Hong Kong Fun Facts

I think I really should write something about Hong Kong since it is the place where I was born and grew up. Although I am spending a lot of time outside HK, deep down I still consider Hong Kong my home.

Hong Kong is a very unique place which I don’t think there is any city like it in the whole wide world. Some people may consider HK a small version of New York, well, I can see the similarities but in actual fact, they are very different in many ways.

Let me tell you some fun facts about this amazing place which you most probably could not find in other websites. :)

1. Hong Kong people ( I, myself, am one of them) like to distinguish ourselves as ‘Hong Kong Chinese‘ (some people made up the word ‘HongKongnese’ which I personally dislike). You may wonder why, as Hong Kong is part of China and we chinese look all alike (in the eyes of the foreigners most Asians look the same ) and I will tell you the reason behind it.

Due to the historical background of HK (it was a British colony before for 99 years and was returned to China in 1997. With HK being one of the world known financial centers, China did not want to create a drastic change in this city after 1997, so she named HK “SAR” – Special Administrative Region, granting HK a different judicial system (laws are based on the British laws that have been used in HK before 1997 with a few changes), it was commonly known as “One Country Two System”. Chinese residents in all other parts of China require visa for coming into HK and HK residents need to apply for an entry card if they want to go to China.

The official language in China is Mandarin but in Hong Kong we use Cantonese. It is almost impossible for foreigners to learn Cantonese unless they have a real good ear to differentiate the 9 intonations of Cantonese. A slight mispronunciation in words could mean a total different thing. On the other hand, Mandarin has only 4 intonations and with the pinyin method (using English alphabets) it is very easy for foreigners to master the pronunciation. In HK we are using traditional chinese writing whereas in China, simplified chinese writing is used.

For the past years, Hong Kong people grow up learning English as a second language and English is widely used in the city. You can find almost everything, from road signs to menus, all with English translation. We have 2 free local English TV channels and English radio channels as well.

HK enjoys freedom of speech and we can have any kind of world news as well as movies and we can use and browse any websites. (I found out that facebook was not allowed in China when I went to Beijing in April and google didn’t work well in the mainland )

It is also much easier for HK people to travel to other countries in comparison to Mainland Chinese.

However, in contrary to general misconceptions from other mainlanders, HK people are not arrogant and we do not consider ourselves more superior to other mainland chinese, we are simply different in very many ways and we just want people to acknowledge this fact. Having said that, in reality, HK people do love China and everyone will not hesitate to donate for charity funds or work as volunteers when there is the necessity. e.g billions of dollars were raised for the 2008 earthquake in China and many people went into Sichuan province to work as volunteers to help the locals to rebuild the place.

2. Although Hong Kong is a small city, strangely enough, people living in HK island usually tend to hangout in HK side instead of going over to Kowloon peninsula but people living in Kowloon don’t seem to have this kind of behavior. I cannot explain why but I find this quite common among most of the people or friends that I know.

3. HK females (good percentage) love using famous brand names things. Some are willing to spend 1 or two months’ salary on a LV or Chanel handbag.

4. When going on dates, it is kind of a custom that guys will have to take care of all expenses (haha, isn’t that great? ;)) although this seems to be changing nowadays.

5. HK people like to use a lot of English words in their daily lives as well as in their conversations but unfortunately not everyone could pronounce it correctly and at times it does sound really, really terrible and my friends and I used to joke about it. e.g. ‘fax’ are pronounced as ‘fab’ , ‘R’ is pronounced as ‘ah-lo’ , ‘L’ as ‘el-lo’, ‘thank you’ as ‘fan-q’, ‘sorry’ as ‘saw-ly’ etc.

6. Many HK families are spoiled by the ‘live in’ domestic helpers (yes it means maids but domestic helper is SO politically correct 😉 ). There are around 300,000 foreign domestic helpers in HK in which about 50% filipino and the rest thai, indonesian and other nationalities. Every Sunday, you can find large groups of females domestic helpers gathered around in central statue square, causeway bay victoria park and HK cultural centre (kowloon)for picnics. A friend of mine from New York once told me that it came as a shock to him the first time he came to HK, walking out of a 5 star hotel in Central and found him surrounded by thousands of filipino females.

7. Majority of the people in HK are into paparazzi and gossip news, not only on actors, actresses, singers but also on socialites. There are many gossip magazines and the gossip section of the newspaper is usually the same size as world news section if not more.

8. In summer, air-conditioning system is totally being abused. Some of the shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas and offices are found to be 17C – 19C when the outside temperature is 33C. So it is not uncommon that females will bring along a big scarf or jacket with them and most restaurants provide shawls for ladies to use during lunch or dinner in summer time.

9. Never give clocks as present to chinese as the chinese pronunciation of clock is the same as funeral, so giving clock will sound exactly like going to the funeral.

10. Traditional Chinese (actually also Japanese and Korean), men and women alike, usually prefer ‘fair’ (as in white) skin tone because they believe fairness of the skin equals pretty. So they use high SPF skin products and use umbrellas to block off the sun when they go out in summer. The ‘tanning’ population is often the younger or more westernize ones. ( I once try to find the Dior ‘bronze’ skincare line in HK, only to find out that there is only Dior ‘snow’ skincare line available in the city :( )

11. Karaoke is very popular in HK. There are 2 types of karaoke. One is lounge / bar type where you will have to sing in front of other strangers and the individual room type. Karaoke rooms come in various sizes, ranging from 50 sq ft (for 2 person) to 1000 sq ft (party room for 45 people w/ensuite bathroom). There is quite a variety of chinese, english, japanese and korean songs to choose from. Friends and families gathered together to sing, have dinner, have drinks, play dice or drinking games. some of these Karaokes open even for lunch!

Karaoke lounge

karaoke party room


karaoke room

different language songs

12. In HK rents are extremely expensive so there are many small restaurants inside commercial office building or even in private homes. These restaurants usually let you bring your own wines or liquors as some do not have a liquor license to sell alcoholic drinks. The ones in residential homes are usually very small in size and have a fixed menu. They have high food qualities and clients are usually by referral. Reservations may have to be done months ahead.

small private restaurant


small private restaurant





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15 Responses to Hong Kong Fun Facts

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  10. Miles says:

    I would like to point out that..around .130k Domestic helpers from Indonesia…slightly more than Filipino….!

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