February 26, 2007

My 12 Favorite Signs in Hong Kong

On a vacation in Hong Kong in January, I kept noticing terrific signs that you’d never see in the U.S. I took pictures of a bunch of them, and here are some of my favorites.

water-hose.jpeg
I’ve seen “Caution: Wet Floor” signs, but never one warning me about a garden hose. Speaking of watering…

call-of-nature.jpeg
I thought it was fantastic that they actually said “call of nature” on a public sign like this. Some signs, however, were more direct…

urination.jpeg
Posted in a public park. I loved the graphic. And speaking of urination…

toilet-paper.jpeg
Posted in a public restroom. There was just one toilet paper dispenser for half a dozen stalls; if you expected to need any, you had to get enough, in advance, from that single dispenser.

stay-and-vend.jpeg
In the U.S., this would be “No Vending!” or a similarly strongly worded statement.

sudden-pushing-out.jpeg
The wording of this one made me smile.

drying-linen.jpeg
Posted in a public park. What, without this sign there’d be sheets drying in the trees?

contact-with-birds.jpeg
Posted in a zoo, the aviary of which was closed. Yes, bird flu is a big concern in Hong Kong.

disinfectant.jpeg
There were lots of signs like this one, which was posted in the elevator of a bank building. Public hand sanitizer dispensers were scattered throughout the building. And it was a good thing, too, considering all the bird flu worries.

relocation-services.jpeg
This was on the inside of a moving van door, and since the door was swung around to the outside of the truck, it was visible to people on the sidewalk. How weirdly polite.

releasing-fish.jpeg
Posted near a pond in a public park. Really, people have to be told not to do this?

mosquitos.jpeg
I didn’t see any mosquitos in Hong Kong—no doubt thanks to the hard work of the public health officials, who use signs like these to scare residents into action.

12 Responses to “My 12 Favorite Signs in Hong Kong”

  1. henhao said:

    “no doubt thanks to the hard work of the public health officials, who use signs like these to scare residents into action.” – or scare the insects off.

  2. bradshaw said:

    To release a fish or a terrapin or animal of the kind is considered saving a life by the buddhist, and is seen as a very noble act by most Chinese.

  3. OUtlET » Blog Archive » The Central - Mid-Levels Escalator / Hong Kong’s moving landmark said:

    […] you to “Beware of sudden pushing out door” (for other examples of these signs, see My 12 Favorite Signs in Hong Kong on […]

  4. Jason said:

    “Posted near a pond in a public park. Really, people have to be told not to do this?” — Releasing living fishes and turtles is Chinese buddhist’s tradition. They purchase living animals like fishes, turtles, frogs and release them to save their lifes.

  5. Jason said:

    “Posted in a public park. What, without this sign there’d be sheets drying in the trees?” — Unfortuately, they will. In Asia, dryer is not so popular as in North America.

  6. nehao said:

    Posted in a public park. What, without this sign there’d be sheets drying in the trees?” Not actually the trees. It’s usual to see sheets on the fences in parks of more suburban areas in HK, and somethimes on roundabouts in playgrounds. However, if you stuck to districts like Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, you probably wouldn’t have seen any.

    Mosquitos don’t come out in cold weather, definitely not in January. If you had come in spring or summer, you would have had to take that poster seriously.

    Do signs in the United States just say “No vending!”? That’s just so rude!

  7. nehao said:

    Glad to know you enjoyed your vacation in HK! I liked the article on the Central-Mid-Levels escalator on Interesting Thing of the Day. I usually take that escalator for granted.

  8. Joe Kissell said:

    Thanks everyone for your comments, and especially to those who explained the deal with releasing fish and terrapin. I had no idea.

  9. Technology Occupation » web safety: Why It’s Important said:

    […] you to “Beware of sudden pushing out door” (for other examples of these signs, see My 12 Favorite Signs in Hong Kong on […]

  10. My Technology Information » Health Information Management Technology (2002) said:

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  11. Hank Roberts said:

    fish and terrapins

    Problem is the transport and sale of non-native species, which are often far more readily available than local natives, so the Buddhist act — a mercy when the captive animals were local — now is damaging ecologies by releasing nonnatives.

    People do this sort of thing all over the world, causing harm to species and entire ecologies by releasing nonnative individual animals and plants.

    It’s a science education problem that occurs worldwide, not a religious problem, and attempts to explain it go back to Darwin and Huxley.

    Much studied:

    http://www.springerlink.com/index/u225527u20m8r461.pdf

  12. Misa said:

    In fiji most travellers pee on the highway roadside, that urinating sign we need it.