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Hong Kong dress code

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May 20th, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #1
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Hong Kong dress code

What is the general dress code for tourists visiting Hong Kong? I've heard from a number of people that as an Asian visiting HK it's better to be more dressed up than not. Shorts and t-shirts were not recommended even in the heat and humidity.
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May 20th, 2008, 02:06 PM
  #2
 
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People do dress nice in the city. You won't find grown men wearing shorts. Polo shirts are okay, but collarless T-shirts not really.

And you may spend plenty of time in air-conditioned places. Hong Kong is infamous for its frigid A/C on buses and in malls and restaurants.

You'll be fine if you're going to the islands with more casual clothings.
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May 20th, 2008, 02:51 PM
  #3
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Thanks for the info. I really appreciate the tip about the air conditioning there.
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May 20th, 2008, 08:44 PM
  #4
 
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What time of year is your trip? If you are going to be here in January, you will want long pants and a light jacket. In Feb in can be quite cool (lots of padded winter jackets are out), and from mid-Oct through mid-March generally I would not recommend shorts due to the weather. From about early April through early October, the weather would be fine for shorts, I would agree that you will instantly stand out in the downtown areas as a tourist, but unless you are wearing business clothes you may stand out anyway even in khakis and a golf shirt. (It’s the sneakers, fanny pack, map and the glazed look in the eyes that gives the tourist away.) I would not be overly concerned. Not sure I understand the “if you are Asian you should not wear shorts” comment, do you think you will get treated better if you are not wearing shorts? I think Hong Kongers are equally rude to people of all nationalities…..But seriously, in my observation, you will see local laborers wearing shorts in the street, on building sites, etc, but I don’t think you would be mistaken for that, it is more about neatness of dress than the fact that you are wearing shorts. (For women, it would also have something to do about how short the shorts are of course, take a wander around the Wan Chai bars at night!!.)

Women and men can wear shorts and sleeveless tops in temples (unlike Thailand and other places there is no dress code for temples). I completely agree the buses, the subway and most shops and restaurants are freezing wit the air con, so you nay want a long sleeve-T for that (I bring a sweater or shawl myself for restaurants and buses).

A small umbrella will be very handy from about mid-April to early October, we get a lot of rain.
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May 21st, 2008, 06:24 AM
  #5
 
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Those cold air-con locations saved me from the misrealable hostel I was in for my 12 days in Hong Kong last month, hahah. After a day out on the city, I would sit down and "dry off" in any one of these places before heading back to sleep, haha.

I may not be Asian but nationality aside, is there anything really wrong with looking like a tourist... when you ARE a tourist?

Comfort > Fitting In
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May 21st, 2008, 07:28 AM
  #6
 
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Okay, since I am Asian not living in Hong Kong but visit often, let me tell you what I do.

I don't really care about blending in. I grew up there, I spoke the language, etc; but I like to wear what I want. I wear a baseball cap, I wear polo shirts, I wear jeans, i wear polo shirts, I wear either black tennis shoes or casual leather shoes.

Do I look like 90% of the locals walking around Central or Tsimshatsui? No! When I go dinner with my friends, I don't look like any of them as most of them wear dress shirts and pants and leather shoes, if not a tie and suit. Do I care? No. Do they care? No. So, what if people think I'm an overseas Chinese visiting HK? I can wear those to most places except the fanciest restaurants, which I don't go anyways.

But that's different from wearing collarless t-shirts and shorts. I won't feel comfortable walking all day in frigid malls or go eat at semi-decent restaurants.

Anyways, that's just me.

Here are some pictures of me dining in HK at fairly decent restaurants. Check out what locals wear. Do I look like them? No? Do I look comfortable and presentable? I think so.

rkkwan.zenfolio.com/p7364197/?photo=169881711
rkkwan.zenfolio.com/p353044301/?photo=525898498
rkkwan.zenfolio.com/p353044301/?photo=327442349

You don't see people in collarless shirts and shorts in most of these places, and I doubt you'll feel comfortable.
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May 21st, 2008, 09:54 PM
  #7
 
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I think the important thing to remember is that you are in a major metropolitan city. Not an open, airy one like Paris, but one like NYC. So, not only do you have the sophistication of a big city, but you also have the pollution and the dirty sidewalks and the tall skyscrapers and the bustle of a big city. Personally, not only do I like to dress with a certain amount of elan in a big city, but I also prefer to be covered up enough to maintain somewhat of a barrier between my body and the grime. ;-)
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Apr 15th, 2010, 12:54 PM
  #8
 
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Thank you to rkkwan for his comments and gr8 photos. I am planning a trip to Hong Kong soon. I am from England and have been living and working in the USA since 1981 and have always desired to visit Hong Kong.
Very helpful - thanks again rkkwan,
Martin T
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