Most of my Malaysian friends like traveling to Hong Kong, and I wanted to know what fascinates them. Well, I now share in their nostalgic memories a year ago after I booked a flight to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific.
Everything here was excellent, and my stay in Hong Kong was memorable. I, however, learned so many things that they don’t tell you about this country. Here are some of the things that I hope will be useful before setting foot in Hong Kong.
- Staring And Judging Is Part Of Our DNA, and It’s Nothing Personal
Any outfit that is non-oriental will earn you stares in Hong Kong regardless of who you are. Don’t take it personally; they are just a judgy nation, and they do that to everyone. Yes, even the locals that appear in public dressed differently from the Cantonese have gotten acquainted with the stares and the judgy eyes. Let it not baffle you; it’s normal here.
- Octopus Card Guarantees You Cashless Transactions
The Octopus Cards began as a way of paying for all the transport systems but then grew to become a payment method accepted almost everywhere. You read that right, even the hospitals, cinemas, and shopping stores accept this method of payment.
You can get this card at any of the MTR stations at an equivalent of $6.4 and begin your cashless journey while in Hong Kong!
- Museums Are Free On Wednesdays
I made most of my visits to the government museums on Wednesdays to save for the admission costs. Many people utilize this opportunity, and encountering crowded museums is inevitable. Plan your visits earlier enough to avoid the crowd since everyone wants to save on that dime.
- Shops Open And Close Late
You might find a few shorts opening early in Hong Kong, but if you dint want to make that gamble, save it till noon. Most of the boutiques, shops, and even the supermarkets here open late. It’s like there is some pattern with lateness here in Hong Kong since the shops also close late. If you are held up doing something and still want to grab something at the shops, no reason to worry as the shops also close late into the night (i.e., past 8 pm).
- Keep Moving, With Some Pace, Please
If you ever happen to be moving around the MTR, more so during the rush hour, then you will understand what I am saying. The Cantonese are used to the pacy lifestyle, and being knocked down by the shoveling pedestrians is expected here. Again, nothing personal; just keep up with the pace.
- Below 20 Degrees? That’s Cold Enough
I was once surprised to see people in their winter gears just because the temperature had dropped slightly. Its only 18 degrees for heaven’s sake! I later learned that any drop in temperature beyond 20 degrees was cold enough in Hong Kong. Sounds weird, right? Now you know.
- Your Surname Comes First
China is just one of the oriental countries that put surnames first in the name lists. This can be confusing when you are a foreigner, more so when filling out the forms. Not everyone is of the English accent, and the real confusion comes in when you interact with Asians. Take, for instance, Jing Feng Li-my friend’s name. When he first came to the UK, most of us, even me, used to call him Jing, thinking that Jing was his first name. So, it turns out that Jing is the surname, and Feng is not the middle name! Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, now you know.