41 Unusual Things That Can Only Be Found in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the most wealthy and prosperous cities in East Asia. It also distinguishes itself from other cities in the region thanks to its geography, the unusual layout of its metropolitan area, and the vast history underpinning its culture.
The most exciting elements of living in Hong Kong are only visible to those who visit the city and pay close attention to the culture and activities that are prevalent there.
So, if you’ve never had the pleasure of strolling the streets of Hong Kong, the following list will give you a window into the “Concrete Jungle" that cannot be accessed elsewhere.
Insanely Personalized Vehicle Plates
Getting a personalized license plate made in Hong Kong is an excellent option if you want to add a unique and stylish touch to your vehicle. Let's be honest: if it weren't for all the red tape and money, everyone would want to do it.
The traffic officers there are very lenient, which is surprising given the zany and often amusing license plates they are forced to deal with daily. The only logical conclusion is that they must have built up some resistance to the ridiculousness over time.
Buddhism with Bionic Arms
Since the introduction of Buddhism to China, the country's citizens have displayed extraordinary commitment to the Buddhist faith. To see a Buddha statue in Hong Kong would be no different than seeing one in other parts of China.
It's inevitable, then, for odd situations like this one to arise. It's up to you to decide what the outstretched hand represents: a high-five to the sky, a selfie with no phone, or perhaps an homage to Inspector Gadget. No one really knows.
Cabs with Cutting-Edge Technology
Hong Kong taxi drivers are some of the most interesting people in the world. Their personalities and demeanors range so widely that each car ride is one-of-a-kind. However, navigating heavy traffic and responding to calls are two of their highest priorities, so modern communication and navigation tools are essential.
For this reason, each taxi must have a fully functional command center. Moreover, the communication and navigation hub must be state-of-the-art to handle Hong Kong's chaotic environment, where taxi customers could pop up anywhere in the city's notorious traffic.
As a result of widespread overuse, many once-innovative advertising concepts have become cliches in today's market, making it more difficult than ever to attract consumer attention.
Wordplay, puns, and other forms of creative expression can help an advertisement stick in the target audience's minds. Humor, especially when delivered to a bilingual audience, is rarely wasted. The silly advertisement is just one of many examples you’ll find in Hong Kong.
Video Games and a Bear Hug
Isn't modern innovation a beautiful thing? Without technology, what would today's youth do? As technology has advanced at a dizzying rate in recent decades, it has permeated every aspect of human life, including our most private and personal interactions.
It's not always necessary to choose between in-person and online communication. Who's to say that two teenagers can't have a loving embrace while also competing for the highest scores in their respective games? Their connection (and their avatars) will soon reach the next level.
Don’t Be a Phubber
Since its inception, the term "Chinglish" has been used to refer to English translations of Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese that are less than ideal. Despite its drawbacks, this unusual English format has given rise to several fascinating new terms.
The grammar is terrible and often unclear, but that only adds to the humor. One of the more recent terms is "phubber," a word for which we have yet to determine the intended meaning. The one thing we do know is that you should try to avoid being one when you visit Hong Kong!
Just a Man Enjoying His Baked Goods
There is a wide variety of food advertising formats. As a result, it is not unheard of for a company to try out various campaign styles using the same model. That way, if one ad doesn’t work out, they have other options to fall back on.
This Hong Kong brand may have gone a little too far. They couldn’t pick a favorite image, so they just loaded their signage with every picture they took of their model. Well, at least it looks like he had a good time at the photo shoot!
When You Disable Your Pop-Up Blocker
Have you ever been to New York City's Times Square? You'll enjoy similar street advertising in Hong Kong, just with a slightly different flavor. Pollution in Hong Kong has both visual and audible components, which might sometimes be annoying but also come in handy if you want to do street shopping like a local.
Take into consideration how old each of these pop-up ads appears to be. There is a possibility that some of them are pretty old and worn out, as well as severely unstable. However, they still look far nicer than those awful pop-ups we get online if we ever disable our ad blocker!
Chicken Feet for Everyone!
Chicken is one of the most often used meats in cooking worldwide, along with fish. Chicken has many advantages over other meats, including its low cholesterol and fat content, as well as its many different edible portions (breast, drumsticks, wings, liver, and even feet).
Well, maybe not that last bit, but it is a staple on menus all around Hong Kong. Interestingly, you are free to consume as many chicken feet as you can handle! Amazing, right? Get set to gorge on this odd delicacy if you head to Hong Kong.
Elephants Must Be Declared at Customs
To avoid delays at customs, passengers with exotic carry-on items are advised to register them in advance. We can all agree on that. However, elephants and other endangered species are included in this category, which most people either do not realize or do not consider.
