This book challenges this view by arguing that sterling's international role was prolonged by the weakness of the international monetary system and by collective global interest in its continuation. Using the archives of Britain's partners in Europe, the USA and the Commonwealth, Catherine Schenk shows how the UK was able to convince other governments that sterling's international role was critical for the stability of the international economy and thereby attract considerable support to manage its retreat.
This revised view has important implications for current debates over the future of the U.
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In this volume Catherine Schenk outlines these huge changes, examines how the world' s economic leaders have tried to organise and influence the international economy and presents the key frameworks in which international economic relations have developed. Focusing on the pattern of international trade, international investment and. The Oxford handbook of banking and financial history by Youssef Cassis Book 18 editions published between and in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide Historical reflection on the recent financial crises and the long-term development of the financial system go hand in hand.
This volume provides the material for such a reflection by presenting the state of the art in banking and financial history. Nineteen highly regarded experts present chapters on the economic and financial side of banking and financial activities, primarily though not solely in advanced economies, in a long-term comparative perspective. In addition to paying attention to general issues, not least those related to theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline, the volume approaches the banking and financial world from four distinct but interrelated angles: financial institutions, financial markets, financial regulation, and financial crises.
This volume explores the origins and persistence of this system, presenting the viewpoint of several of the main protagonists in the operation of the currency board since as well as new research by academics. Reforming the international monetary system in the s and s : would an SDR substitution account have worked? The substitution account would have allowed central banks to diversify away from the dollar into the IMF's Special Drawing Right SDR , comprised of US dollar, Deutsche mark, French franc later euro , Japanese yen and British pound, through transactions conducted off the market.
The account's dollar assets could fall short of the value of its SDR liabilities, and hedging would have defeated the purpose of preventing dollar sales. In the event, negotiators were unable to agree on how to distribute the open-ended cost of covering any shortfall if the dollar's depreciation were to exceed the value of any cumulative interest rate premium on the dollar. As it turned out, the substitution account would have encountered solvency problems had the US dollar return been based on US Treasury bill yields, even if a substantial fraction of the IMF's gold had been devoted to meet the shortfall at recent, high prices for gold.
The provisional tax payable is typically estimated based on the income for the previous year of assessment. The final tax for the previous year of assessment is payable at the same time as the first installment of provisional tax. For example, a foreign tax credit FTC system, double taxation treaties, and so on? Unilateral relief, by way of an exemption of the income from salaries tax, may be available under domestic legislation to employees if they are subject to tax of a similar nature to salaries tax in another jurisdiction in respect of services rendered in that jurisdiction and the tax has actually been paid.
Relief including foreign tax credit relief may be available under the relevant double taxation agreements with partner jurisdictions. Please list below. See above. Tax credit relief can only be claimed if there is a double taxation agreement in place. This calculation assumes a married taxpayer resident in Hong Kong SAR with two children whose three-year assignment begins 1 April and ends 31 March All rights reserved. KPMG International provides no client services. Request for proposal. Save what resonates, curate a library of information, and share content with your network of contacts.
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Ignore and log out. Related content. Salaries tax — on income from an office, employment and any pension.
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Profits tax — on income from a trade, profession or business. When are tax returns due? That is, what is the tax return due date? Generally within one month of the date of issue by the Inland Revenue Department. What is the tax year-end? Residents and non-residents See comments above. See comments above in respect of the basis of taxation. What if the assignee enters the country before their assignment begins?
What if the assignee comes back for a trip after residency has terminated? Communication between immigration and taxation authorities Do the immigration authorities in Hong Kong SAR provide information to the local taxation authorities regarding when a person enters or leaves Hong Kong SAR? Maestro and Cirrus cards are widely accepted also.
Credit card use is common in most shops for major purchases. Maestro debit cards however are not widely accepted by retailers. Signs with the logo of different credit cards are usually displayed at the door to indicate which cards are accepted. For small purchases, in places such as McDonalds or 7-Eleven, cash or an Octopus Card is the norm though some of these outlets can accept credit cards for smaller purchases.
Sometimes, the merchant can give you a choice of whether to charge your credit card purchase directly to your home currency or Hong Kong dollars. Choosing which currency to directly charge the purchase to won't matter significantly for small amounts but for larger purchases it may be worth it to consult your credit card's policy on them converting foreign exchange transactions; in most cases it is more favourable to charge the transaction in Hong Kong Dollars first and let your issuer perform the conversation.
If the credit card is swiped or inserted into a terminal, merchants will require that the credit cards be signed and will compare your signature with the card and do not have to ask for picture ID. The 'chip and pin' system for credit card authorisation prevalent in Europe is not used as extensively in Hong Kong. Opening a bank account in Hong Kong is a straightforward process, requiring a proof of address and a corresponding ID.
A Hong Kong identification card of any type will make the process much easier, although foreign visitors are allowed to open bank accounts as well using their foreign address. Hong Kong banks will have English speaking staff available. Some banks can also provide accounts and UnionPay credit cards in the Chinese RMB currency, which can then be used when travelling in mainland China.
Hong Kong is expensive by Asian standards, with the cost of accommodation especially high. Transport is however relatively cheap, with most public transport journeys costing just a few dollars. Finally it is worth noting that Hong Kong does not have a sales tax and therefore general prices for moderately expensive items such as imported shampoo, mobile phones etc will be less than the same products on the mainland. As a general rule, tipping is not customary in Hong Kong, though people will not reject any tips you care to hand them. Tipping is a matter of personal choice, but visitors should take into account that locals usually do not leave a tip.
Visitors should also know that it is common for bar and restaurant owners to keep some, or all, of the money given as tips.
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In cheaper restaurants, tipping is not expected at all and it will be considered unusual not to take all your change. You may, at your own discretion, choose to tip on top of that if the service was exemplary; to give it more chance of reaching the staff, tips should be given in cash and not as additions to a credit card bill. It is also common for mid range Chinese restaurants to give you peanuts, tea and towels and add a small charge to the bill.
Known as "cha-sui money" money for tea and water , it is considered to be common practice, so unless the charge is excessive, tourists should accept it as part of the cost of the meal. Sometimes, restaurants will deliberately give customers change in coins, when notes could be given; it is your choice whether to take all your change or leave a small tip. Tipping is not expected in taxis but passengers will often round up the fare to the nearest dollar.
During a typhoon, when any loss is not covered by insurance, a tip will be expected, or the taxi driver will ask you to pay a surcharge. Bathroom attendants in luxury restaurants and clubs might also expect you to leave a few coins, but it's socially acceptable not to tip. Do not under any circumstances try to offer a tip to a government employee, especially police officers; this is regarded as bribery and is strictly illegal, and doing so will most probably result in you being arrested. Exceptionally, on important occasions, such as a wedding party or similar big gala event, local people hosting such events do tip substantially more than ten percent of the total bill.
The money is put into a red envelope and given to the manager. Fierce competition, no sales tax and many wealthy consumers all add up to make Hong Kong an excellent destination for shopping.
Choices are plentiful at competitive prices. Lookout for watches, camping equipment, digital items and special cosmetics.
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There's also a wide choice of Japanese, Korean, American and European clothing and cosmetics but prices are generally higher than in their respective home countries. High rental costs in Hong Kong, ranked second worldwide according to Forbes, makes it no surprise that the best bargain shops could be anywhere except the ground floor.
Shops recommended by local people may even be up on the 20th floor in a building that won't give you a hint that it's a place for shopping. Many shops will accept credit cards. In accepting credit cards, the merchant will look carefully at the signature rather than looking at photo ID. In addition, merchants will not accept credit cards with a different name to the person presenting it.
