8 Things To Know Before Visiting Hong Kong
I love Hong Kong for several things – its mouth-watering cuisine, vibrant character and endless quirks.
It’s also a rather misunderstood city at times, and thus I believe it’s always useful to read up on the quirks and local customs of a country before you plan a visit.
This ensures you get the best possible experience without offending the locals by accident. Here are some things to take note of before you plan a trip to the Pearl of the Orient:
#1 Get used to sharing tables
Hong Kong is a pretty crowded city, which means shop spaces are generally small. Hence, it’s customary to share tables with people you don’t know in teahouses and cafes, in a local practice that’s known as 搭枱 (daap toi) – this helps to minimise costs and cut down on waiting times for customers.
Restaurants are excluded from this practice, but if you’re visiting that cha chaan teng you read about online, then you’d best be prepared to sit alongside a bunch of strangers. You might find it weird at first, but it’s honestly not much of a big deal, since everyone minds their own business anyway.
#2 It’s all about efficiency
When you’re in Hong Kong, you’ll realise how fast-paced it is. People walk fast and talk fast, and everything runs like clockwork. In fact, you’ll ruffle more than a few feathers if you dawdle in Hong Kong – try strolling around an MTR station during rush hour and you’ll know what I mean (if you manage to make it out alive!).
If you’re having a meal at a local tea house, don’t take your time to eat or sit there for hours after you’re done eating, because you will most definitely get yelled at by the waiters for hogging the seat. Go in, order, eat, pay up, and leave.