Whether you’re new to Hong Kong or have lived here for years, we’re sure you’ll love these fun facts in our A-Z of Hong Kong trivia.
A is for Ada
In May 2021, Hong Kong climber Ada Tsang Yin-hung set a new world record for the fastest ascent of Mount Everest by a woman, taking just 25 hours and 50 minutes from base camp to summit.
B is for Britain
Hong Kong was under British rule for 156 years (1842-1997).
C is for Customs
For whatever reason, the number of individual cigarettes (not packets) each traveller is allowed to bring through Hong Kong Customs is 19.
D is for Double
You are considered lucky if you have a daughter followed by a son in Hong Kong because their characters in Chinese symbols mean “double happiness.”
E is for Escalator
Hong Kong’s half-mile MidLevels Escalator is the world’s longest covered escalator.
F is for Films
Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung starred in a whopping 85 films between her debut in 1983 and her “retirement” in 2010.
G is for Guinness
Joe Sun Yung-tsu worked as a corporate salesperson in Hong Kong for over 70 years, a Guinness World Record. Go, Joe!
H is for Hotels
As of June 2022, there were approximately 102,000 hotel rooms in Hong Kong.
I is for Islands
Hong Kong is made up of 260 islands, more than 100 of which are uninhabited
J is for Jockey
Don’t think about riding your horse when you’re drunk in Hong Kong. There’s a HK$250 fine for doing so.
K is for Kowloon
You probably know that Hong Kong means “fragrant harbour” in Chinese, but did you know that every time you utter the word “Kowloon” you are saying “nine dragons”?
L is for Lee
In 1958, a Mr Lee won a city-wide cha-cha dance competition. Mr Bruce Lee. Yep, that Bruce Lee.
M is for Money
Disneyland Hotel’s Chinese restaurant has 2,238 crystal lotuses. The number was chosen because it sounds like “easily generates wealth” in Cantonese.
N is for Number Plate
Someone paid HK$18.1 million for a car plate with the auspicious number “28” in 2016.
O is for Ocean
270 million cubic metres of seawater are supplied to flush Hong Kong toilets each year.
P is for Public Holidays
Hong Kong enjoys 17 official public holidays each year, the highest in the world.
Q is for Queen
After Hong Kong was ceded to the British in 1841, Queen Victoria wrote: “Albert is so amused at my having got the island of Hong Kong.”
R is for Romer
The Romer’s tree frog is found only in Hong Kong and grows to just 2cm.
S is for Skyscrapers
Last time we counted, there were 353 skyscrapers above 150m in Hong Kong, more than any other city (New York is second, then Dubai and Shanghai).
T is for Tram
On its 117th birthday in August 2021, HK Tramways’ iconic tram system was awarded the Guinness World Records title of the “largest double-decker tram fleet in service” with over 165 trams in operation, carrying up to 200,000 passengers every day.
U is for Ukulele
The world’s largest ukulele ensemble consisted of 8,065 people, who gathered at Hong Kong’s Church of God on 13 August 2017 to strum a tune. The opposite of “easy listening”, one would imagine…
V is for Vertigo
The world’s highest swimming pool is located on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong.
W is for World
Half the world’s population lives within a fivehour flight of Hong Kong.
X is for Crossing
Pre-pandemic, almost a quarter of a million people crossed the checkpoint between Hong Kong and mainland China each day.
Y is for Yum
Egg tarts and pineapple buns – the latter named not because they contain the fruit but for their pineapple-like crust – are must-try local specials at the bakery.
Z is for Zimbabwe
And Cyprus, and Uruguay, and another 112 countries that have consulates in Hong Kong – that’s more than any other city on the planet.
Like this? See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the City Guide issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.