All shops that accept credit cards and many that don't will also accept debit cards as payment. The term used for debit card payment is EPS. In the old days, Hong Kong was a good place to buy cheap knockoff, fake products and pirated videos and software. Today, Hong Kong residents often buy these items in Shenzhen just across the border in mainland China. Here you will find a long street of shops with a wide selection of products that look like antiques. Some items are very good fakes, so make sure you know what you are buying.
Books Hong Kong houses a fair choice of English books, Japanese, French titles, and a huge range of uncensored Chinese titles. Prices are usually higher than where they import but it is your last hope to look for your books before heading to China. The biggest local bookshop chain is the Commercial Press and they usually have cheaper but limited English titles. Called Yee Lau Sue Den Bookshop on second floor , they hide themselves in the upper floor of old buildings and offer an unbeatable discount on all books.
The basic rule is to avoid all the shops with flashing neon signs along Nathan Road and look for a shop with plenty of local, non-tourist, customers. Only use recommended shops, as shops such as those on Nathan Road are likely to disappear on your next visit to Hong Kong. For easy shopping, get an underground train to Mongkok and head to Sai Yeung Choi Street, where you might find some of the best deals.
Several camera shops like Man-Sing and Yau-Sing are known for their impolite staff but have a reputation for selling at fair prices. In the s and early s, most shops didn't allow much bargaining, but this has changed since with the influx of tourists from mainland China. While Hong Kong might offer favourable prices, it is always worth checking prices at Hong Kong based e-commerce such as DigitalRev or Expansys that might ship products to your hotel within a day or at least use their price to bargain with retailers.
Computers The base price of computer equipment in Hong Kong is similar to that in other parts of the world, but there are substantial savings to be had from the lack of sales tax or VAT. Also electronic equipment is available at the large chain stores such as Broadway and Fortress which are in the large malls. The major chain stores will accept credit cards, while smaller shops will often insist on cash or payment by ATM card. Here you will definitely find a real bargain.
Be careful to compare prices first. There are also a few game shops in the Wanchai Computer Centre. The back corners in the upper levels usually offer the best prices. You might even be lucky and find English speaking staff here. However, be careful to make sure that the region code of the hardware is compatible with your home country's region code Hong Kong's region code is NTSC-J, different from mainland China or buy region code free hardware like the Nintendo DS lite. Cosmetics Hong Kong offers a huge range of brand-name make-up, perfume, and skin care products, which are popular purchases for visitors from the mainland.
You can find them at malls, department stores, and major shopping areas — for instance, Mong Kok has lots of stores selling cosmetics and skin care products, including some shops that specialize in a particular brand. There are also chains: Sasa and Bonjour have a huge range of products, and other options include Angel, Aster, Colormix, Lan Lan, and the drugstores Mannings and Watsons. Music and film HMV is a tourist-friendly store that sells a wide range of more expensive products.
For real bargains you should find your way into the smaller shopping centres where you will find small independent retailers selling CDs and DVDs at very good prices. Some shops sell good quality second hand products. Try the Oriental Shopping Centre on Wanchai Road for a range of shops and a taste of shopping in a more down-market shopping centre.
Hong Kong has two independent music stores. Try Fa Yuen Street with a lot of shops selling sports shoes. There are also many shops hidden anywhere except the ground floor for selling camping equipment. Prices are usually highly competitive. Fashion Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon and Causeway Bay on the island are the most popular shopping destinations, though you can find malls all over the territory.
In addition to all the major international brands, there are also several local Hong Kong brands such as Giordano, Bossini, G, Joyce and Shanghai Tang. The International Finance Centre in Central has a good selection of haute coutre labels for the filthy rich, while for cheap knock-offs, Temple Street in Mong Kok is the obvious destination, though prices are not as cheap as they used to be and these days, most locals head across the border to Shenzhen for cheaper bargains.
