When you hear about Hong Kong, what’s the first word that comes to mind? Well, for many people who have been doing their research about where to travel, they would say that Hong Kong is one of the best places to shop. However, there’s more to Hong Kong than just it’s amazing shopping districts.
Hong Kong definitely has so much more to offer than just shopping. The food here is just great, the festivals are exciting, sports competitions are always available for viewing, and it is a favorite place for directors to shoot their movies. Then again, is Hong Kong safe? This article will focus on the safety of Hong Kong, from the crime situation to the natural disasters, and so much more.
Why Hong Kong is a Safe Destination
There’s a plethora of reasons why you need to visit Hong Kong when everything is normal (no pandemic and all). Here’s a summary of some of those reasons. You will definitely consider planning for your next vacation with Hong Kong in mind after reading these reasons.
Experience a cultural merging of the East and West – Hong Kong was a colony of Great Britain, from 1841 to 1997. That’s why all around the country, you will see Western influences, particularly in the food and even in the ability of the locals to speak very good English.
Another evidence of colonization is the fact that most places and streets in Hong Kong have English names, so it’s easy for you to get around and ask for directions.
Delicious food everywhere – Hong Kong actually has a reputation of being the Asian capital for food and dining. It not only features delicious local food; it also gives you access to a wide variety of international options.
Perhaps the most popular local food are the fresh seafood and dimsum. Food is served with care in Hong Kong; they really make a point of preparing fresh ingredients, and most of the dishes are served with plating so that they not only taste good, but they look so appealing and appetizing.
What are some of the authentic international dishes you can find in Hong Kong? Well, the most popular ones are Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai and even African food. Not to mention the large number of Western-influenced restaurants. If you’re not used to foreign food, in Hong Kong, there might be some food you’re used to eating available.
Shopping (of course) – Hong Kong is well-renowned for being a paradise for shoppers. Why is this? Well, Hong Kong has everything you want for whatever kind of shopping experience you need.
If you want to buy the latest trend, there are boutiques in Hong Kong for that. If you want to go to a more traditional route, there are traditional stores, most of them selling Chinese goods.
There are several luxurious shopping malls and busy street markets, the contrast is incredible. In a nutshell, name it Hong Kong has it.
Getting amazing views – If you want to get the best view of Hong Kong, the best place to go to is Victoria Peak. Through the Victoria Peak, you have a view of the vertical skylines, while there is a corresponding Victoria Harbor, which allows you to see Hong Kong from a lower perspective.
The Peak is a must-visit. You don’t want to miss the incredible skyline of Hong Kong. In fact, Hong Kong has been dubbed the world’s most vertical city. There is a tram you can ride to go to the Victoria Peak, but often it is crowded. You can simply walk up, or ride buses or cars to go up.
Family vacation – Hong Kong is a great place for a family vacation. The main destination has to be Disneyland. Although its much smaller than the ones in the United States, that could be a good thing. You start early in the morning and you finish in the afternoon, touring all locations in Disneyland. At night you and your family can enjoy the fireworks display.
Another great family destination is Ocean Park. It’s probably much more popular than Disney, but that means it can be a bit crowded. It’s worth it though, since you will witness lots of aquamarine life. It is fun but at the same time educational.
Lots of festivals – Almost every month of the year, there are festivals that you can participate in and truly experience the unique culture of Hong Kong. The thing about festivals here is that you have the Western-influenced ones as well as Chinese festivals.
For example, New Year’s Eve and Christmas are extravagantly celebrated in Hong Kong, with the buildings and the streets completely filled with decorations. Also, Hong Kong has some Chinese festivals like the Spring Festival, Mid-Autumn festival, and the incredibly popular Dragon Boat festival.
Vibrant night life – if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a great night life, then Hong Kong is the place for you. Nights are really fun in Hong Kong. There are many pubs and bars where you can eat, get a drink and just have fun.
So what’s the best way to spend your nights in Hong Kong? Well, there are many answers to this question, but one of them is by taking a night cruise that is available at Victoria Harbor. You can also go Karaoke-ing, and lately the number of such bars have been increasing rapidly.
Where movies are made – Hong Kong’s movie industry is a booming industry. It’s just a wonderful place to make films, especially action films, since the whole region is just quite scenic. Even Hollywood directors go to Hong Kong to shoot movies.
Do you want to visit some places in Hong Kong where movies have been made? If so, then you should definitely check out the following movie shoot locations: Chung King mansions, Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market, and Temple Street.
