Okay sorry to be a dumdum. Let me see if I've got this straight...
1. Traveler's checks suck. Don't use them for purchases. Go exchange them at a bank. This bank will charge me a commission for exchanging them, which is ... around how much? Do it in large amounts also to avoid commission fees.
2. Would it be better for me to just leave my traveler's check money in my bank and use my Bank of America checkcard (debit) at an ATM? Haha, stupid question, but I'm also assuming exchange rates differ depending on where I draw the money from, be it hotel, ATM, or the local peddler down the street. ATM is the best choice for this right? And something about international fees? I am assuming on top of the exchange rate (is that even an added fee?), fee for money withdrawal, and international fee, since its a checkcard and has no interest, thats all the fees I'll be paying right? Sounds confusing. I also have a Visa card, not with me right now, that isn't activated that I got from my bank. It is supposedly 0% interest, although I don't really know too much about it. This card would incur all the fees listed above for my checkcard as well as cash advance fees? What is that. I'm clueless with money.
3. As far as when and where to use cash and credit, I am getting some conflicting things. I am safe with HKD cash for most things, but I should make larger purchases with my debit or credit card. Something about the hotel ripping me off if I used credit card? Don't trust people who make carbon copies with my credit card. Also, using any debit or credit card for any place like starbucks would mean interest + exchange rate + international fees? This is confusing, someone please clarify.
4. Copy my passport a few times. Buy SIM cards from local phone store and not from 7-11. What about SIM cards from vending machines? Also, bring mace for those dangerous situations.
5. Oh, and I have another question. I need to go read up on it somewhere, but just in case. I have a passport and my pops went to some Chinese consulate in Houston, TX to go do something with it to allow me to travel to Hong Kong. Now, as I am use to him being not that bright, I need to cover my bases and see if there is anything missing. I am in college right now and can't see what he did or what papers were filed. Dundun here. So, in layman terms, I have right now: passport + some random china consulate stuff. What could that stuff be and do I need anything else to go to Hong Kong without any problems with paperwork?
6. My main language is English. I can understand basic Cantonese although when it comes to names, places, and slightly more technical crap, I am also clueless. I can also speak kindergarten grade Cantonese, which means not much at all. How widespread is English knowhow among the Hong Kong shops, tourist traps, hotels, etc.? I've also just seen TVB's Revolving Doors of Vengeance but I am taking what they show with a big grain of salt. Would it be better for me to just use English only? Or base it on the situation to see how fluent the second party is in English? Since I suck at Cantonese I would probably prefer to use only English. As to not sound like an idiot. Although I am assuming that no matter which language I try to speak, I will sound like a foreigner or an ABC and they will jack up the prices accordingly.
Yeah sorry for all the questions. I hope some of them can be answered clearly. Have a nice day.