Essential info for Hong Kong

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Official flag of Hong Kong SARPopulation: Over 8 million

Major religions: Mostly secular, but Buddhism and Taoism have significant numbers of adherents

Capital city: Hong Kong

Other major settlements: Kowloon, Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O

Neighbouring countries: Although technically one country, the Chinese mainland encloses the region from the north and Macau is situated across the sea to the west. Its 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. Although also part of the mainland, to the south of the New Territories is Kowloon Bay. 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.

Main languages: Cantonese, English and Chinese Mandarin

Time: UTC/GMT +8.

Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz. The three-pin rectangular blade plug is most common.

Internet domain: .hk

Money: Hong Kong uses the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), which 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

International dialling code: +852

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

Transport and driving: Traffic drives 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. 

Education: Education in Hong Kong is generally considered to be of a high standard. Most expats prefer international schools but there are public schools which offer instruction in English. This requires careful research, however, as some schools advertise as offering English but conduct the majority of classes in Cantonese. 

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