In one of our previous blog posts we shared 5 quirks about Hong Kong that you need to know as a first time visitor. Today we are sharing 6 more fun facts about Hong Kong:
1. Sunday is maid’s day
On Sundays there are a lot of Filipina ladies sitting on cardboard boxes. I honestly had no idea what was going on! Dean told me it is all of the Filipina maids who work for families in Hong Kong and they have Sundays off. They sit on the cardboard so they don’t have to sit on the ground. Sunday is their day to go out and socialise. They are in the parks, on the overpass walkways, pretty much anywhere and everywhere! If you walk down to the waterfront in Central you may find them having fashion parades or practicing their dance routines, they seriously know how to have a good time on their day off!
2. Face masks help prevent sickness
Before we moved to Hong Kong, we thought that people wore masks in Hong Kong because they didn’t want to breathe in the pollution. While this may be true for some of the time, a majority of people actually wear masks when they are sick to stop the spread of germs to other people. We actually think it is very courteous and a good idea!
3. No swimming without a lifeguard
People in Hong Kong take water safety very seriously. In apartment complexes, hotels and the beach you can only swim when there is a lifeguard on duty. In our apartment complex they took it to the extreme, they had two lifeguards for a pool which was 1m deep and the pool closed 3 times a day so the lifeguards could take a break. The most irritating thing was that we had to leave the pool every time the lifeguards had a break.
4. Bamboo isn’t just for pandas
You will not find any metal scaffolding around Hong Kong, instead the scaffolding is made of bamboo! Being from Australia we find this very fascinating, but it really does make sense. Bamboo is very strong and difficult to break, as we found out when we looked after the giant pandas in Bifengxia, China (we had to break bamboo every day to feed the pandas and it was very difficult).
5. Don’t eat or drink on the train
The trains in Hong Kong are some of the cleanest we have ever seen in the world. The Hong Kong government enforces a strict no eating or drinking policy. This policy is not just limited to the trains (aka MTR), but also applies in the station once you have passed the barricade. There is a $2000HKD (~$254USD) fine if you are caught eating or drinking in these areas. If you do decide to ignore this, beware of the people in the yellow shirts at the stations who will fine you.
6. BYO bag or pay
We understand back in Australia people are outraged about the supermarkets making you pay for plastic bags. Imagine If they did that in all shops? That’s what they have done in Hong Kong. I personally think it is a great idea as it makes people remember to bring their own bag. So try not to be outraged when you come to Hong Kong and they charge you for your bag – or otherwise bring your own.
We hope that you have found our 6 fun facts about Hong Kong useful. Do you have any other tips to share about Hong Kong? Please share below in the comments.