea in the South and East. The city has the most skyscrapers in the world, offering a dense and tall skyline, and yet is only 15 minutes away from beautiful subtropical beaches and islands with water buffalo roaming the lush greenery. Getting around is easy with frequent subway, bus, minibus and ferry connections.

Currency. The local currency is Hong Kong dollars, although many vendors will accept Chinese yuan (renminbin), but typically at a disadvantageous exchange rate. The current exchange rate gives you around HK$7.75 per US dollar, and around HK$10.00 per Euro.

Electricity. The power sockets carry 220 Volt at 50 Hertz, and the plugs are of the British Standards 1363 type. Most people will need an adapter.

Internet. Wi-fi will be available in the conference rooms and at central locations of the HKUST campus for those belonging to the worldwide eduroam consortium.

Languages. Hong Kong has two official languages: Cantonese and English, and although official signs are required to display both, most locals will have a limited understanding of English. It is recommended to carry the name of your destination in Chinese when traveling by taxi (or better yet: memorize the name in Cantonese).

Roads. Keep in mind that cars drive on the left side of the road, so caution is advised when crossing roads.

Weather. A typical December day in Hong Kong is between 17 and 21°C (60 to 70°F) and humid, although the 70% humidity is considered dry by Hong Kong standards. The most reliable forecasts come from Hong Kong Observatory (do not trust international weather sites).

Water. Tap water is drinkable, and is in fact of higher standard than most cities in the West (although, out of habit, most locals will not drink it unless it has been boiled).

Tipping. Prices are charged as displayed, with the exception of some restaurants which add a 10% service charge, and some out-door markets, where haggling is a part of the experience. Tipping is optional but typically not expected.

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