Note: This article was written in August 2019. For up-to-date information of what's happening in Hong Kong, see hongkongfp.com and check with your consulate or embassy before travelling.
So, you’ve booked a trip to Hong Kong but are unsure whether it’s safe to travel? Our trusted go-to for private tours of the city, Little Adventures Hong Kong has prepped this practical guide on what you need to know about the current situ. If you’re jumping on a plane sometime soon and want more advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even now, Hong Kong is probably one of the safest cities in the world. We have an extremely low crime rate. Although the media focus is on the sensational clashes between police and protesters, keep in mind that Hong Kong is not a war zone. No one has been killed during the protests that have included peaceful mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people. No travellers in Hong Kong have been hurt.
However, it’s also true that this is a very special time in Hong Kong, and anyone who comes to the city needs to understand what they are parachuting into. We agree 100% with the state departments of the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, who recommend that travellers stay alert and keep away from areas where there are protests happening and recommend contacting your consulate or embassy to check the latest status before travelling.
It depends. Visiting a city during a turning point moment like this one in Hong Kong can be an extraordinary experience. You’ll have a rare opportunity to get deeper into the conversation of a place. Hong Kong people are eager to talk about what’s going on, so you’ll get a quality of local interaction you might not get during normal times.
And because Hong Kong is still an extremely safe city, a visit here now represents a chance to experience history in the making without risking much more than, say, getting stuck in traffic or having to change plans to avoid a crowd of protesters.
Travelling anywhere at any time involves a level of risk. Before you go on a trip to Hong Kong or anywhere else, we recommend that you think through what you are comfortable with. If you are the kind of traveller who hates delays and unpredictability, you probably won’t enjoy travelling to Hong Kong right now. But if you are a flexible, spirited traveller who thrives on spontaneity and is not fazed by a traffic jam or train delay, then you should still come
We’re in the middle of one of the most important and intense periods in Hong Kong’s 177-year history, yet daily life in Hong Kong is far from all protest all the time. We’re going out to eat (nothing can keep Hong Kongers away from their food!). Chefs are opening new restaurants; the Peak Tram just re-opened after a couple of months renovation. It’s also worth noting that many of the videos broadcast on the news are taken in distant residential districts, which you're unlikely to visit.
For a basic “explainer” on the protest movement, this article in The New York Times is the best place to start for an overview of the events leading up to the current situation; the NYT has a large staff based in the city, and they know it well. Similarly, the Financial Times has a regional headquarters in Hong Kong and lots of reporters on the ground – for a business angle as well as the British perspective on Hong Kong, they are the go-to. For a more local take on the day-to-day of the protests (and updates on protest schedules), we recommend the independent, non-profit English-language platform Hong Kong Free Press.
For daily updates to the original article, visit Little Adventures in Hong Kong.
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