Close

The Hong Kongese lifestyle

Recommend

Wondering what life is all about in Hong Kong? A mixture of old traditions, modernism and openness to other cultures, it’s a fascinating environment that you will enjoy exploring. Hong Kong is one of China’s special administrative regions, and it has been developing rapidly over the years. However, the city has also managed to preserve its unique cultural heritage: British influence and ancient Chinese traditions and customs are still an inseparable part of its inhabitants' everyday life.

Languages

There are two official languages in Hong Kong, namely Chinese (Cantonese) and English. Both languages are taught in schools and universities, though Cantonese still remains the main language for everyday exchanges. English is the city’s administrative language, prevalently used in business negotiations, trade fairs, etc.. Rroad signs are displayed in both languages for better understanding. Mandarin is also becoming popular in the region, but it is not spoken and understood by the majority of the population.

Even if you don’t speak any Cantonese, you should have no problem getting around the city, asking for directions, working in an office, and even going to a hospital, as most residents have at least a conversational knowledge of English.

Culture

Hong Kong's culture mainly relies on Chinese traditions. However, trends have been evolving over the years. Therefore, ancient traditions and customs have left room for development and modernism. For instance, shopping malls, skyscrapers, etc., are being built almost everywhere in the region.

On the other hand, traditional festivals such as the Chinese New YearSpring Festival, etc., are also celebrated with great enthusiasm in Hong Kong along with western holidays like Valentine's DayEasterHalloween and Christmas.

Pace of life

While Hong Kong is rich in professional opportunities and providing better living standards to its inhabitants, you should know that life in this region is rather different from what you are used to, especially if you come from a European country. In fact, the city is well-known for its fast pace of life and obsession with overtime work. You should definitely expect to spend more time at the office than what is mentioned in your employment contract. Occasionally, working on the weekends may be required — this is considered common practice in the city and usually does not come with overtime pay, bonuses or rewards.

Food and consumption

Celebrations in Hong Kong give a picture of a high consumer society, although many middle-class families still have a humble lifestyle. With that said, food is one of the key aspects of the city’s everyday life. After-work beer, dinners, lunches with colleagues and takeaways will become an inherent part of your Hong Kong experience. When it comes to food selection, you will have a dizzying array of choice: from the fresh and light Cantonese cuisine to an abundance of western dishes and from ostentatiously posh hotel restaurants to simple street snack stalls.

You are sure to find most of what you need in the city’s supermarkets: from local flavours to your home favourites. The city is also a great scene for healthy living with many salad bars, organic cafes and juice bars.

 Useful links:

Lifestyle Asia
Discover Hong Kong

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
Recommend
expat.com Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
Write a comment

See also

Besides shopping, walks and cultural events, there are several other ways to keep yourself busy in Hong Kong; namely, sports activities.
Hong Kong has a very developed telecommunications system whereby you will have no trouble in making phone calls and accessing to Internet.
Relocating to Hong Kong requires appropriate planning. It is better to hire removal experts who will take care of all related formalities on your behalf.

Expatriate health insurance in Hong Kong

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Hong Kong

Moving to Hong Kong

Find tips from professionals about moving to Hong Kong

International Wealth Management

Get advice from well-reputed and experienced international wealth managers regarding your financial affairs

Travel insurance in Hong Kong

Enjoy stress-free travel to Hong Kong