When people who breed elephants plan a trip to Hong Kong, that will unquestionably make things much more challenging. However, we’re not sure that many of them would have attempted to bring an elephant on a plane. You have to wonder what the person who made this sign was thinking.
Fascinatingly Weird Names in the English Language
It’s tough translating from Mandarin to English. Attempting to translate names from Mandarin to English is even more challenging. Therefore, English speakers should be forgiving when encountering Anglicized Chinese names that sound suspiciously like cuss words or puns.
Do you have any thoughts? All we have to say is this: good luck to the Starbucks barista attempting to get that one right. We're also voting for preserving people’s original names rather than ending up with hilarious mix-ups like this.
Trees of Good Fortune in Lam Tsuen
The legend that these two trees in Hong Kong have the power to fulfill wishes has made them objects of reverence in the city. While they are stunningly gorgeous, the primary reason for their notoriety is something that has nothing to do with their natural beauty.
What makes them magical is the fact that they are covered in an excessive amount of wish tickets, which, when viewed from a distance, have a startling resemblance to leaves falling from the trees.
Women in Their 60s and 70s Pushing Shopping Carts
Because of their active, healthy, and vigorous lifestyle, Chinese women remain in remarkable physical shape even as they age. When you couple this with the reality that most Hong Kong residents rely on street markets for their food, you begin to get an idea of the city's economic structure.
It's incredibly common to see elderly women pushing fully-loaded carts and trolleys in the street. These strong, healthy grandmas don’t need help from anyone. They’re used to just handling everything themselves.
Giant Pool Tables
One of the most popular indoor activities, billiards (or snooker, as some call it), has had a distinct subculture in the United States since at least the 1930s. The game is simple to pick up yet difficult to master, which has helped it gain acceptance as a legitimate competitive sport without losing its allure among recreational players of all ages.
It may be more challenging to clear the table when the balls have all been enlarged to super-sized proportions. Is that some decent Photoshop work, or do they really have giant pool tables in Hong Kong?
Lunch-Break Go Kart Racing
Do you enjoy go-karting? Great. Do you take pleasure in eating food? Even better! If you find yourself in Hong Kong, you should definitely make it a point to combine the two activities and enjoy some lunch-break go-karting.
You may race around the track in a go-kart while drinking a frappuccino or snacking on a bagel at Crazy Car Cafe. The cafe is themed after car culture. Whoever stated that we can't enjoy two of life's greatest pleasures at the same time clearly hasn’t visited Hong Kong.
Who wants to go out fishing? If the weather is poor, you may think twice about heading out into the wild for a fishing trip. However, you can fish in comfort and style at Hong Kong's HA Cube – one of the world’s first indoor fishing spaces. They’ll even give you all the equipment you need to grill your catch!
Anything from fish to shrimp and even lobsters can be caught. Hong Kong has once again proven itself to be the best place to go for practically every leisure pursuit. A visit to the goldfish market would perfectly round out a day of fishing at HA Cube.
The Goldfish Market
The street markets in Hong Kong are vast and varied. Living goldfish in bags are one of the most kid-friendly things they sell, and these slippery pets can be purchased with the touch of a button. Just make sure you have an aquarium at home, or else your poor fish will not have long to live!
It's fascinating that Hong Kong is home to a market devoted solely to selling goldfish. Be sure to stock up on supplies for your fish tank before making the trip.
It's pleasant to see and smell flowers, but most people interested in botany pursue this hobby in designated gardens or parks. If you're looking for flowers in Hong Kong, you can easily find a street market that caters to that niche, and the entire street will be lined with vendors selling their wares.
This market is a must-see destination for every wildlife lover visiting Hong Kong. You can get lost in aisle after aisle of beauty, taking in the rich array of colors and aromas before selecting the perfect bunch to take home.
The Rabbitland Coffee Shop
The Rabbitland Café in Hong Kong is the best venue for animal lovers, despite its relatively low profile. If you've ever gone to a cat café, you already know what to expect. You've simply reached the next level of cuteness!
The thought of taking a quick pause to pet a cute, lovable, and itty-bitty rabbit has to appeal to just about everyone. This café allows you to pet rabbits while sipping a delicious cappuccino or slurping up some tasty noodles. Those cute creatures would love to grab a bite from your plate, though, so you must watch out!
Another unique gastronomic experience that can only be found in Hong Kong is snake stew. Though most people are terrified of or revolted by these reptiles, you should feel comfortable trying this delicacy. Most people claim that snake tastes very similar to chicken.
