Essential info for Hong Kong

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Population: Over 8 million

Capital city: Hong Kong

Other major cities: Kowloon, Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long Kau Hui

Neighbouring countries: The Chinese mainland encloses the region from the north and Macau is situated across the sea to the west. Hong Kong's closest foreign neighbours are Taiwan to the east, and the Phillipines to the southeast.

Geography: Hong Kong consists of the New Territories which forms the northern part of the region and is part of the Chinese mainland. To the south of the New Territories is Kowloon Bay, also on the mainland. A short distance across the bay to the south is Hong Kong Island. About six miles (10 km) to the east is Lantau Island. The rest of the region consists of a number of outlying islands. 

Political system: Special Administrative Region of China operating on a "one country, two systems" principle where Hong Kong manages its own affairs except for national defence and diplomatic relations.

Major religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. 

Main languages: Cantonese, English and Chinese Mandarin

Money: The Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is divided into 100 cents. Expats can open a bank account using a Hong Kong Identity Card or Passport and proof of residence. ATMs are widely available.

Tipping: A service charge of 10 percent is sometimes added to bills, but no additional tip necessary.

Time: GMT+8

Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz. Three-pin rectangular blade plugs are most common.

Internet domain: .hk

International dialling code: +852

Emergency contacts: The all-purpose emergency number in Hong Kong is 999, and connects to police, ambulance and fire services. The Hong Kong Police Force has a good reputation, and most officers have some knowledge of English. Healthcare is of a high standard and hospitals are widely available.

Transport and driving: Drive on the left-hand side. A variety of public transport options are available including the MTR subway, buses and taxis. The northern islands are well connected by road or rail, while the southern outlying islands can only be accessed by ferry. 

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