The Hong Kong unit of currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HK$). The (fixed) exchange rate is 7,74 HK$/1US$. Most foreign currencies and traveller's cheques are easily changed in Hong Kong, either at banks, hotels or moneychangers (Each moneychanger uses a different exchange rate! You should best compare some of them before you hand over your money!).It is best to cash traveller`s checques only at the institute that issued them, e.g. American Express cheques at Queens Road Central 5, because they give much better rates. Major credit cards (Visa, American Express, MasterCard) are generally accepted in hotels and the big shops.
Most restaurants add a 10 per cent service charge but an additional 5 to 10 per cent may be given, where deserved. When a service charge is not automatic,10 per cent is acceptable. Small tips may also be given to taxi drivers, bellboys, doormen and washroom attendants.
Hong Kong is well-known as a shopper`s paradise and it abounds in shopping malls, shopping arcades, department stores, etc. Most popular are clothes, shoes, bags, or jewellery. It is always a good idea not to rely on the fancy brand name or fashion designer label but to check whether the quality or the dress, the suitcase, or the elegent-looking pair of shoes justifies the price. You should shop around and compare prices before deciding to buy expensive jewellery or cameras (you should also have an idea about what these items cost at home, in your country).
Very good are the Chinese Department Stores, e.g. Chinese Arts and Crafts in Central and in Tsim Sha Tsui (for clothes, especially cashmere and silk items, and for souvenirs).Always make sure that you deal with reputable establishments. The Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) issues shopping guides that in general offer reliable advice and are available at no charge at the HKTA Information and Gift Centres, e.g. at the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry pier on Kowloon.
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Last Updated 10.02.2008