Hong Kong Do’s and Dont’s

If you are planning to go to Hong Kong, you must know first the dos and don’ts in the country. This is so you can get used to your new environment and be able to manage your expectation. Although Hong Kong is an Asian country and some of the cultures you have learned in the Philippines are not new, there will be changes and you need to prepare yourself for those.

Also Read: How Safe is Hong Kong?

Many OFWs plan to work abroad. While Hong Kong is one of the alternatives, you still need to be willing to learn the culture of people there so that by the time you arrive in the city, you would know what to do exactly. You won’t get lost when greeting people. You won’t feel ignorant when eating out. You will know when to invite your friends to a party. There will be more things to do comfortably if you know what to do and what not to do.

Let us share with you some insights on what you can avoid and what you can freely do once you are in Hong Kong. May this serve as your guide while you are planning and preparing for your journey abroad.

dos and donts in hong kong

How to Behave in Hong Kong

Your behavior in Hong Kong is important, especially if it’s your first time being here. Hong Kong is a place where a lot of expats are working and living. You will need to learn its culture and laws so you can blend in. Behaving well in Hong Kong is also a sign that you are respecting the place and its people. The question now is, how do you behave in Hong Kong? There are dos and don’ts that you need to follow. Here are they.

Do’s in HK

There are basic things that you need to remember when you are in Hong Kong. Generally, Hong Kongers are hospitable, like in the Philippines. So, expect that you will be welcomed by its residents. Basically, here are the dos you need to remember.

  • Do accept Hong Kongers hospitability. They tend to be hospitable even to strangers. Appreciate their kindness and reciprocate if you can.
  • Do accept Hong Kongers compliments humbly. Try to reciprocate their compliments as well. It’s common for Hong Kongers to deny compliments but it’s their way to be humble.
  • Do watch yourself out when speaking about China.
  • Do show respect to those older than you. Hong Kongers put emphasis on elders to show their respect.
  • Do accept Hong Kongers’ way of engaging in a conversation. They tend to interrupt during conversations.
  • Do make an effort to keep the conversation balanced.

There are also dos in terms of etiquettes. Knowing these gestures will help you understand more about Hong Kong’s culture. Also, this will help you eliminate misunderstandings between you and a Hong Konger when engaged in a conversation.

  • When receiving and giving gifts, make sure to use both hands.
  • Serve others before yourself.
  • Spitting, burping, and other related actions may not be acceptable since they are considered rude.
  • When calling waiters and waitresses, Hong Kongers tend to wave their hands with a curt yell. This is a fashionable way to call in waiters and waitresses.
  • Taste everything that is served to send appreciation to the cook.
  • Call your host in advance when you are invited to a party.
  • Bring small gifts when attending a party.
  • Help others to fill their glasses when you see that they need some refill.

Of course, don’t forget about the rules and regulations in Hong Kong. This will save you from a lot of trouble. For example, always do follow traffic rules and bring your IDs for your identification.

Dont’s in HK

If there are dos, there are also don’ts. These “don’ts” are the things you need to avoid to save yourself from problems later on. Here are the things to avoid when in Hong Kong.

  • Don’t give direct criticism to a Hong Konger, his business, or his family. This will leave him embarrassed.
  • Don’t show strong emotions when you are angry.
  • Avoid presuming Hong Kong-China relationship. If anything is unclear from you, don’t refer Hong Kong as China.
  • Don’t presume that Hong Kong has the same culture as China. Although there are similarities, China and Hong Kong are different countries.
  • Don’t correct a Hong Konger as to his identity, whether a Chinese or Hong Konger. Don’t be insensitive and let them tell you their preferred nationality.
  • Don’t interrupt when in a conversation. This is a good practice.

Those are the basic don’ts you need to remember. There are also other things to avoid in terms of etiquette. Here are they:

  • Don’t serve yourself first when eating with other people.
  • Don’t eat the last of anything left on the plate.
  • Don’t burp or spit anywhere. Although there are no legal rules about these behaviors, they are considered rude and Hong Kongers might see you as disrespectful.
  • Don’t talk a lot when you are eating.
  • Don’t give gifts that add up to 4. This is means death for them.
  • Don’t give sharp objects, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, green hats, and clocks as gifts. Instead, look for sweets, fruits, and alcoholic beverages when giving gifts to anyone in Hong Kong.

Those don’ts are common as not to offend any Hong Konger when you bumped into them. Remember these don’ts and try to avoid doing them as much as you can.

Tips before going to Hong Kong

When going to Hong Kong, make sure that you did your assignment, which is researching about the country, its laws, and culture. Ensure that you are loaded with enough information before going to this country. Although you haven’t experienced being in Hong Kong, it’s important that you know it by writing. You can learn other things as you explore its environment. And, oh, don’t forget to tell your family and friends about your discoveries. This will help them be aware of what to expect in case they also plan in going to Hong Kong in the future.

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