Question: Don't people in Hong Kong drive on the left? I'm coming from the USA/continental Europe/etc., and I'm used to driving on the right. Will I be able to adapt?
A reader replies: We drive on the left in right hand drive cars. This is a British thing. In fact our traffic lights, road signs, markings, etc. are exactly as they are in the UK. China drives on the right like the US, which makes things interesting for cross border traffic.
Mr Tall adds: Switching sides of the road when driving isn't a big deal. I learned to drive in the States, on the right, and thought I might have a lot of trouble at first driving in HK. That wasn't the case at all. Your brain simply flips everything around quite automatically -- at least mine did. I actually found it harder to adjust to being a pedestrian here than to being a driver, since when you're walking across the street, it seems easier to forget which direction you need to check first for oncoming traffic.
A couple of related questions: If I have a US/UK/other country's driving license, can I use it in Hong Kong? If I want to get a Hong Kong license, will I need to take a driving test?
Mr Tall replies: You can drive in Hong Kong on a foreign license temporarily when you arrive, but if you're planning to stay here beyond a year, you must get a Hong Kong license to keep driving.
The good news is that if you hold a driving license from a country recognized by the Hong Kong Transport Department, you can use it to apply for a Hong Kong license. You don't need to take a driving test. And the best news is that a HK license is good for 10 years. See this page at the Hong Kong Transport Department for details.
It's a good thing I didn't have to take the test, by the way. Mrs Tall had to sit for it here, and the whole process is a travesty. 'Driving', according to the examiners here, comprises exactly three skills: making a three-point turn, parallel parking, and avoiding ever, ever, EVER making a hand-over-hand turn of the steering wheel. You have to shuffle your hands along the wheel like an arthritic nincompoop to pass!
See also our article on keeping a car in Hong Kong.