Reptile soup isn't so unusual in some parts of the world. Whether you’re used to this delicacy or not, it's a must-have for visitors to Hong Kong. So, put your trust in us and close your eyes. This is right up there with the chicken feet, so don't forget it!
The Urban Jungle of Quarry Bay
Hong Kong, sometimes known as "the Concrete Jungle" for its abundance of skyscrapers, is typical of China's megacities. Almost all of the city's buildings shoot way up into the sky. But unfortunately, some of the most prominent structures are also the least attractive.
The Hong Kong skyscrapers of Quarry Bay cluster around a central courtyard. Despite its lack of appeal, architecture buffs should check it out. Trigger warning! A trip to the flower market may be preferable for those who experience claustrophobia in crowded places.
Battles with Lightsabers
The Crossfire Arena in Hong Kong provides a unique experience for visitors. Here, you can try your hand at lightsaber dueling, just like in the Star Wars movies.
The fake lightsabers are made to look and feel like the real thing from the Star Wars universe, but they are not. Real lightsabers require laser technology that has yet to be developed. It's safe to assume that a trip to Hong Kong is on the itinerary of any devoted sci-fi follower. It's a decision you won't come to regret.
Cartoon Characters You Can Eat
This is one of many strange dishes that can be found on Hong Kong menus. You might want to stop by here for a treat if you have an appetite for sweets and enjoy watching a specific animated TV show.
We're all familiar with the wildly popular Hello Kitty, but there are plenty of other edible characters you can choose to consume. This is heaven on earth if you or your youngster are big fans of cartoons and if you happen to be a foodie.
Playing a Virtual Zombie Shooting Game
The East Asian country of Japan is at the forefront of the technological advancement known as hyper-reality gaming. However, Sandbox VR in Tsim Sha Tsui is one of many places in Hong Kong where you can battle zombies in a virtual reality arena with a team of other gamers.
In addition, they are producing a great deal of innovation in many areas of technology; if you are a fan of video games and technological advancements, Hong Kong should be your next destination. You may even meet your soulmate there.
The depopulation of neighboring villages and towns is yet another unintended consequence of Hong Kong's explosive development in the last century, along with pollution and deteriorating living standards in the city proper. The relentless expansion of the town has suffocated these communities.
The good news is that you can experience the charm of these quaint farming and fishing villages by visiting them today. Some people find their architecture and preserved history fascinating, and many find the eerie abandoned atmosphere part of the attraction.
Dodgeball, but with Bows And Arrows
Who doesn't enjoy playing dodgeball? It is exciting, full of adrenaline, and does not place a significant demand on one's physical power. For these reasons, it is a trendy game among adolescents and adults.
Imagine for a moment that instead of having balls to utilize as projectiles, you had bows and arrows at your disposal (with foam plastic tips, of course). We are going to leave it at that for now. Bow-and-arrow dodgeball is a competitive pastime you can most certainly enjoy if you travel to Hong Kong. You have to give it a shot!
Rooms for Venting Anger
At one time or another, most of us experience anger over an event that occurred during the day. At such times, it can be helpful to have outlets for one's rage, whether that's in the form of art or the more tried-and-true "I want to smash something" method.
Stop right there; rage rooms are among the many innovative ideas that have made Hong Kong renowned. Get yourself a bat and some protective gear, along with a ticket, and go on over to your local rage room to start smashing some old televisions.
If you want to explore some of the best escape rooms in the world, Hong Kong is the city for you. Hong Kong is famous for taking escape rooms to the extreme, with one even offering the chance to disarm a bomb at the end!
Teams of up to six must solve an array of puzzles as they go from room to room. If you make it to the end, you’ll have to defuse a fake bomb to rescue up to thirty captives. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity if you and your buddies happen to be in Hong Kong.
Due to the fact that English and Mandarin are members of entirely separate language families, translating and transcribing between the two languages is extraordinarily challenging. As a consequence of this, it is common practice to write Chinese words using Latin letters when doing business in Hong Kong.
Although we are unsure of how this makes it simpler to speak, the "Romanization" process sounds like it might be an intriguing experiment to undertake! Make it a priority to surround yourself with people who can assist you.
No Bugles In Parking Garage
When driving, restriction signs might be among the most frustrating obstacles a person can encounter. Of course, it’s an entirely different story if the signs are amusing, such as this one found in a multi-level parking garage in Hong Kong.
We have a feeling that this sign is trying to tell people not to honk their car horns in the car park. We understand the reasoning – the echo can be deafening in a confined place. However, it kind of looks like they’re telling you not to play the trumpet. What are your thoughts on the matter? Should trumpeting be permitted?
