• If you have a cold, it’s considered polite, but not obligatory, to wear a facemask so don’t be alarmed by their ubiquity in winter. Cough etiquette hints are posted on some of the buses and hand sanitisers are available in the shopping malls.
• Even if you’re not on business, there’s probably going to be an occasion when someone will produce a name card. Receive it with both hands, read it and treat it respectfully. In the same way, when you’re handing over a credit card, it’s polite to use both hands.
• English is not as widely spoken as you might expect in a former British colony. Always carry the Chinese address of where you’re staying and where you’re going.
• Be aware of the concept of ‘face’. Don’t persist, for example, in asking directions from someone who is clearly not at ease with English. And try not to ask questions (e.g. “Is this the way to the Star Ferry?”) which can be answered by ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. People wishing to save your face will say ‘Yes’, whether or not that’s right.
Glasgow-born Lee was raised in Hong Kong and takes her role as local expert very seriously, avidly researching the latest restaurants, coolest new cocktail bars and most relaxing foot massages in town for your entertainment pleasure.