Welcome Crew Resources
Resources
We've pulled together a bunch of resources like travel tips and cultural frequently asked questions for the area. We've also aggregated the contact information for nearly 2,000 restaurants, businesses, hotels, and foreign consulate offices and put it all on our Welcome Crew phones. For Welcome Crew guests, we've made a majority of those resources available below and online in a mobile friendly format here.

FAQ
What's the weather like?
October to early December: Autumn
Temperatures around 20C / 68F, with clear sunny skies and low humidity. Good shorts or light pants weather.
Mid-December to February: Winter
Temperature can start under 10C / 50F to around 17C / 62F 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 21C / 70F and 25C / 77oF with humidity levels reaching 80%. Definitely shorts weather.
May to September: Summer
Temperatures range from 26C / 79F and 31C / 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 escalators, 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.


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?
In Hong Kong, people like to celebrate Halloween all year around. Actually, not really. When sick, the locals wear face masks to help prevent the spread of airborne infections. But back to the Halloween thing, Halloween is AWESOME in Hong Kong.


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.


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.



Tips on
Tips on getting around.
As a pedestrian, look up. If you're new to a big city, there's an aspect of Hong Kong that never ceases to surprise people and that is the population density. When walking around, be sure to look up. Sure you've seen all the tall buildings where people are living but you should also remember that there are businesses, cafes, lounges, and restaurants that pack into these tall buildings.

If you're going to take a taxi, make sure you get into the right one. Only some of them go across the harbor and you can tell by their sign on the dash.

When paying your fare in a taxi it's good practice to get a receipt. Also, watch for any dishonest behavior about adding fees at the end or any arbitrary charges the driver may introduce. Passengers are responsible for poll fees that the taxi incurs while going through tunnels and $5HKD per bag for luggage in the trunk is normal. Should you encounter any difficulties or have a complaint about a taxi driver, the HK government has setup an official complaint form here.

+ Scam Alert: When exiting a taxi, make sure the taxi window is fully shut before shutting the door or exit through a door where the window is fully shut. In mid 2014, there was a growing scam that involved taxi windows breaking upon being shut with a window lowered a few inches. The taxi drivers then demand as much as $2000 HKD ($258 USD) for the damage.

In the MTR subway station, have your Octopus card ready so you can quickly pass the turnstile. It's also a good idea to take off your backpack and carry it by the handle so it's easier to move around on the train car and also so you won't expose your bag to thieves.
Get a Pac-Safe bag. Their bags made with ExoMesh are perfect for traveling and have a steel wire mesh built into the fabric to prevent loss from having your bag fabric slashed with a razor. Check out the other security features here.

When boarding, wait for people to exit before boarding. It will make the boarding process a lot easier. Also, if you are on a full train and near the door, exit and immediately stand to the side to let others behind you exit. This will get you out of the way of traffic and you will be the first to board once people have exited. This is A LOT easier than just standing in one place while everyone tries to scooch by you.

In general, on the escalators, stand on the right and walk on the left.


Tips on dining.
There are a few general things you should know about dining in Hong Kong.
+ Make sure you bring your own paper tissues
+ When Chinese cooks cut up chicken they DO. NOT. CARE. about shards of broken bone they create.   E A T     S L O W L Y.
+ Sometimes, you may to have to share a table with some strangers. Yeah, it's awkward at first but you get used to it.
+ You'll RARELY ever get ice water unless you're at a fancier restaurant. Get used to drinking hot tea while you're in town.
+ If you're allergic to shrimp then watch out for wonton soup and other dumplings.
+ If you see them around, try the egg tarts, they're pretty dang good.
+ If you're eating somewhere where there are two sets of chopsticks at your side, one set if for grabbing community food, the other set is for eating.
+ If you want the bill at the end of the meal, just say "my dahn" to your waiter or waitress.
+ McDonalds prices in Hong Kong are the cheapest in the world. Chicken McNuggets are pricey for some reason but a fillet of fish costs about $1.40 USD. Go ahead, go bonkers.

Tips on shopping.
For someone who loves to shop, Hong Kong is a glorious place but you should heed the advice below when shopping around.
+ The small kitchy stuff like phone cases, selfie sticks, and just about anything sold on a rolling cart can usually be found cheaper on eBay... shipped to your door... from China.
+ Stores do not charge tax in Hong Kong. This meanst hat big purchases like fancy watches and handbags should be cheaper than the US. You should still do a price check online though since demand has gone up with Mainland Chinese tourists coming down and buying up all the high end products. For international chain stores that adhere to a global price strategy like the Apple store, you can still score a laptop and save yourself at least a $100 USD.
+ If you're shopping around the Mong Kok area or street stalls, feel free to haggle but be prepared to walk away if you don't get the price you want. Often times, the clerk will give in and succumb to your William Shatner-like bargaining skills.
+ Electronics used to be cheaper in Hong Kong but with the power of Amazon and eBay, a lot of the stuff you find can be had cheaper back in the US. Keep this in mind as you shop around.

Tips on clothing.
If you're a guy, one of the neatest things to do is get a custom suit made.
+ In general, most of the clothing found in Hong Kong stores will be cut in an Asian fit. Basically, they're 1-2 sizes smaller than the North American sizes.
+ If you're getting a suit made, be sure to customize it however you want. If you want the buttons on the sleeve to really go through a hole, specify that. We actually have a favorite guy named Don and he's located in Tsim Sha Tsui at 87-105 Chatham Road S. Here's his number: +852 6828 7972. Don does excellent work and he'll give you a bunch of different options for your suit.
+ If you've spent a small fortune on your clothes back home and you're interested in having duplicates made in HK, you're not a lone. It's been a trend for years and was even

The Welcome Crew Hotline
Although our phones have Google Maps, a translation app, and contact information for nearly 2,000 restaurants, businesses, hotels, and foreign consulate offices. Sometimes you just need a litle more help. And because of that, we provide a Hotline to assist in the random questions travelers may have around town. Coming to Hong Kong? Pick up a kit today!