Walking in Hong Kong…

I have recently returned from Hong Kong, visiting my wife’s family and friends and doing a little sight seeing.  You would think with a city that has that many people in it, the people would know how to walk about efficiently.  My god, I am really surprised there is not any ‘walk rage’ in this city.  No one knows what to do and you are constantly walking right into someone else.

In Canada it is basically following the road rules a bit.  Keep right unless you are passing.  Japan it is generally the opposite because they are the British system when driving.  This applies to the escalators as well.  Stand on the right (or left if British system) and walk on the other side.

But in Hong Kong!  British system for driving.  Escalators you stand on the right (not the left) and walk on the left.  Huh?  Then to add insult to injury, in high traffic areas they have arrows on the walls and ground to indicate the direction the people should walk (which is a good idea because no one there would know otherwise) which is, for the most part, keep left.  Problem is when you get to the escalator you have crossing streams of traffic of those who do not walk the escalators and those who do.

Worse, those arrows I spoke of, are not consistent everywhere!  In some cases it is keep right!  And of course there are people who just do not follow the rules and walk against traffic anyway.  Even worse, I have seen a pair of escalators where going down is on the right and up on the left, then on the next floor they are swapped.  So they have engineered a traffic mess on purpose where down traffic has to cross paths with up traffic!

Side walks, and places without the direction arrows are just chaos.

Walking in Hong Kong is just a big mess.