In preparing for the upcoming business delegation to Hong Kong and connecting with the expat community with a number of events during the mission, I came across this handy Expat Guide to Hong Kong.
With a population of more than 7 million in an area of just 1,100 square kms, Hong Kong is truly one of the world’s greatest cities. It presents a unique entwining of western and Asian culture, a global financial centre and the world’s gateway to China.
It is quite easy to get around Hong Kong by walking, albeit the sidewalks can be a bit uneven, taking low cost taxis or using the MTR subway network.
There is a large and thriving expat community with 38,000 British, 17,000 Americans, 16,000 Australians and 14,000 Japanese among the 500,000-strong foreign population in Hong Kong. This guide for expats provides some interesting reading on the history and facts, demography and weather, culture and etiquette.
The ten things that make Hong Kong awesome sections of the guide include:
- The airport – one of the best and the 7th busiest in the world, handling over 53 million passengers a year
- The skyline – over 1,251 skyscrapers including the must see International Finance Centre (IFC)
- Safety – if there’s one place in the world to go and feel absolutely secure, it’s Hong Kong
- The food – 15,000 restaurants ranging from Michelin star-rated, to tiny roadside stalls with cuisines and world-class chefs from around the globe
- The nightlife – Lan Kwai Fong is Hong Kong’s primary nightlife destination, over 100 bars, shops, and restaurants on small cobblestone roads.
Social and business etiquette tips
- The concept of ‘face’ – reflects a person’s reputation, dignity, and prestige
- Social and professional hierarchy – is very important
- Personal relationships – a vital part of many businesses and taking a long term view
- Used two hands – when presenting or receiving a business card or any sort of gift
- When dining – wait for the host to begin eating, leave some food in your bowl when finished, and place your chopsticks in rest or on the table.
There are many different shopping districts in Hong Kong depending if you are looking for from upscale, high-end shopping to traditional Eastern street markets
- Hong Kong Island – home to the majority of the luxury shopping districts including Causeway Bay and Central
- SoHo – (south of Hollywood Road) is home to many upscale and independent boutiques
- Kowloon – has many traditional street markets, such as Temple Street Night Market, or the Ladies Market in Mong Kok.
For a more laid-back shopping experience, take a bus outside the city centre from Central to Stanley Markets next to a relaxing stretch of the coastline.
The most popular sightseeing locations are Victoria Peak, and the edge of Victoria Harbour at Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.
Lantau Island is home to one of Hong Kong’s most famous attractions – the Tian Tin Buddha statue, “Big Buddha”, located at the Po Lin Monastery.
Every night at 8pm, the city’s most prominent buildings perform in a light show called A Symphony of Lights, which is best viewed from the edge of the Harbour at Tsim Sha Tsui.
For more sight seeing and things to do check out Discover Hong Kong here.