Going to Hong Kong – Hong Kong has a very busy international airport called the Hong Kong International airport. This airport connects Hong Kong to lots of major cities around the world.
You can get a direct flight to Hong Kong if you’re from Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, L.A., New York and more.
So that’s really a major contributor to the number of tourists that visit Hong Kong each year. Lots of countries want to directly connect to Hong Kong through international airports, mainly because they recognize that it’s a great tourist destination.
Safety in Hong Kong
Now that we’ve established that Hong Kong is just a great place to visit, let’s now dwell a little bit more on the safety concerns.
One of the primary safety concerns in Hong Kong is its history of protests, and the potential violence that arise from these protests.
Lately there have been demonstrations that can take place anytime and anywhere, and the police have used force to stop these protests.
The best thing you can do to avoid these protests is to always be updated with the latest news. There are many reliable sources online, and that is the fastest and most convenient way of knowing where there is a protest and where disorder may arise.
In Hong Kong, violent crime is pretty rare. It’s more common to witness petty crime happening. Most thieves can be found in tourist destinations and places where there are lots of people.
Another main concern is that travelers have experienced getting their drinks spiked while they are inside night clubs and bars. When you fall victim to this, you become weak and unconscious enough that you can’t really figure out what’s happening around you, and the criminals will steal money from you.
To prevent your drinks from being spiked, you should never leave them unattended.
When someone offers you a drink, or gum or cigarettes from someone you complete don’t know, it’s best to avoid talking to these people in the first place.
Here are some of the scams that have been reported to have occurred in Hong Kong:
- Strangers will ask you to let them carry your travel luggage, but you have to be careful about this.
- Some people will pretend that they are cops and pretend to arrest you for some vague offense.
- Other things they could do include fake schemes that involve property, time shares and more.
- In order to not fall victim to these scams, you really have to be vigilant, do legal research if you can, and simply be apprehensive about trusting anyone right away.
Hong Kong has had several major typhoons over the years. Severe typhoons are rare though, and they only happen when they eye is unusually close to Hong Kong.
Typhoon season in Hong Kong usually starts in May and ends in November. However, the peak is from July to September; rarely do we see typhoons other than these months.
You don’t have to worry about typhoons in Hong Kong. This region is well-prepared with an effective warning system, letting people know that a typhoon is coming and giving directions and instructions regarding what to do next.
Hong Kong has a relatively new national security law that could be broadly interpreted. That means that you can be accused of breaking the law even if you didn’t know that you did. As a result, this could lead to unwanted detentions based on grounds of national security.
Breaking of this law could even lead to a life sentence.
When it comes to drugs, you should never possess drugs nor should you traffic them. If you are caught doing so, you will be jailed and have to pay heavy fines.
When it comes to protests, it is better off that you stay away from these, and other large public gatherings. Protests need to be approved by the government for them to be considered legal. Some protests become violent and you don’t want to be in the middle of that.
Do you want to legally carry items that can be considered as weapons, or at least look like weapons? If so, you need to get a permit for that. The law is very strict when it comes to people owning these items or importing them from other countries.
Another specific item that is not allowed for import or possession is products made from elephant ivory tusks. If you are caught not obeying this law, then yo will be put to jail and pay a heavy fine.
Before you travel to Hong Kong, be sure that you are fit enough to travel both physically and mentally. This means that you have to:
- Get a health check up with your doctor.
- Consult your doctor about your plans to travel, and ask them if it’s safe for you to do so.
- Know what vaccinations you need before going to Hong Kong and plan ahead.
- You have to do all of these things at least 8 weeks before you are scheduled to leave.
- When it comes to medication, you have to check that the medication you are planning on bringing to Hong Kong is legal. You have to bring as many legal medicines as you can for your trip.
- In Hong Kong, for example, you are not allowed to bring sleeping pills unless you have a prescription. Some pills for anxiety also require prescription before they become legal.
If you have to bring prescription, here is the following format that your doctor needs to write in the prescription letter:
- The letter should indicate what the name of the medicine is.
- It should also indicate how much you need to take.
- Finally, the letter should state that the medicine you are bringing is for personal use only.
In Hong Kong, here are some of the major health risks that you need to be wary of:
- Humidity can be quite high during the summer, so don’t physically stress yourself out during these days.
- Air pollution can reach high levels, causing asthma, sinus, or bronchial conditions.
- Sometimes, mosquito-borne illnesses like Dengue occur. Moreover, the Zika virus can be on high alert level. Be sure that where you are staying for accommodation is insect proof.
Hong Kong is definitely a safe place to visit, and one that you must definitely include in your future travel plans.