There is also Citygate Outlets, an extremely large factory outlet mall containing most of the major foreign and local brands near Tung Chung MTR station on Lantau Island. In the Ladies Market or any markets nearby, there are no price tags on items. Most of the time, the price the merchant will quote you is double the price.
In fact similar clothing items lower price but fixed can be found in brick and mortar shops nearby too e. Sai Yeung Choi street. Tea Buying good Chinese tea is like choosing a fine wine and there are many tea retailers that cater for the connoisseur who is prepared to pay high prices for some of China's best brews.
Watches and jewellery Hong Kong people are avid watch buyers - how else can you show your wealth if you can't own a car and your home is hidden at the top of a tower-block? You will find a wide range of jewellery and watches for sale in all major shopping areas. If you are targeting elegant looking jewellery or watches try Chow Tai Fook, which can be expensive. Prices vary and you should always shop around and try and bargain on prices.
When you are in Tsim Sha Tsui you will probably be offered a "copy watch" for sale. The major luxury brands have their own shops that will ensure you are purchasing genuine items. Street markets are a phenomenon in Hong Kong, usually selling regular groceries, clothes, bags or some cheap electronic knockoffs. Some stores in Hong Kong even some chain stores are willing to negotiate on price, particularly for goods such as consumer electronics, and in many small shops, they will give you a small discount or additional merchandise if you just ask.
For internationally branded items whose prices can be easily found i. However, deep discounts are often possible on merchandise such as clothes.
Hong Kong SAR’s Monetary and Exchange Rate Challenges
Electronics stores are often packed together in the same place, so it is often easy to spend a few minutes comparing prices, and to know the prevailing international prices. Sometimes it maybe appropriate to ask "is there any discount? The reputation for being a shopping paradise is well deserved in Hong Kong and, added to which, it is also a safe place to shop.
Overcharging is seen as an immoral business practice by most local people, and is unlikely to spoil your holiday. Plenty of hotlines are available for complaints. In areas crowded with tourists, traps do exist. They are often nameless consumer electronics stores with attention grabbing neon signs advertising reputable brand names.
Many traps can be spotted if they have numerous employees in a very small store space. Often, several of these stores can be found in a row, especially along Nathan Road, in Kowloon and in parts of Causeway Bay. One trick is to offer you a low price on an item, take your money only to 'discover' that it is out of stock, and then offer you an inferior item instead.
Another trick is to give you a great price on a camera, take your credit card, and before handing over the camera convince you to buy another "better one" at an inflated cost. They may also try to mislead you into buying an inferior product, by claiming that it is a quality product. One trick specially encountered in electronics shopping are missing items from the box, such as batteries, etc.
Once you realize that an important item is missing and come back to the shop to get it, it will be offered at an inflated price. Reputable shops open the box that you will get in front of you and let you take a look to make sure everything is in there and even switch on the equipment before you pay.
Watch out for persons usually of Indian subcontinental descent who approach tourists in the busier areas of Kowloon.
They spot Westerners from a great distance and will make a direct line toward you to sell you usually either a suit or watch "Genuine Copy" is a phrase often used. Learn to spot them from a distance since they are already looking for you , make eye contact, put up your hand and definitively shake your head. Good, strong body language in this regard will help you be approached far less often. Although the law is strictly enforced, tourist traps are usually designed by touts who are experts at exploiting grey areas in the law. Remember, no one can help you if unscrupulous shop owners haven't actually broken the law.
The shops registered usually cater only to tourists, while shops that offer you the best deals usually don't bother to join the programme. Watch out for people mostly southeast Asian descent around tourist areas road asking you where you're going. Don't tell them which hostel or hotel you're searching for, otherwise they will offer to "take you there". Like many crowded urban areas where most people rely on public transport, many Hongkongers shop little and often, and therefore there is an abundance of convenience stores. Convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and Circle K or often referred to as 'OK' by the locals can be found on almost every busy street, and in most MTR stations.
