3All the Gear, No Idea

Lycra will not save you when you’re sliding down the side of Sharp Peak. Ever noticed a local casually wandering up beside you on a hike, as if out of nowhere, decked out in jeans and a t-shirt? For locals – that’s the hiking uniform. Anything else is a laugh. 


Locals manage to look after their home, their children and meals just fine in Hong Kong. Expats? They need a helper for the kids, the meals, the cleaning, the errands, the emails, the dogs, the restaurant bookings… next they’ll be heading to their yoga classes for them. 


If a sign says fixed price, it means fixed price. If you’re in a taxi, it’s a set rate. Locals can’t stand expats that think just because they are in Hong Kong, they can get everything for a better price. They “cannot.”

6Sweet & Sour Pork

Expats don’t tend to be too adventurous when it comes to dining in Hong Kong. They’ll often stick to the basics on the menu, and then turn their nose up at dishes like chicken’s feet. It’s actually quite offensive to look noticeably disgusted at certain dishes being served in restaurants. As an expat, it might not be to your liking… but remember, you are living in Hong Kong. 

7Please Sir…

Well-dressed expats sitting on the side of the road with signs, begging for money for a plane ticket home. Meanwhile, an old local lady pushes along a cart full of cardboard boxes, doing what she has to to make a living. Think about that. 

8Cannot Cantonese

Expats who have lived in Hong Kong for 20 years, but have not learned an ounce of Cantonese. Sure, you can manage without it, but come on. Not an ounce? That’ll trigger an eye twitch in locals.

9Turn it Down

Following on from the previous point about not knowing Cantonese. Repeating the same thing in English, even louder will not help locals understand you. It just frustrates them. 

10All by myself…

In Hong Kong, most meals are made to share. Locals encourage family getting together to enjoy good food (including chicken’s feet). An expat rocking up to eat for one looks downright sad to locals. 

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