Cultural FAQ
What's the weather like?
October to early December: Autumn. Expect temperatures to be around 20oC / 68oF, with clear sunny skies and low humidity. You can get away with wearing shorts.
Mid-December to February: Winter. Temperature can start under 10oC / 50oF to around 17oC / 62oF by the end of the day. This time of the year has the lowest humidity. You will definitely need warm clothing.
March to April: Spring. Temperatures range from 21oC / 70oF and 25oC / 77oF with humidity levels reaching 80%. Definitely shorts weather.
May to September: Summer. Temperatures range from 26oC / 79oF and 31oC / 87oF and humidity will be near 95%. This is typhoon season and sometimes one or two severe typhoons can hit Hong Kong each year.

Can I drink alcohol in public?
Alcohol can be consumed publicly. There is no law against it but there are areas where it is discouraged due to safety reasons like around swimming pools. You only need to be 18 years old to drink in Hong Kong.

When boarding elevators, why does everyone queue on the right?
The right side of the escalators are reserved for standing while the left side is for walking. Usually when waiting to board the escalator, a majority of the people will congregate on the right side because they do not wish to walk up the stairs.
Pro-Tip: Move to the left where there are fewer people so you can board the escalater quicker, walk up several steps until you find a gap on the right and slide in. See more HK travel tips!

Why are there cartoons everywhere in the MTR?
To get children to learn social etiquette, HK, and many Asian countries in general, use a lot of cartoons to teach social rules and etiquette. Cartoons are also more subtle, friendly, and acceptable ways of presenting the rules without being so cold and combative.

What can I do with this Octopus card?
Octopus cards can be used to pay for things at Circle K, 7-Eleven, Wellcome (grocery store), bus rides, tram rides, some restaurants like Tsui Wah, and of course, the subway. If your credits run low, you can always top-up in increments of 50HKD at your local Circle K and 7-Eleven.

What's with the masks?
When sick, people wear face masks to help prevent the spread of airborne infections.

How much can I haggle at Ladies Market?
General rule, don't be worried about walking away if you don't get the price you want. Imagine how much you'd normally pay for the item if you were shopping on eBay and then offer that amount.
Pro-Tip: It's not uncommong for vendors to start off quite high and I've seen them come down to 20%-25% of their starting price. Don't know what the Ladies Market is? Check it out here!

Why are there so many monks?
It's unfortunate but many of the "monks" you see are fake. You know those panhandlers you see in the US by the freeway and on the street corner? These "monks" are pretty much the same except they're able to thrive because many tourists donate as part of their vacation experience.

Yikes, what other scams should we be looking out for?
In the past year many $1000 HKD bank notes were found to be fake so many stores no longer carry them out of fear that they may be fake. If someone asks you to break change for a $1000 HKD bank note, don't do it.

If someone approaches you to be a model and wants to recruit you for a new modeling project, be wary. Some scammers have been requiring upfront beauty packages and photoshoots so the target's headshot can be submitted for the modeling job. Unfortunately, there really is no modeling project.

When buying electronics, make sure the product is demo'd properly and get a receipt. We have purchased monitors, heaters, and USB drives where the product inside the box did not match the product on the box and the box was "sealed". When it comes to cell phones, it's quite easy to buy the exterior cases of the latest model phones so sometimes you will find them marketed as new phones but they only hold outdated hardware internally. Another scam is USB drives. We've had friends buy USB drives from small stores only to find the actual drive is significantly smaller than the advertised storage space because a file in the drive mimics a larger drive space. In general, to minimize your chances of getting ripped off, try not to buy expensive electronics from the street vendors.

Don't lend your phone to strangers if they need to make a call and make sure you put activate the lock screen on the device to safeguard your personal information should it ever be lost or stolen. See more HK travel tips!

Jeez, well is Hong Kong safe?
Hong Kong is actually VERY SAFE. Guns are illegal in Hong Kong and often times you will still see younger teenagers returning home at 11pm or later. The crime rate in Hong Kong is also quite low so while we have mentioned a handful of scams, it's best that you be informed of them just in case you find yourself being targeted. Again, in general, Hong Kong is very safe and I personally have gone out for walks at all hours of the night.