• Names
    For Chinese names, the surname is always written first: for instance, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Mr Leung Chun-ying is referred to Mr Leung or Mr C. Y. Leung. Many Chinese give themselves a western first name as well.
  • Body Touch
    Chinese are more formal than foreigners. They are reluctant to have direct body contact with strangers except shaking hands. Hugging or kissing as greetings are not very common here.
  • Giving/Receiving Gifts
    It is polite to use both hands to give or receive gifts. Never choose a clock as a gift as it is associated with death and funerals. When receiving gifts, refuse for a few times before accepting, otherwise it will be regarded as greedy. The gift should be set aside and opened later, unless you are invited by the giver to open it in front of him/her.
  • Chinese Weddings
    It is customary to give some money in a red packet ("Lai See") or a gift check inside a nice envelope if you are invited to a Chinese wedding banquet. Dress code is usually smart casual.
  • Business Cards
    Business cards with English on one side and Chinese on the reverse side are commonly used in Hong Kong. They should be given and received with both hands. It is considered respectful to examine the card after receiving it.
  • Dress Standards
    Suits are worn year-round, even during the hot, humid summer months. Hong Kong people also like to dress up for occasions like business and social entertaining, cocktails, dinner parties and formal banquets.
  • Punctuality
    Punctuality is very important. Arriving 5-10 minutes earlier is usually appreciated.
  • Chinese Banquets
    It isn’t necessary to bring a gift unless it is for a special reason such as a birthday. Guests always wait for the host before they begin to eat. Toasts are proposed frequently throughout the meal, especially at the beginning. "Yum Sing" in Cantonese means to cheers.
  • The Guest Of Honour
    The guest of honour always receives the choicest morsels of each dish; for instance, the cheek of fish. Chinese guests do not like chatting at the end of a meal. Usually, they leave promptly and it is suggested to wait and see what the host or the guest of honour does.
  • Food Dishes
    Chinese foods are placed in central platters on the table and everyone shares by selecting morsels directly from the plate. It is a sign of courtesy for the host to put food into your bowl with his/her own chopsticks. Simply eat it and say that it's delicious. Or, leave the food untouched and thank the host politely.
  • Drinks
    Always fill drinks for others before helping yourself. When your teacup is being filled by others, the Chinese custom is to tap your fingers on the table near your cup twice as thank you.
  • Chopsticks
    Chopsticks should always be laid on the chopstick rest and not on your bowl or your plate. Do not stick your chopsticks in your bowl of rice. This is reminiscent of funerary ritual.
  • Bones
    Bones may be removed from the mouth with the help of chopsticks and placed on the side plates or tablecloth.
  • Fish
    The fish head usually points towards the guest of honour or senior family member. When its top half is eaten, it is considered bad luck to 'over-turn' the fish as it represents a boat capsizing. Commonly, the host or waiter will do the separation of the skeleton.
  • Toothpicks
    When a toothpick is used to deal with lodged fragments of food, it is polite to cover your mouth with one hand while the toothpick is being used with the other.
  • Order & Pay
    It is customary to let the host order food. When the meal is served, the guest should wait for the host to invite others to begin. When the meal is finished, let the host pay.
  • Tipping
    Usually a 10% service charge will be included in the bill of upscale restaurants. Though tipping is not customary in Hong Kong, you may leave the change as the tip of the service.