The 7 most annoying sounds in Hong Kong

  • We love our city, but it's not perfect; these are the noises that drive us bonkers
  • Yes, everyone's favourite supermarket rewards club made the list
Dannie Aildasani |

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In a city as busy as Hong Kong, sometimes it can be hard to get some peace and quiet.

Listen, we love Hong Kong. It's our home. If anyone who didn't live here complained about the city, we would get very upset and defend it. But as Hongkongers, we do have our list of annoyances. There's a lot of things (re: NOISES) that drive us nuts, such as:

Constant construction

The drilling, the pile driving ... it’s just non-stop. Hong Kong is always rebuilding, and that means being tormented by sounds that give you headaches and shake your flat so badly, you’d think there was a T10.

So many car horns

A chorus of car horns is basically the anthem of Hong Kong. During rush hour, you can’t escape the constant BEEEEEP of people sitting on their horns, thinking it will somehow make everyone go faster. Then when you get home, you discover you’ve lost all hearing for at least a few hours.

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The sound the MTR makes when someone won’t move away from the doors

You’re on a crowded train and everyone is packed in like sardines (eek, this is particularly nerve racking during Covid-19). The train is practically bursting at the seams. But there’s that one person who sees a teeny tiny space and thinks, “I could fit there”, squeeeeezing themselves in. The doors go to close, but bounce back open and DING DING. They try to close again but nope, it’s not going to work. You’re getting increasingly frustrated that someone seems to have no self-awareness, and people on the train are forced to suck in their stomachs and practically cut limbs off so this person can fit, and the doors finally close.

The worst thing is when you can see who the person is, and it takes all your strength not to yell at them.

The one snippet of Chinese New Year music that plays on loop beginning after New Year's Eve

We love any and all holiday tunes, but we’re talking about the very specific, 10 second loop of music that plays over and over and over again at the grocery store for anywhere from four to six weeks. This means in just a short, 30-minute grocery run, you hear the song approximately 180 times. We have all the respect in the world for the workers, and we’d gladly bring them ear plugs so they don’t lose their minds.

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People playing instruments early in the morning

We’re sure everyone has a story like this, and Young Post’s web editor would like to offer hers: An upstairs neighbour who would begin practising piano at 6am every morning (including weekends) but could only play the chorus to Frosty the Snowman.

The piano playing stopped after about six months, but only because the neighbour took up a new hobby: trumpet.

The BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP the MTR makes when the train doors are closing and you’re RIGHT THERE

Picture this exact scenario (you’ve definitely been in it before): You’re running late. You quickly walk down the escalator in the MTR station because you can hear “Please stand back from the train doors” and there’s a chance you still might make it. BUT OMG, someone is standing on the left side of the escalator! You quietly and politely say “m goi”, but they don’t move. You “M GOI” a little louder and more forcefully, but they don’t seem to care. You finally get to the bottom of the escalator just as the MTR goes “Beep beep beep” and closes – right as you’re standing in front of the train doors.

We're tearing up a little just thinking about it.


Hong Kong may be a divided society in many ways, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: YUU can GO AWAY.


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