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Curious facts to know for expats living in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most unique places on Earth. Not only is it a massive financial hub at the southern tip of China, but it’s a beautiful city with exceptional food and the very pinnacle of ultra-efficient public transport. With a truly massive population density and still enough nature around to keep even the most intrepid of explorers happy, Hong Kong really does offer something unique and special to expats looking to move somewhere a little different. As impressive as Hong Kong sounds, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 10 things you probably never knew about Hong Kong.

To say that Hong Kong is special is an understatement – its official name is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (or Hong Kong for short). While Hong Kong has also been known by several other names over the years, such as the Pearl of the Orient and the Fragrant Harbour (the literal translation of Hong Kong), most people like to keep things simple, simply referring to it as Hong Kong.

There are robot waiters

Perhaps the most exciting revelation for many people, there is a fleet of robot waiters operating in a restaurant in Hong Kong. The restaurant, aptly named Robot Kitchen, is as famous as you might expect, with tourists, expats and locals alike all enjoying the novelty of being served by a machine. If you’re wondering how much you should tip a robot, it’s worth pointing out quickly that tipping isn’t really customary in Hon Kong.

Highest density of Rolls-Royce & Mercedes cars

This may come as a surprise given that Dubai’s police force is kitted out with luxury high-performance cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but Hong Kong actually has the highest numbers of Rolls-Royce and Mercedes cars per capita. Unlike most cities around the world, these high performance cars often come with custom licence plates which simply state a person’s name, favourite word or something equally creative/bizarre.

Hong Kong is one of the tallest cities in the world

Hong Kong is exceptionally tall. While it may not have the tallest skyscraper in the world (that’s the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, standing at 829.8 m), Hong Kong has by far the most skyscrapers in the world. There are more than 8000 buildings in the region with more than 14 floors – to put that in perspective, think New York and then double it.

The significant majority of Hong Kong is untouched by land development

Despite the huge number of skyscrapers and a population density rivalling Tokyo, around 75 per cent of Hong Kong remains completely untouched by land development. This is because the region is actually an archipelago of around 260 islands, not all of which are inhabited at this point. This means that anyone looking to see the great outdoors while living in one of the world’s great financial hubs will be most at home living in Hong Kong. Also, there are pink dolphins in these waters, which is a great selling point for anyone with a love of marine wildlife.

Hong Kong is obsessed with dogs

It’s not just pink dolphins that Hong Kong is famous for – Hong Kong is one of the best places for dogs to live. Pampered pooches are a huge part of life in Hong Kong, with dogs being a much loved accessory as much as they are a family member and pet. Many Hong Kongers like to outfit their dogs with clothing or other accessories – you may even see one being pushed around the city in a stroller or carried by its owner in a baby carrier.

Your Octopus card is your best friend in Hong Kong

Contactless smartcards have long been a feature on the London underground, America’s subways and Japan’s chikatetsu, but did you know that Hong Kong’s Octopus card was one of first contactless smart cards in the world? Not only that, but Hong Kong are easily doing it best, with their Octopus cards used for everything from paying at convenience stores and supermarkets to service stations and carparks. Need a bottle of water during your morning commute? Use your Octopus card at one of the vending machines.

You can hire a party tram

Have you ever wanted to host a party on-board an antique tram? What about one with an open top, letting you see Hong Kong at your leisure? In Hong Kong you can hire your very own private antique ‘ding-ding’, bringing drinks and snacks with you as make the most of the sights and smells of the ‘Fragrant Harbour’.

Hong Kong has the highest average IQ in the world

Or at least it would if Hong Kong was technically a country. With such a huge emphasis on proper education and schooling in Hong Kong, it comes as little surprise that Hong Kong has the highest average IQ in the world at 107 pts. Coming close behind are South Korea (106) and Japan (105).

Hong Kong has more than one kind of cha

Cha generally refers to tea – ask any Hong Konger where their favourite cha chaan teng is and you’re bound to wind up at an incredible tea restaurant where you can whet your appetite. But did you know that Hong Kong is also pretty impressive when it comes to the cha cha? In fact, the 1958 Cha Cha Championship was actually won by none other than the great man himself, the one and only Bruce Lee.

Interested in discovering more about life in Hong Kong? Read our our guide.

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