Avoid Small Talk
The people in Hong Kong don’t just strike up a conversation with strangers or people they’ve just met. So, don’t be offended if the salesperson at a shopping mall does not engage in small talk, or if the server in a restaurant doesn’t smile and thank you when you pay your bill. If you do manage to start a conversation with a local, avoid talking about politics, religion, sexuality, and illnesses because these topics might be considered vulgar. Since the Hong Kong Chinese are very superstitious, do not bring up failure, poverty, or death. They will consider you ill-mannered if you talk about any of these. Observe your environment and the people you are with to identify what subjects are safe to discuss. Tourist spots, shopping centers, and food are generally neutral topics. Always attempt to keep discussions pleasant and impartial.