Hong Kong has the big city specials like smog, odour, 14 million elbows and an insane love of clatter. But it's also efficient, hushed and peaceful: the transport network is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, and the temples and quiet corners of parks are contemplative oases. The best thing about being in Hong Kong is getting flummoxed and fired by the confluences ...


Local Health Conditions  |   Crossing Boarders  |   Pre 20th Century History  |   Money and Currency
Telephone Overview  |   Media Overview  |   Hong Kong Travellers  |   Night Time Venues
Transportation  |   Kowloon  |   Hong Kong and Arts


Han Chinese (93%), plus 55 ethnic minorities

Female Travellers

Respect for women is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. Despite the Confucian principle of the superiority of men, women in Chinese society often call the shots and wield a tremendous amount of influence at home, in business and in politics. Hong Kong is a safe city for women, although common-sense caution should be observed, especially at night. Few women - visitors or residents - complain of bad treatment, intimidation or aggression. Having said that, some Chinese men regard Western women as 'easy' and have made passes at foreigners even in public places.

Gay & Lesbian Scene

The gay scene in Hong Kong has undergone quite a revolution over a few short years. In July 1991 the enactment of the Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance removed criminal penalties for homosexual acts between consenting adults over the age of 18, and since then gay groups have been lobbying for legislation to address the issue of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Despite these changes, however, Hong Kong Chinese society remains fairly conservative, and it can still be risky for gays and lesbians to come out to family members or their employers.

Disabled Travellers

People with disabilities have to cope with substantial obstacles in Hong Kong, including the stairs at many MTR and KCR stations, as well as pedestrian overpasses, narrow and crowded footpaths and steep hills. On the other hand, some buses are now accessible by wheelchair, taxis are never hard to find and most buildings have lifts (many with Braille panels).

Wheelchairs can negotiate the lower decks of most of the ferries. Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok has been designed with facilities for passengers with disabilities and it publishes a useful brochure entitled Hong Kong International Airport: Special Needs, which is available from the Hong Kong Airport Authority.