These are snippets of what I’ve experienced living in Hong Kong over the past years: from the funny to the weird, and everything in between. I’ll continue to update this post as I come across more strange and wonderful things around the city.
70. Where this anti-smoking ad is more likely to make you laugh than to quit smoking.
69. Where honesty is key.
68. Where you’ll find “Monkey Head” on a menu.
67. When monks wear “spicy” shoes on the MTR.
66. When people have too much money and too little sense, and decide to cover their Porsche in black velvet.
65. When restaurants need to specify that liquor is intoxicating, as opposed to it being..?
64. When these are the things I see on my commute to work in the morning.
63. When the Hong Kong Observatory issues a T8 (strong typhoon warning) without it even raining, and the whole city literally shuts down..
62. When precautions are taken very seriously around a work site..
61. Where people need to be reminded of proper hygiene practices.
60. When it’s 30°C outside and people are wearing a down jacket and Hawaiian shorts.
59. Where this outdoor display is meant to entice you to eat here.
58. Where the elderly take their exercising seriously.
57. Where the world’s most insane beauty products exist.
56. Where people are badass.
55. Where seeing this becomes normal.
54. Where clothes can be incredibly ironic.
53. Where you can purchase a “Mini Portable Toilet”.
52. Where you can find people sleeping at the bottom of stairwells.
51. Where soup exists for your hands.
50. Where department stores display Halloween and Christmas decorations side by side.
49. Where fashion is taken seriously.
48. Where products like this actually exist and famous soccer players actually promote them.
47. When you’re not sure what the marketing strategy is.
46. Where people own incredibly large cellphones.
45. Where you always get a good laugh out of locals wearing English shirts.
44. Where you can find a truckload of bamboo just lying on the street.
43. When fancy port-a-potty’s equipped with carpeted floors, a full length mirror, and a framed picture are rented for the Rugby Sevens.
42. Where drying your entire wardrobe along a public walkway is a thing.
41. When a notice regarding “throwing animal discharge from height” is posted in your apartment building.
40. Where the love of egg tarts is real.
39. Where you’re just not quite sure what to do in some situations (so you just take a photo instead)
38. Where you can wait for the bus in style.
37. Where you have announcements like this in the MTR:
“Please hold onto the handrails and not just look at your mobile phone.”
36. When businesses run out of the back of a van.
35. Where you can get some exercise on the side of the road.
34. Where the food safety and hygiene guidelines are questionable.
33. Where people will queue for hours on end.
32. When a water pipe bursts, construction workers are more concerned with taking a picture of the flooding street than fixing it.
31. Where advertisements sure know how to catch your attention.
30. Where DIY projects consist of sticking oven mitts to the handle bars of motorcycles.
29. Where you can buy wine by the plastic glass in the grocery store.
28. Where this is considered entertainment at a nightclub.
27. Where your choice of local grocery store is based solely upon how much its name makes you laugh.
26. Where public stretching in short shorts and no shirt is serious business.
25. When candy wrappers warn consumers that “children and elderly people should not eat absolutely.”
24. Where you can’t walk more than two blocks without seeing one of these “litter cum recyclables” bins.
23. Where you can find horse figurines, among other oddities, randomly stuck into large rocks.
22. When these are a few words of wisdom imparted on you by a local restaurant owner:
“Don’t go back to Canada. So many animal. So few people. Don’t waste your life.”
*Mr. Wong from Mr. Wong’s, Mong Kok
21. When eating pig skin is considered a delicacy.
20. When your concept of what dessert is completely flipped around.
19. When signs like this are posted outside of the washrooms at a bar.
18. Where people are really serious about Hello Kitty.
17. Where this is on display at an amusement park.
16. When this becomes a regular sight on a night out.
15. Where adults dressing the same is a thing.
14. When the smog is so thick you can no longer see half of the tallest building in your area.
13. Where embarrassment does not exist.
12. When the weather is more indecisive than I am.
11. When owning an oven is the epitome of wealth and the envy of all your friends.
10. When you can take the escalator up to the gym.
Bonus: having a McDonald’s right underneath.
