Hong Kong is an array of sights, sounds and smells. Most are good, but every now again there’s something that will totally blow your head off. And not in a good way.
Try to remain open-minded and not yell out what immediately springs to mind.
1. Taking the MTR during rush hour
Between 7am-9:30am and 5pm-7pm on weekdays, the MTR is packed to the gills with people commuting to and from work. Try to plan your days so that you can avoid the crush of commuters. Not only would it be extremely unpleasant, but the masses of people around you would make it much harder to figure out where you’re supposed to go.
2. Looking only left
It is especially the Americans who get into trouble with this one. The traffic, especially the buses, speed frighteningly fast by new American tourists on the narrow streets, and they GO THE WRONG WAY. It is only when there is a scary near miss that many Americans start to beware of the traffic. Be safe, stand away from the road, and look both ways before crossing until you get used to the difference. This might take weeks. Because the wide buses have little space to maneuver, they often brush up close to the curb.
3. Going to the Avenue of Stars
For all the amazing sights the city has to offer, the Avenue of Stars is not one of them. This cement strip of kitschy souvenir kiosks, statues, and food stands wraps around the InterContinental Hong Kong, connecting Tsim Sha Tsui with Tsim Sha Tsui East. During peak season, legions of tourists can be found snapping selfies with the famous bronze Bruce Lee statue. Hongkongers avoid this area like the plague, and so should you. If you want to enjoy harbor views, do it with high tea and a window seat at a sophisticated address such as the InterContinental, Sevva, Café 103 at The Ritz-Carlton, or Hotel Icon’s Above & Beyond.
4. Forgetting your wallet
Unlike many countries in Asia, where you can get a 3-course meal for the price of a coffee ‘back home’, Hong Kong is a major player and has prices to match. From hotels, to meals, to drinks; everything is expensive.
5. Staying in Chung King or Similar Cheap Hotel Buildings
If you need to save money, they are on option, but if you can afford it, stay out of those places unless you simply want to explore the underside of the third world. They are interesting places, but bugs, dirt, trash, theft, scams, rudeness, and sometimes violence are drawbacks to an enjoyable stay in Hong Kong. If you are in Tsim Sha Tsui, a good relatively low priced hotel is the classy YMCA near Chung King with harbor view rooms and lots of good facilities.