The way of life in Hong Kong

The Hong Kongese lifestyle
Updated 2023-01-14 19:58

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. 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 in Hong Kong

There are two official languages in Hong Kong: Chinese (Cantonese) and English. Both languages are taught in schools and universities, although Cantonese remains the main language for everyday exchanges. English is the city's administrative language, prevalently used in business negotiations, trade fairs, etc. Road 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 in Hong Kong

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 Year, Spring Festival, etc., are also celebrated with great enthusiasm in Hong Kong, along with western holidays like Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

The pace of life in Hong Kong

While Hong Kong is rich in professional opportunities and provides 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 in Hong Kong

Celebrations in Hong Kong give a picture of a highly 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 choices: 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 flavors to your home favorites. The city is also a great scene for healthy living, with many salad bars, organic cafes and juice bars.

The city is home to 71 Michelin-starred restaurants and other exciting eateries: from street food to high-class establishments.

Useful links:

Lifestyle Asia

Discover Hong Kong

Hong Kong Michelin Guide 2022

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