The Ordinary Section
When we fly, most of us purchase tickets for either the business or the economy portion of the aircraft. According to the sign in question, the "Ordinary Section" is the one that is most commonly used in Hong Kong.
Peasants, you do not need to be stirred up over this matter. Simply put, some individuals possess superior qualities compared to others. If you are not one of these people, then you must make your way to the ordinary section so that the extraordinary folks don’t feel crowded.
Tourist Photo Ops
Scientists throughout the world are particularly worried about the high levels of air pollution in Hong Kong (and China, more generally). However, many visitors are still taken aback when they learn that locals use phony skylines of Hong Kong as photo backdrops due to the hazy and opaque skies over the city.
You will almost certainly come across this somewhat depressing scene when you are in Hong Kong, despite the fact that almost everyone will agree that the location is incredible.
Pedestrians Who Only Walk Part-Time
Walking around on foot is not always safe, especially in large cities with lots of people. According to statistics, many of those killed in car accidents are pedestrians. So, it is recommended that you be incredibly careful when walking on the sidewalks in Hong Kong.
This makes sense, albeit only to a certain extent, don't you think? Perhaps they are trying to encourage you to get a rental car! In any case, you must break away from the pedestrian state at some point.
Even by Hong Kong standards, this sign is one of the most unique and funny ones we've ever seen. No one wants to be anyone’s love potato. For us, it’s all about the angles, baby!
Though this message is emotional and heartfelt, it’s so surreal that it’s impossible to figure out what exactly was meant by it. Are potatoes really as horrible as people say they are? There may be a hidden connotation associated with potatoes that people who speak English are not familiar with.
Sleeping Hippos or Something Else?
It's unclear what, if any, future applications there could be for this Hong Kong-specific balloon. Who knows what it’s made of or what it’s meant to represent? All we can say is that we recommend being careful not to step on it.
A child here or there may, however, inquire as to what kind of dinosaur dropped such droppings. Actually, to the untrained eye, they might even look like some sleepy hippos. That’s enough guessing from us! What do you see?
Boog vs. Better
Once again, Chinglish has created a new, enticing term that has quickly become widely used and is spreading like wildfire. There is a strong possibility that "good" is the intended translation of this word.
This sign seems to be aimed at gamers, suggesting that ordinary people are fine, but gamers are better. Perhaps it’s actually saying that having a romantic partner is good, but it's far better to have games to play. The question is, which of these two camps do you side with?
Umbrellas Stuck in Train Doors
Regardless of the mode of transportation that we use, the morning rush hour has a way of catching us off guard and causing us to become sidetracked from time to time. Thankfully, we’ve never gotten as caught up as the people in the pictures below.
It appears that this kind of unpleasant situation may occur if you are in a hurry to catch a train in the rain in Hong Kong. The majority of umbrellas are durable enough to withstand such a trip. However, we don’t want to know what happens if the train goes through a tunnel.
Grand River Cruises
This floating restaurant in Hong Kong is the spot to eat if you have a refined palate and an appreciation for both the culinary arts and architecture. The boat is stunning to look at from the shore and even more impressive once you’re onboard.
This specific boat is characterized by its construction out of wood and its resemblance to imperial palaces in China, replete with pagodas and other stunning features. If you are seeking an experience that is nothing short of wonderful, you should make your way to this boat as soon as possible.
If you adore flowers, you must go to the Un Chau Estate Flower Tunnel, which is just outside Hong Kong. This place is a photographer's dream, but it's even more stunning to stand here and take it all in without worrying about selfies. It truly is a botanist's utopia.
This spot will bring joy to anyone who appreciates the natural world, as it is a beautiful place. Be sure to go to this one during the appropriate season, and have fun while you’re there! Life is about more than just selfies.
Trains Fitted with Office Furniture
It's never a good time to get on a packed subway or surface train. If you've had a long day at work or need a moment to relax, you're out of luck unless you bring a chair with you. Thankfully, it seems this is common practice in Hong Kong.
The rides on Hong Kong trains are comfortable if your travel companion has wheels and a pivoting seat, but you'll want to remember to bring it with you when you get off the train. This is a nice step up from regular train travel, don’t you think?
Kowloon City Park
Constructed in remembrance of the high-rise block that, until its demolition in the '90s, was the most densely populated area on Earth, this park in Hong Kong serves to remind tourists of the block's history. A lot of crime and terrible living conditions characterized Kowloon City Park, so it’s not such a bad thing that it no longer stands in this spot.
Despite its nightmarish appearance and the miserable lifestyle of many residents, it was sought after by people looking for cheap housing, luring thousands of residents and dozens of new, illegally-constructed high-rises until HK authorities sealed its fate.