Laughing at My Culture Shocks: My Top 5 as an Expat Woman in Hong Kong

From the MTR to the language barrier, my adventures in Hong Kong have definitely been full of culture shocks. But instead of getting all serious and reflective, I’m embracing the humor and sharing with you the top 5 that had me laughing at myself.

As an expat woman living in Hong Kong, I have definitely experienced my fair share of culture shocks. And boy, let me tell you, some of them have been real doozies! I mean, I knew moving to a new country would be an adventure, but I had no idea just how much of an adventure it would be.

But instead of getting all serious and reflective about my experiences, I thought I’d have a little fun and share with you the top 5 culture shocks I’ve had since moving to Hong Kong. And trust me, you’ll probably find yourself laughing at me and thinking I’m a total idiot. But hey, at least you’ll be entertained, right?


Okay, so I’m sure this isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s ever been to Hong Kong, but the MTR (or Mass Transit Railway) can be a bit of a shock to someone who’s used to more sedate subway systems. It’s fast, it’s crowded, and it’s loud. Oh, and did I mention the trains come every two minutes? It’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re trying to figure out which train to take and which stop to get off at. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up on the wrong train or in the wrong direction. It’s all part of the fun, right?

The Lack of Personal Space

Coming from a country where people are generally pretty respectful of personal space, I was definitely not prepared for just how close people can get to you in Hong Kong. From the packed MTR trains to the crowded streets and markets, it can feel like you’re being smooshed from all sides. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I just embrace the hustle and bustle of it all.

The Food

Oh boy, the food. Coming from a place where Chinese food is pretty standard fare, I thought I knew what to expect when I moved to Hong Kong. But let me tell you, I was in for a surprise. From the stinky tofu to the durian fruit (which, let’s be real, smells like rotten eggs), there are definitely some flavors and textures that took some getting used to. But now I love trying new things and discovering all the amazing food Hong Kong has to offer.

The Weather

Coming from a place with four distinct seasons, I was not prepared for the humidity and heat of Hong Kong. It can be sweltering hot and sticky one day, and then raining cats and dogs the next. It’s definitely taken some getting used to, but now I just embrace it and carry my umbrella everywhere I go.

The Language Barrier

As someone who speaks English as a first language, I was definitely not prepared for the language barrier I would face in Hong Kong. While most people do speak English, it’s definitely not as prevalent as it is in other parts of the world. And let me tell you, trying to communicate with someone in a language you’re not fluent in can be a bit of a challenge. But I’ve found that a smile and a lot of hand gestures can go a long way in helping to bridge the gap.

So there you have it, my top 5 culture shocks as an expat woman living in Hong Kong. It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The people, the food, the culture – it’s all part of the charm of living in such a vibrant and dynamic city.


Please note that this article was written by a freelancer and has not undergone editorial supervision. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organization. The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice. While the author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, no guarantees are made and the reader should rely on their own judgment and research. The author will not be held liable for any actions taken based on the information contained in this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *