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Kowloon Travel Tips – with Wired Destinations
Kowloon General Facts
Kowloon, “Nine Dragons” in Cantonese, lacks the towering high rises of Hong Kong Island across the harbor, Kowloon and its neighborhood Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok are nevertheless one of Asia's most important business and commercial centers. Kowloon is a densely populated urban area, both with residents and tourists. The districts of most interest to travelers are Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok.
Kowloon refers to the mainland area on the other side of the harbor from Hong Kong Island. It is made up of the Kowloon Peninsula and is located north of Hong Kong Island. The peninsula consists of Kowloon and the New Territories and covers the total area of 47 km2.
Kowloon Telephone – Country and City Code
Standard time zone in Hong Kong is UTC/GMT +8 hours. Hong Kong is eight hours ahead of London and thirteen hours ahead of New York. The difference is reduced by one hour from April to the end of October when daylight saving time is in effect in Europe and the US.
Kowloon Business Hours
Business hours in Hong Kong are from 09:00 – 17:30. Some offices are open on Saturday morning as well. Lunch hour is from 13:00 – 14:00. Banks hours are Mon-Fri from 09:00 – 16:30 and between 09:00 – 12:30 on Saturdays.
With relatively wide temperature range and cool winter in Kowloon, climatologists classify the climate as subtropical. The climate is dominated by monsoons in summer; low pressure to the north brings in warmer air over from the Pacific.
The best time to visit Kowloon is during autumn and winter, which are from October to January. The weather is mostly sunny and comfortable. The rest of the year is damp and quite hot. Summers in Kowloon are humid and with a lot of sunshine.
The coldest month is in February, with an average temperature of about 17°C. July is the hottest month with average temperature of around 31°C. Between February and May, the weather is considered miserable. Fog, frequent cloudiness and rain are to be expected. Monsoon season is from June to September, with high humidity and torrential downpours.
Kowloon Dress Code
Despite the hot and humid climate, Hong Kong's business attire is still very formal: dark suits and ties are worn by men all year round, and women are usually quite conservatively dressed at the office – they rarely wear trousers. Many people work on Saturday mornings, and on this day everyone comes to the office in casual wear. On the whole, Hong Kong locals are very fashionable and well dressed both at work and at play.
Travelers can communicate easily via telephone, fax and Internet. Public phones are available in shops and restaurants. International calls can be made from most telephone booths in town. Internet connections are available in major Kowloon hotels, and many more are being installed in other Hong Kong hotels to cater to the business travelers.
Hong Kong is well known for having the most efficient telecommunication systems. Also it was the first city to offer on-demand television and home-shopping services through telephone lines connected to television screens. The city is also regarded as having the highest usage of mobile phones in the world. Travelers can make international calls from public phone booths as well.
Hong Kong postal service is efficient, with reasonable rates for both local and international mails. Some Kowloon hotels provide their own post and shipping services for travelers.
The voltage in Hong Kong is 200/ 220 volts, 50 cycles. For a place of such international standard, it is surprising that Hong Kong still does not seem to have standardized plug fittings. However, Hong Kong hotels will certainly have adapters to make any appliance work.
English remains the official language in Hong Kong, as well as Cantonese. All street signs are written in English and Chinese. English is widely spoken in the city, as it is the language of business and commerce. Though the majority of locals are more comfortable with Cantonese, it is unlikely to encounter any difficulties when communicating in English.
There is a wide range of medical facilities in Kowloon, many of which provide excellent services and are of international standard. A general health care facility in the center of the city is Kowloon Hospital at Prince Edward Road, Mong Kok (Tel: 852 3129 7111).
Another major acute general hospital in Kowloon is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Park. It has over 13 clinical departments providing high-intensity care for all clinical specialties and is also available for normal check-ups. For more information, call (852) 2958 8428.