Although the retail prices are usually higher, they normally open , and sell magazines, snacks, drinks, beer, instant noodles, packaged sandwiches, microwavable ready-meals, contraceptives and cigarettes. The types and variety of products provided depends on the size of the shop itself, which can differ much from one another. Park 'n' Shop and Wellcome are the two main supermarket chains in Hong Kong and they have branches in almost every neighbourhood, some of which open In urban areas, some stores are underground and tend to be very small and cramped, although they have a much wider product choice and are somewhat cheaper than the above convenience stores.
City'super, Great and Taste are expensive upmarket supermarkets that focus on high-quality products that are aimed towards a more affluent market. The YATA department store chain also offers a Japanese-style supermarket experience, though it can be rather overpriced compared to the aforementioned similar chains. Cuisine plays an important part in many peoples' lives in Hong Kong. Not only is it a showcase of Chinese cuisines with huge regional varieties, but there are also excellent Asian and Western choices. Although Western food is often adapted to local tastes, Hong Kong is a good place for homesick travellers who have had enough of Chinese food.
The Michelin guide to Hong Kong is considered to be the benchmark of good restaurants for many Western visitors. That said, for most locals, the Michelin guide is not taken particularly seriously, and Open Rice , which serves as Hong Kong's equivalent of Yelp, is the go-to directory for restaurant reviews. The downside is that as it primarily caters to Hong Kong locals, most of the reviews are written in Chinese.
According to Restaurant magazine, 4 of the best restaurants in the world are in Hong Kong. Due to its history as part of that region, unsurprisingly, much of the local cuisine in Hong Kong is very similar to that of neighbouring Guangdong. That being said, over a century of British rule means that the British have also left their mark on the local cuisine, with cakes and pastries being fairly popular among locals. Hong Kongers are also somewhat less adventurous than their fellow Cantonese speakers in mainland China, with several exotic ingredients such as dog and cat meat being banned in Hong Kong.
It is also possible to find cuisine from practically every part of China, as many famous chefs fled from the mainland to Hong Kong to escape persecution by the communists in the aftermath the Chinese Civil War. In particular, the Hakkas and Teochews have left a significant impact on Hong Kong's culinary culture, and there is no shortage of good Hakka and Teochew restaurants for those who have grown weary of Cantonese food. You may meet some local people who haven't cooked at home for a decade.
Locals love to go out to eat since it is much more practical than socializing in crowded spaces at home. A long queue can be a local sport outside many good restaurants during peak hours. Normally, you need to register first, get a ticket and wait for empty seats. Reservations are usually only an option in upmarket restaurants. Chinese food is generally eaten with chopsticks. However, restaurants serving western food usually provide a knife, fork and spoon. Do not stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice, as this is reminiscent of incense sticks burning at the temple and has connotations of wishing death on those around you.
In addition, chopsticks should not be used to move bowls and plates or make any noise. Dishes in smaller eateries might not come with a serving spoon, although staff will usually provide one if you request. See also Chinese table manners for more details. While certain etiquette is different, Chinese manners for using chopsticks apply to Hong Kong too. You can usually tell how cheap or expensive the food is from the decor of the restaurant menus are not always displayed outside restaurants.
Restaurants in Soho in Central, in 5-star restaurants, or in other high-rent areas are usually more expensive than restaurants that are off the beaten path. Yoshinoya a Japanese chain sell Japanese style Gyudon beef and rice and Teriyaki-style Chicken with rice or noodles for a very reasonable price.
If your budget allows for it, Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of, if not the world's best places to experience Chinese-style fine dining. Served at breakfast and lunch, these delicately prepared morsels of Cantonese cuisine are often served with Chinese tea. Expect more choice in upmarket restaurants. One pot of tea with two dishes, called yak chung liang gin is a typical serving for breakfast.
