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10 dumb things Hongkongers get asked all the time

Ok, let's sort this out once and for all

hong kong dumb questions
Time Out Hong Kong
By Time Out Hong Kong |

We’re proud to live in one of the most iconic cities in the world, with a skyline to die for, great restaurants, and heaps of cultural heritage. Unfortunately, Hong Kong’s broad representation in films, TV series, video games, and even novels have given rise to many misconceptions. There’s a standard range of dumb questions we get tired of answering whenever we’re on holiday abroad or chatting to tourists, here are some of the most frustrating ones we've ever heard... (Oh, and if you’re guilty of any of these, don’t worry, we still love you. But still, sort yourself out.)

10 dumb questions people from Hong Kong get asked all the time

Bruce Lee

Do you know kung fu?

Sorry, but that's like asking an American whether or not they all own guns. While it's true that our local film industry's slew of martial arts films have maybe given a false impression that we're all kung fu masters, regrettably, that isn't the case.

Temple Street Pexels
Jimmy Chan

Why does everyone walk so fast?

Why do you walk so slow? We're a fast-paced city and there's a lot that goes on around town each day, so it's all about efficiency for us. Take your leisure strolls to the park, or at least, don't take up the whole pavement, they're narrow enough as it is.

Dim sum
Alland Dharmawan/Shutterstock

Do you eat dim sum every day?

It's true that we love our dim sum here, but no. Well, at least not every day. 

Queues wikicommons
Chong Fat

Why do people love queuing up?

Ok. First of all, no one loves queuing up. Secondly, we don't do it for no reason! Yes, sometimes these lines can be insane, but hey, we're willing to sacrifice a little time if it means we can get our hands on freebies, the occasional killer cheap sale, or a seat at the hottest new restaurant opening.

Hong Kong street food
MosayMay /

Oh yea, about that – why do so many people eat on the street?

A couple of reasons. Hong Kong is small, and not every eatery can afford lavish seatings for people to sit down on. So, some places (ie. street food stalls), simply whip up the food and let you decide where to go and eat. Another reason goes back to our second point. Efficiency. Dining in a restaurant is nice, but from the wise words of Ms Sweet Brown – ain't nobody got time for that.

"Haha yes I do speak English, it's hilarious"

How come you speak English so well?

Is it really that surprising? Hong Kong is an international city, and the English language is taught in most schools. Not to mention, there's a lot of people in Hong Kong who have studied overseas too. Plus, with so many expats and tourists visiting all the time, how can we not? It's the least we can do to make you feel welcomed. *huge smiley grin face with a thumbs up*

chinglish text
JL what's this 'Chinglish' people refer to?

Nei ng sik jau yiu hok ha la. In case it's not obvious enough, Chinglish is basically Cantonese-laced English. Why do we use it? Well, it's something that's very much unique to Hong Kong culture, and to be honest, some things just roll off the tongue easier when it's said in Chinglish:

"Yo, you eat ng eat?"
"Eat mut ah?"
"I want to eat Tam Jai ah"
"Oh, gum ng eat la. I don't want"


Is Hong Kong really dirty?

You can show us pictures of dirty streets and alleyways all you want, but we’re not going to criticise the constant, tireless efforts of our street cleaners. Nor do we want to belittle the existence of rodents. But if you are talking about air pollution, then yes, it can get really bad sometimes. Luckily though, we have plenty of stunning green spaces in Hong Kong that we can escape to.


Why do people force their way onto the train when there's clearly no space?

What do you mean no space? There's always space if you push hard enough. While this question clearly does not apply to current times, what with everyone trying to stay as far away from each other as possible, it's not an unusual scene to see people running across a train platform and then forcing their way in. We don't know why some people do it, it's quite annoying. 

The Peak hong kong

You’re a bit touchy about your city, aren’t you?

There’s plenty to be proud of here. We love Hong Kong fiercely, and we insist others should love it just as much.

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