9. When you can find preserved whole baby crabs in a snack bag.
8. When Groupon sells stuff like this.
7. When you climb up a mountain and have this as your view (just ignore the smog).
6. When the only way to get hot water in your flat is by turning this on.
5. Where people either fear or are obsessed with dogs.
4. When families and couples coordinate their outfits so they all match.
3. When it is 20° out and people are wearing winter jackets and boots.
2. When you’re on the MTR and see a man plucking out his facial hair with tweezers.
1. When you’re at the gym and
a) Men are wearing shorter shorts than women
b) People are wearing their work clothes
c) One in five people are talking on their cellphone
When most people think of Hong Kong, they picture an overpopulated city filled with skyscrapers and too much traffic. While they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, this city has much more to offer visitors and expats alike. If you happen to be or was an expat in Hong Kong, or are just curious about what life might be like living in this beautiful concrete jungle, then Frank Wingate’s tale of 22 years of expattery in Hong Kong might strike a cord. He shares his funny, bizarre, and often relatable stories of life in Hong Kong in the book “Poxy Chicken”.
Continue reading “Poxy Chicken” By Frank Wingate: A Hong Kong Expats’ Story [Book Review]
Thailand has increasingly become a tourist hot spot, with more and more people choosing to go there for their next vacation. And what’s not to love? Thailand is cheap (though prices have been steadily increasing over the past few years), tourist friendly (ease of access, language, etc.), and offers something for everyone (beaches, city life, exclusive getaways, elephant encounters, etc.). The food in Chiang Mai, in my ever-so humble opinion, is Thailand’s best for both the quality of food and the price. You’ll find food stalls, local restaurants, and everything in between as you walk down the streets, so you’re sure to find some tasty treats along the way.
Continue reading How I Ate All The Food In Chiang Mai
After you’ve done a 4 Island Tour on Koh Lanta and have spent a bizarre evening at the night market, you should take some time to explore the island and just relax. Koh Lanta has various beaches along its west side that are all unique from each other and worth at least a half-day trip. If you’re not in the mood to bask in the sun for the day, you can travel back up to the north of the island where the ferry pier is and have lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants on the water. Just be sure you head to Long Beach to catch some killer views of the sunset before you leave the island!
Continue reading Lazy Days On Koh Lanta, Thailand
Though the island itself may be quite small, there are actually lots of things to do on Phi Phi Island to make the most of your time there. From activities during the day involving the sun and sand, to nighttime adventures involving fire shows and dancing on the beach, Phi Phi Island has something for everyone. After staying here for three days, and instantly regretting not spending more time on the island, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Phi Phi Island!
Continue reading The Top 10 Things To Do In Phi Phi Island
When you hear someone talking about cafe and coffee culture (in other words, a group of people with a mild obsession with drinking coffee and going to inevitably overpriced cafes), what comes to mind? Probably somewhere in Europe sipping an espresso on the patio of a quaint cafe overlooking a busy side street. I bet you probably wouldn’t have thought that there is a massive cafe and coffee culture in South Korea! In Seoul and other cities alike, you will find cafes of all sorts: small to big, chain to independent, unique to mainstream.
Continue reading Cafe & Coffee Culture In South Korea
If you’ve ever traveled anywhere in Asia, you know the snack culture here is huge (how are they not all obese? Actually though..). You’ll find the delicious, bizarre, and down-right gross on popular streets of any given Asian city. South Korea is no exception to the influx of snacking options every which way you turn. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for me, the street-side snacks and other restaurant delicacies available in Seoul and Busan were cheap and oh-so good. This only meant one thing – I ate my way through this trip and in doing so, put on 10 lbs in only 10 days thanks to the food in South Korea.
Continue reading How I Gained 10 lbs In 10 Days Thanks To The Food In South Korea
Even though I was only in Edinburgh for a day, I took hundreds of photos as I explored the city (trying not to bump into anyone or trip over anything as my eyes were fixated on the beautiful buildings surrounding me) and figured a photo essay would be the best way to share the rest of my time in the city with you! After the high-up city views of Edinburgh after our hike up Holyrood Park, scouring the streets for the best – and cheapest – place to fill our bellies, and checking out the “other side” of the city, here are the rest of my photos.
Continue reading Photo Essay: Edinburgh
You’ve been living and working in Hong Kong for well over a year now and are starting to notice some changes (or you are completely oblivious to them and your friends are not-so-kindly pointing them out to you): either a magician has waved his magical wand and miraculously made this crazy city irritate you less, or -let’s face the truth here- you’re becoming more like a local.
Continue reading Top 13 Mostly True Signs You’ve Become A Local Hong Konger