With the addition of a slightly crispy honey sauce layer, the final taste is of char siu a unique, deep barbecue flavour. It is recommended to taste the roasted pork with rice in 'Sun-Can' of PolyU. Served at breakfast, lunch or supper, the best version is as soft as 'floss', it takes up to 10 hours to cook the porridge to reach this quality. Hong Kong has several restaurant chains that specialise in congee, but none of them have earned the word-of-mouth respect from local gourmets.
The best congee places are usually in older districts, often owned by elderly people who are patient enough to spend hours making the best floss congee. Wonton are dumplings usually made from minced prawn but may contain small amounts of pork. Rice pastry is also a popular dish from southern China. Found particularly in Teochew and Hokkien areas in China, its popularity is widespread throughout east Asia. In Hong Kong, it is usually served in soup with beef and fish balls and sometimes with deep-fried crispy fish skins.
Juice is put into a ultra-cold pan to make an ice paste, it is usually served with fresh fruit and sago. You might expect that after more than a century of colonial rule tea might be served British style - well, almost. With the addition of evaporated milk, this is not a drink for the faint-hearted. Orders are usually recorded on a chit at your table and you pay at the cashier as you leave.
Showing signs of British colonial influence, tea time Ha m cha plays an important role in Hong Kong's stressful office life. Usually starting at 2PM to 3PM, a typical tea set goes with a cup of 'silk-stocking' tea, egg tarts and sandwiches with either minced beef, egg or ham, but without vegetables and cheese. Similar to Malaysian 'teh tarik', Hong Kong's variation shares a similar taste. The key difference is that a sackcloth bag is used to filter the tea leaves and the tea-dyed sackcloth resembles silk stockings, giving the name 'silk-stocking milk tea'.
Milk tea, to some Hong Kong people, is an important indicator on the quality of a restaurant. If a restaurant fails to serve reasonably good milk tea, locals might be very harsh with their criticism. Yuanyang is also a popular drink mixed with milk tea and coffee. A signal to tell you teatime has come is a small queue lining up in bakery to buy egg tarts a teatime snack with outer pastry crust and filled with egg custard.
Don't attempt to make a fool of yourself by telling people that the egg tart was brought to Hong Kong by the British - many locals are assertive in claiming sovereignty over their egg tarts.
When a long-established egg tart shop in Central was closed due to skyrocketing rental payments, it became the SAR's main news and many people came to help the owners look for a new place. For those who wish to have an authentic British high tea experience, the colonial Peninsula Hotel is one of the best places in Asia to do so. The cheapest food is in the popular street stalls.
Most of the people working there do not speak much English and there is no English on the menu. However if you could manage to communicate, street-style eating is an excellent way to experience local food. Point, use fingers or Cantonese numbers and smile.
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They're usually willing to help. Most major fast food eateries are popular in Hong Kong and have reasonable prices. Seafood is very popular and is widely available. Seafood is not cheap. Expect to find a mismatch between the high prices for the food and the quality of the restaurant. Sometimes the best food is served in the most basic eateries where tables maybe covered in cheap plastic covers rather than a more formal tablecloth. Often, Cantonese people value the food more than the decor. If one of your travelling companions does not like seafood, don't panic, many seafood restaurants have extensive menus that cater for all tastes.
A number of seafood restaurants specialise in high quality roast chicken that is especially flavoursome. Many exotic delicacies like abalone, conch and bamboo clam can be found for sale in many seafood restaurants but you might want to avoid endangered species such as shark and juvenile fish.
While Hong Kong has long banned dog and cat meat and has strict rules on importing many meats of wild animals, snake meat is commonly seen in winter in different restaurants that bear the name "Snake King". Served in a sticky soup, it is believed to warm your body. There's an ongoing debate over the consumption of shark fin in Hong Kong, which is the biggest importer of this exotic cuisine.
The consumption of shark fin is a controversial topic and the Hong Kong WWF is campaigning against consumption of this. Besides exotic meats, you will also see chicken feet, pig's noses and ears, lungs, stomachs, duck's heads, various types of intestines, livers, kidneys, black pudding blood jelly and duck's tongues on the Chinese dining tables. Due to the large number of foreign residents in Hong Kong, there are many restaurants that serve authentic international cuisine at all price levels.
