Hong Kong is also home to a significant number of people hailing from Australia, Europe, Japan and North America, making it a truly international metropolis. The people of Hong Kong are somewhat reserved, but very friendly, especially to children. A few words of Cantonese learned will ingratiate you further. What the traveler will notice is the sheer volume of people and their density. Whilst Mong Kok is seen as the indicator of the worst of this, even in the other areas of Kowloon, you will still struggle for personal space. Whilst bumping into people (accidentally of course) is very common, it isn't considered particularly bad manners and you are unlikely to upset the locals, especially if you give a short apology.

Cantonese and English are both official languages of Hong Kong. Historically, English was the sole official language of Hong Kong from 1883 to 1974. Only after demonstrations and petitions from Hong Kong people demanding equal status for Chinese did Chinese become the other official language in Hong Kong from 1974 onward.

According to official statistics for the year 2010, about 50% of the utter population belongs to organized religions, specifically there are: 1.5 million Hong Kong Buddhists, 1 million Taoists, 480,000 Protestants, 353,000 Catholics, 220,000 Muslims, 40,000 Hindus, 10,000 Sikhs, and other smaller communities. A significant amount of the adherents of non-indigenous Chinese religions, in some cases the majority, are Hong Kong people of non-Chinese descent.

Shake hands with everyone upon meeting them. It is polite to inquire after a person’s health after meeting them. Use the proper address when speaking to people (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.). Hong Kong natives are not comfortable with causal body contact, so avoid pats on the back or touching someone to get their attention. Never point with your index finger- this is only used for animals, point with your hand open. To get someone’s attention, extend your arm, palm down and make a scratching motion with your fingers.

Cuisine plays an important part in many peoples' lives in Hong Kong. Not only is it a showcase of Chinese cuisines with huge regional varieties, but there are also excellent Asian and Western choices. Although Western food is often adapted to local tastes, it is a good place for homesick travelers who have had enough of Chinese food. If you can afford it, you can also find some Western restaurants that are featured in the Michelin guide to Hong Kong. Magazines for local gourmets are published every week and the Michelin Guide for Hong Kong has been published since 2008. According to Restaurant magazine in 2010, four of the best 100 restaurants in the world are in Hong Kong. A long queue can be a local sport outside many good restaurants during peak hours. Normally, you need to register first, get a ticket and wait for empty seats. Reservations are usually only an option in upmarket restaurants.

Sign up for Special Offerings

Receive the latest news, announcements, special offers, and more on Grand European Travel vacations! Simply fill in the form below and submit to be added to our mailing list.