It’s important to observe cultural practices when travelling abroad. Whether its the double cheek kiss in Italy or the encyclopedic knowledge of hockey in Canada, you can get caught in an uncomfortable situation pretty quickly if you aren’t prepared to adjust your view of what is normal. I spoke with FlightHub, an online travel agency based in North America, to figure out what westerners should be prepared for in Hong Kong in regards to cultural practices.
-Move efficiently: Hong Kong can be very crowded and it is looked down upon to contribute to gridlock. This doesn’t mean you should become a human battering ram, just don’t be part of the congestion problem. FlightHub’s review also mentions to be careful if moving in a group as it is easy for people to get lost in the rush hour shuffle.
-Speak softly: Yelling, screaming, hooting, and hollering should not be part of your day-to-day communication. Speak calmly, quietly, and softly to avoid rousing any hard feelings.
-Haggle: There is room for negotiation in prices. Just don’t try to rip anyone off because that’s a definite no-no. Advice, start by offering to pay a third of the price, this will get you to a somewhat neutral price point by the time the deal is done.
Smoke: Smoking isn’t illegal, but it sure is regulated according to FlightHub. There are designated smoking areas in Hong Kong that must be respected. Another thing, don’t be tossing your finished cigarettes on the ground, that can get you in serious trouble.
Litter: To the previous point, littering is also extremely frowned upon in Hong Kong. It can get you in serious trouble. Hong Kong prides itself on its cleanliness, so you need to observe this rule.
Spit: Another big time no-no is spitting. Spitting is not only kinda gross, but is a very good way to get a hefty fine. This rule came into effect after the SARS outbreak in 2003
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