These can often be found in, though not restricted to, entertainment districts such as Lan Kwai Fong, Soho or Knutsford Terrace. Of these, Soho is probably the best for eating as Lan Kwai Fong is primarily saturated with bars and clubs. Top chefs are often invited or try to make their way to work in Hong Kong. Home-dining is catching on to be a very popular trend in Hong Kong.
BonAppetour is a great way to discover local chefs who would love to have you over for an evening dinner. It's a great way to make friends over home-made food, and company. Barbecue BBQ meals are a popular local pastime. Many areas feature free public barbecue pits where everybody roasts their own food, usually with long barbeque forks. It's not just sausages and burgers - the locals enjoy cooking a variety of things at BBQ parties, such as fish, beef meatballs, pork meatballs, chicken wings, and so on. Just stop by a supermarket and buy food, drinks and BBQ equipment. Wet markets are still prevalent.
Freshness is a key ingredient to all Chinese food, so frozen meat and vegetables are frowned upon, and most markets display freshly butchered beef and pork with entrails , live fish in markets, and more exotic shellfish , frogs , turtles and sea snails. Local people often go to the market everyday to buy fresh ingredients, just like the restaurants. Cooked food centres are often found in the same building as some of the indoor wet markets. Tables that used to be on the street have been swept into sterile concrete buildings.
Inside, the atmosphere is like a food court without the frills. Cooked food centres provide economic solutions to diners, but you might need to take along a Cantonese speaker, or be brave. Supermarkets include Wellcome and Park N Shop. As many people in Hong Kong's Indian community are Hindu or Muslim , your best bet for religious diets that fall into those categories are restaurants that serve those communities.
The Islamic Trust is Hong Kong's halal certification body, and Muslims visitors can contact them for more information about halal food in Hong Kong. Due to the small size of Hong Kong's Jewish community, kosher food is rare, though the web-site of the Ohel Leah Synagogue has information on where kosher food can be found. Vegetarians should look for specialist vegetarian restaurants that primarily serve devout Buddhists. Some Buddhist temples may also sell vegetarian food during the weekends or various Buddhist festivals.
As Chinese Buddhist vegetarian food does not usually make use of eggs or dairy products, it is almost always suitable for vegans. People with allergies will have difficulty in Hong Kong, as awareness of common allergies is poor. Gluten-free diets in particular are very hard to come by as coeliac disease is very rare in Hong Kong, and much of Hong Kong's local cuisine makes heavy use of soy sauce.
Dairy is somewhat more common in Hong Kong than in mainland China due to the stronger British influence, but nevertheless does not feature very prominently in traditional Cantonese cuisine, so lactose-intolerant people should not have any major issues finding something suitable for them. As with the rest of China, tea is a popular beverage in Hong Kong, and is served at practically every eatery. Chinese teas are the most commonly served, though many places also serve English-style milk tea.
In summer 'Ice Lemon Tea' is a common option that is rather bitter and needs some sugar to counter this. Some Chinese people do drink a lot but generally speaking there are many neighbourhoods in Hong Kong without much in the way of a bar or pub. Drinking alcohol with food is acceptable, but there is no expectation to order alcohol with your meal in any restaurant. A number of popular restaurants do not sell alcohol because of a licence restriction.
Lan Kwai Fong Central , Wanchai and Knutsford Terrace Kowloon are the three main drinking areas where locals, expats and tourists mingle together. Here you will certainly find a party atmosphere, and can expect to see many 'merry' expats in these areas. LKF and Wan Chai are particularly rowdy yet fun places to party.
