Feedback from Other Asians on Hong Kong Manners

A new week and more reader feedback on manners in Hong Kong.

You remember Steve Stefanopoulis of Melbourne, Australia!

He visited Hong Kong awhile back and seemed to like everything about the place – the food, the shopping, the views!

The only things he didn’t like was the people! Because Steve found Hongkies rude, he wrote a letter to the editor of the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s largest circulation English language daily newspaper, saying that he was telling all of his friends and relatives to give the former British Crown Colony a wide berth. 

Readers are continuing to weigh in on this topic.

Which begs the question, are people in Hong Kong rude?

Should the Hong Kong Tourism Board be worried? Will international arrivals plummet? Will hotels and restaurants suffer a drop in patronage?

In today’s post, three readers from other Asian countries sound off about manners in Hong Kong.

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K.K.G. sends his greetings from “Sunny Singapore”. He (she?) writes:

“This is a very sweeping generalization lah!!

“I reckon this Australian must be very unfortunate to have encountered some very very unpleasant incidents and people during his short Hong Kong trip …

Accidental Travel Writer Responds

That’s very possible lah!!! One positive experience can sending you home singing a place’s praises. One negative experience can send you home whistling an entirely different tune.

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Michael Chin of Singapore posted a comment on Facebook. He writes:

“I have to say that, being from Singapore (and recently been to Sydney), rudeness is not a country specific problem but an attitude. And it can also be a cultural issue, as well.

“With the pace of living/moving in Hong Kong, it’s been ingrained in them that the whole point of transport/walking is to get from Point A to B. There is no time to ‘smell the roses’.

“But having said that, people in Kuala Lumpur or Thailand are very polite (it’s 50/50 in Singapore).

“People can be incredibly rude, but if you treat them as a minority and have great friends in the country you travel to, it’s all good!”

Accidental Travel Writer Responds

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Michael. It is the speed with which Hong Kong people plow through crowds – often cutting you off by darting in front of you – that people find rude.

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Nobuhiko Tazoe lives in Okinawa, Japan. He spent a few years living in Guangzhou. He also spent a year in Macau. He sent this comment via the Comment Box:

“One thing that bothers me is that they make phone calls in public places. They use phones everywhere, even in the subway and on buses. And they speak so loud that it drives me crazy.

“I cannot imagine the city in a quiet atmosphere. It just sometimes feels too energetic for me.

Accidental Travel Writer Responds

I’m with you, Nobuhiko! It’s horrible when someone sitting next to you or near you on the train or bus talks incessantly in a loud voice on his or her mobile phone. Even worse: when someone plays handheld games that have loud – and annoying – sound effects!!!

More Comments to Follow

To Read the Original Post

My post on 22 July 2011 about a visitor from Australia that wrote a letter to the South China Morning Post criticizing the lack of manners in Hong Kong struck quite a chord.


One Reply to “Feedback from Other Asians on Hong Kong Manners”

  1. Michael, If they want to see ‘rude’ check out a shopping center in China during a sale. That same type of behavior is brought to HK. It doesn’t surprise me that an Aussie would comment in such a manner. I found Australians very polite and friendly. Australians also don’t have the housing density and stresses HK is subjected too either. I still love HK with its faults and many pluses.

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