Hong Kong consists of four parts: an archipelago of 234 islands, with a main island (Hong Kong Island, 80 km2) and a peninsula (Kowloon, 50 km2) extended by the New Territories (70% of the area).
The total area is about 1,100 km2, about 10 times Paris and there are 7 million inhabitants, the population density is 6,870 inhabitants / km2 (107 in France). 70% of the population lives in the New Territories and Kowloon, which has one of the largest population densities in the world.
The Hong Kong dollar (HK $ or HKD). The usual price is around 1 euro = 10 HK $. “Money changers” are more interesting than banks that often take between 30 to 50 HK $ per transaction. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. It is also possible, with these same cards, to obtain cash in vending machines bearing their logo. Banks are generally open from Monday to Friday from 09AM to 04:30PM and Saturday from 09AM to 12:30PM. They are closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Chinese (Cantonese) and English.
Formerly British territory, Hong Kong is since 1 July 1997 a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, governed by the “Basic Law” which guarantees the maintenance of its economic, judicial and social system for 50 years (until in 2047).
There are several religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and other traditional beliefs. There are 10% of Christians.
- Financial strength
Hong Kong is ranked 7th in the world and 2nd in Asia. It was 4th in the international rankings before the Asian crisis of 1997-1998, but remains a major financial center. Firmly optimistic, the local “CAC40” is called “Hang Seng”, or “Eternal Growth” …
- Foreign Trade
1st investor in China and 2nd largest source of investment in Asia. Hong Kong did not wait for the retrocession to invest in the region of Canton that it knows well (cradle of a majority of Hong Kong population) and where it employs about 5 million people. For this reason, the territory continues to be the world’s leading exporter of toys, watches, calculators, radios, telephones, luggage, imitation jewelry and artificial flowers.
- Industry Sectors
Agriculture is virtually non-existent in Hong Kong and everything is imported from abroad … 85% of its activity is in the service sector (banking and financial mainly), but also structural. It has the 1st container port in the world with more than 700 boats a day and also the 1st international airport for freight traffic. Let’s not forget about textiles (the world’s 2nd largest exporter), telecommunications, the Internet and the “new economy”.
- Average income
Greater than USD 25,000 per capita, tied with Japan and Singapore and above the average income of Taiwan. There is no minimum wage and Hong Kong people often combine several jobs at the same time.
It must be valid 1 month after the end of the stay. You must also have
a return ticket or a travel extension. No visa is required in Hong Kong for French, Belgian, Swiss and Canadian for a stay of less than 3 months.
No additional vaccination is required for travelers from Europe. The “universal” vaccines offered in Europe are recommended for those who travel further in the region especially tetanus, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B. It is worth mentioning that Hong Kong has the best hospitals in the region.
- Daily life
Regarding accommodation and restaurants, here are some prices:
- Accommodation rates per night:
Very cheap: from HK $ 80 to 130.
Cheap: from 130 to 250 HK $.
Average prices: from 250 to 500 HK $.
More “chic”: more than 500 HK $.
- Restaurants meals:
Cheap: from $ 30 to $ 60.
Average prices: from 60 to 120 HK $.
A little more chic: from 120 to 150 HK $.
More chic: more than 150 HK $.
- Accommodation rates per night:
Hong Kong enjoys a subtropical climate with relatively few temperature differences, but a fairly high humidity (80% on average).
Spring is from March to the end of May; summer from early June to mid-September; autumn from late September to early December and winter from December to February (around 18°C to 20°C).
- Getting around Hong Kong
There are many modes of public transportation: the taxi, the metro (MTR = Mass Transit Railway), the train (KCR = Kowloon Canton Railway), the tramway, the double-decker bus, the ferry, and the Airport Express.
There are taxis on every street corner and it’s not very expensive, about $ 30K per ride. Taxi drivers rarely speak English, get a map and be sure about the address of your destination!
As soon as you arrive at the airport, we advise you to buy an “Octopus” card. It will serve you right away (includes both airport trips by “Airport Express”) and until the end of your stay. At any time you can credit your Octopus card to take the metro, the bus, the ferry and even use it to pay at some places (McDonald’s, Seven-Eleven, etc.). When you return your card upon departure at the airport, all the unused remaining credit will be refunded to you.