Hong Kong Currency Exchange
Perhaps the best, safest place to change foreign currency in Hong Kong. We used Wing Lung Bank based on a tip in Frommer’s. Since we were staying in Mongkok, we went to the Mongkok branch of Wing Lung. It was practically incorporated into one of the innumerable entrances to the Mongkok MTR station. You can locate other Wing Lung branches HERE.
The location of this branch is a little confusing. From this photo, it looks like you’d enter the bank here but no, you have to go to another entrance, down stairs and find the branch at an underground level. Once we got into the branch, there was a dedicated foreign exchange window and our transaction was entirely transparent. There are several good things about Wing Lung. You don’t have to be concerned that you’ll be ripped off by informal money changer. The transaction is inside the bank and the money can be counted and stowed on your person in the bank’s secure environment. But mainly, they offer a better deal that the big banks such as HSBC. At HSBC, you’ll be charged a $100HKD for each foreign currency exchange. At Wing Lung, the charge is $40HKD — a $7.50USD difference. Obviously, it makes sense to change as much money as you’ll need in one transaction as the fee is the same for $1.00 or $100, 000.
To avoid ATM, debit card and credit card fees on our trip, we just brought funds in U.S. Dollars, clean $100 bills and exchanged them at Wing Lung. We paid a total of $5.00 to change all our money. ONE ATM withdrawal from a U.S. or European bank will certainly exceed that. We are comfortable with this approach in Hong Kong because Hong Kong is safe. If we were staying at a backpacker guest house such as those in Chung King Mansion, we might feel differently.
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