Seven Things You Never Knew About Hong Kong

Seven Things You Never Knew About Hong Kong

Lucky Number Seven...

22 February, 2018 by Matt Mcmanaway

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What’s in a Name?

The city’s name, Hong Kong, actually means ‘Fragrant Harbour’ referring to Victoria Harbour, connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. In the 1850s, due to it's connections with the spice trade, it was even considered fragrant enough to hold swimming events and water polo matches. The water polo (and the fragrance) may now well be gone, but the harbour remains a draw-card for tourists and locals alight, with the Symphony of Lights entertaining the crowds every night from 8pm.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

The saying ‘Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the Midday Sun’ originated in colonial Hong Kong. Noel Coward wrote the famous words referring to the noon day gun in Causeway Bay that has been fired every day since the 1860’s.

The tradition is still carried out by employees of Jardines today; you can even fire the gun for $33,000. Or you could bring 25 of your mates to the 7s… just a suggestion.

Tai Pan

James Clavell’s critically acclaimed Tai Pan based in colonial Hong Kong post-opium war, was an immediate best seller. However, after MGM bought the rights to give the book Hollywood treatment for US$500,000, it took 20 years to make it to the big screen and was met with poor reviews!

Hong Kong Phooey

The popular kids cartoon debuted in 1974 (and still resonates in pop culture today), yet it actually has very little to do with Hong Kong! In fact, bar Penrod ‘Penry’ Pooch’s secret identity name, the only other connection is his copy of the Hong Kong book of Kung Fu handbook.

Plus, of course, his likeness costume which is now sold out in Hong Kong fancy dress shops every year around April…

Snake Eyes

Hong Kong is still very much in bed with superstition. Superstitions include the practice of Feng Shui – most prominently seen on the HSBC building, with its two rods deflecting bad energy from the bank of China.

In addition, gift-giving has some certain no-no’s before even walking in a shops door. In Cantonese, to give a clock is song zung - a phrase that means ‘to prepare for the end,’ plus any gifts in black and white (the colours of mourning), are considered inappropriate, as a couple of examples.

In the fashion world, green hats are a no-no. If a man is seen wearing one of these fashion faux pas’ on his head, it means he is being cheated on by his wife or girlfriend...

More Than Just a City

Visitors to Hong Kong can often get lost in the high-rise of the city’s impressive skyline. As a matter of fact, less than 25% of Hong Kong is developed, the rest made of lush mountains, beaches and islands. If you’re heading here for the Sevens, be sure to check out Repulse Bay and Big Wave Bay for an easy-to-get-to venture, or head out to the New Territories for an entirely unexpected Hong Kong experience.

HK7s Got it Going ON.

OK fine, you probably already knew that, but the COUNTDOWN IS ON to the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2018. Excitement. Overload.