Hong Kong: Where to exchange $$

Old Nov 13th, 2005, 05:52 PM
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Hong Kong: Where to exchange $$

I will be leaving for Hong Kong in one week, and just need to know what basics.

Where should I go to exchange money for the best rates?

Plus, if there is any good suggestions for three guys in their mid 20's, that would be great.
shootingst8r is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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i always use atm's to get money...there will nowever be exchanges at the airport, in your hotel, in local banks and also money changers...

i find the atm gives as good an exchange rate as anyplace
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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Like rhkkmk says, ATM is your best bet. If you don't have an ATM card, or if you need to get more money than your card allows, I'd recommend going to a local bank. Should have better rates than those exchange bureaus at the airport or in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Several banks have branches at the airport too.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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I am also leaving for Hong Kong in one week!!! I am so excited. I don't have any answers for you, just wanted to convey my excitement. Thanks. Have a wonderful trip. Maybe I will see you there! haha
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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I don't know where is best but I can tell you that Thomas Cook as the Airport offered terrible rates.

Someone I travelled to HK with about 10 years ago had their passport stolen whilst visiting a money exchanger in Causeway Bay - since then I've stuck with the hotels (for emergencies), or used the ATM. I;'ve found a lot of banks will accept photocopies of passports as proof of ID.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 05:58 PM
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The exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Hong Kong Dollar is a linked rate and it trades in a very narrow band of less than a penny and so does not fluctuate each day like other currencies, so the difference in exchange rates you see is the mark-up charged by the various money changers. That being said, I agree that ATMs are generally better as they don't charge the same mark-up that the commercial money changers do. However, first check with your bank to make sure they won't add on charges for withdrawals in foreign currency, if they do, figure this into the cost of each exchange. Some banks charge US$2.50 or more per withdrawal. ATMs are all over Hong Kong and are easy to use, so the convenience may be worth the cost. I agree that the money changers at the airport are probably the most expensive, however from what I see it is harder to find money changers on the streets these days as more people use ATMs. Hotels are probably the second worst. There are money changers in the Causeway Bay area and some along Nathan Road. Some banks will also exchange foreign currency for you as well.

As for what to do, I assume you are talking about night life. For 20 somethings, I would recommend Lan Kwai Fong. Lots of bars and restaurants, mostly younger people, mix of expats and locals. Get in a taxi and tell him "Lan Kwai Fong", he will take you to either the top of D'Agiullar Road or the intersection of D'Agiular and Wellington Street. Get out and look around. (If you are at the corner of D'Aguilar and Wellington, turn left and walk up D'Aguilar about 25 feet.) There are about 40 bars here in a square block, all spilling out into the street. It's like a frat party only you have to pay for the beer. Take your pick. Lively most nights, esp Thursdays through Saturdays. You can also get to this area by taking the MTR to the Central Station and walking a block or two, I believe signs even say 'Lan Kwai Fong.

Another area is the Lockhart Road area in Wan Chai, slightly more sleaze factor although this is changing a bit. The bars start at about Fenwick Street and continue for 4-5 blocks.

A final area is "SoHo" area which stands for south of Hollywood Road, a large area around Staunton Street, Peel Street, Elgin Street, and underneath the escalator and around Wellington Street (some of this is below Hollywood Road). This area is more restaurants, but there are some bars, there are some pubs esp underneath the escalator near Wellington and Hollywood Road.

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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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MTR to Lan Kwai Fong:

At Central Station, take exit D2. [All exits are labelled.] Once you climb all the stairs to the street level, you'll be in an alley. Don't worry, it's a very safe alley with heavy traffic. Turn right, then turn left onto Theater Lane (a wider alley). Cross Queen's Road Central, and then walk straight up D'Aguilar St. You won't miss the bars two blocks up the street.

Back to the money business. Don't overlook the regular banks for exchanging money. Hong Kong Bank, Standard Chartered, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China, East Asia Bank, etc. Most branches will exchange USD, Euro, Sterling Pounds, etc to Hong Kong dollars. The rate will be much better than the exchange bureaus.
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