The minimum age for drinking in a bar is 18 years. There is usually a requirement for young adults to prove their age, especially when going to a nightclub. Photocopies are rarely accepted due to minors using fake documents. Some clubs in Lan Kwai Fong have imposed a dress code on customers and tourists are of no exception. As a general rule, shorts or pants that are above knee length should be avoided. Drinking out in Hong Kong can be expensive. However, away from the tourist trail, some Chinese restaurants may have a beer promotion aimed at meeting the needs of groups of diners.
In cooked food centres, usually found at the wet markets, young women are often employed to promote a particular brand of beer. Convenience stores and supermarkets sell a reasonable range of drinks. The 7-Eleven in Lan Kwai Fong is a very popular 'bar' for party-animals on a budget.
During Wednesdays and Thursdays Ladies night applies in some bars in Wan Chai and Lan Kwai Fong , which in most cases means that women can enter bars and clubs for free, and in some rare cases also get their drinks paid for the night. At weekends, several bars and clubs in these areas also have an 'open bar' for some of the night, which means you can drink as much as you like. There is no longer any tax on wine or beer in Hong Kong. With more than 50, rooms available, Hong Kong offers a huge choice of accommodation from cheap digs to super luxury.
However, budget travellers who are spoiled by cheap prices in the rest of Asia are often shocked that the accommodation cost in Hong Kong is closer to that of London and New York. Expect a tiny, undecorated room with just enough room for a bed. Bathrooms are often shared and noise could be a problem for light sleepers. Be sure to read the online reviews before booking as bed bugs, dirty beds, and unclean bathrooms have been reported.
Keep your expectations as realistically low as possible. While these towers are regarded as slums by the locals, if you ignore the fake watch sellers and disturbing pimps, the towers are well-patrolled and safe. Another cluster of hostels and guesthouses can be found on Paterson Street near Causeway Bay.
While not as central as the mansions, the internet connections are more reliable and the rooms are generally clean. However, they are still small and cramped. Do not expect a great atmosphere or spacious rooms. Notice that some drab "guesthouses", especially those in Kowloon Tong, Mong Kok, and Causeway Bay, may actually be love hotels. Free shuttle bus service is provided by several hostels but the service stops at PM.
The government advises travellers to stay in hostels with licences, this website may help you a lot: The Office of Licensing Authority maintains an online list of licensed accommodation establishments. There are 41 camping sites in Hong Kong. The facilities are on a "first-come-first-served" basis and places are booked quickly during weekends and public holidays.
You are not allowed to camp other than in a designated camp site identified by the sign board erected by the Country and Marine Parks Authority and this rule is strictly enforced. If the mansions and hostels are too cramped for you, Hong Kong is a good place to spend a bit extra and get a proper hotel room.
For affluent travellers, Hong Kong houses some of the best world class hotels that run a fierce competition for your wallets by offering pick-up service by helicopter, a Michelin star restaurant, and extravagant spas. Major international chains are also well-represented. There are also some four star hotels such as Marriott, Novotel, and Crowne Plaza. Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in Asia, with a large high density population with diverse socio-economic backgrounds managed very effectively. Since June , there have been violent confrontations between anti-government protesters , pro-China counter-protesters and police.
The protests began in opposition to an extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government that would allow Hong Kong authorities to detain and extradite people who are wanted in mainland China. Although the government withdrew the bill on 4 Sep , protesters continue to demand an independent inquiry on police brutality, the release of arrested protesters, a retraction of the official characterisation of the protests as "riots", and universal suffrage for the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive.
The protests have spread to Hong Kong International Airport and led to many cancellations for two days in mid-August, and 16 flights being cancelled on 1 Sep. Attacks have occurred against two mainland Chinese men, including a Chinese journalist, at protests. Protesters have blocked off streets and disrupted MTR operations, leading to significant delays for commuters. If travelling to Hong Kong, follow the news and updates from authorities so you can avoid affected areas. The local government has established a portal to keep travellers up to date.
Protests mainly occur at the weekend but can also happen on weekdays.