Crowds, Hong Kong
During the festive seasons including the long holidays in China, it could be very crowded at Disneyland.
You may want get your admission tickets in advance to avoid disappointment of sold out tickets if your primary trip to Hong Kong is to bring the kids to see Disneyland for the first time.
If you have been to other Disneylands in USA, do not expect too much of Hong Kong Disneyland. It is a new theme park and much smaller than usual. There will not be the same number of rides and attractions. Otherwise, you will feel disappointed and Disneyland is suppose to be the happiest place of earth. So change your expectations.
Not a danger as such but people who don't like crowds be warned, Hong Kong is the most crowded city I've ever been to! From dawn to dusk and beyond the crowds of people just never stop! If you have a important date or meeting, please leave plenty of time to get to where you are going as it can be quite stressful being stuck in the middle of a crowd when you need to be somewhere quickly.
Hong Kong like many mega cities are prone to large crowds, especially when I was there, there was alot of construction which only added to the confined feeling walking on the streets.
Like any major city you should just be aware of your surroundings and your personal belongings. I found the city to be very safe, I had no problems, but always use common sense.
Okay so i arrive in Hong Kong....... im so tired its untrue. After collecting my bags without trouble at all, i walk thru these double doors towards the train station.
Now i have been warned about Hong Kong in peak hour, by a very good cantonese friend of mine.
It is peak hour at this point.
In all fairness the train system is actually brilliant. They are always on time and come so often. The thing that got me though is: There are guards walking around and the train is approaching. there are people everywhere.
'How am i going to get on this train?'- im thinking.
I walk towards the train looking around. im stuck in the middle of the crowd. Theres no escape!! We are shoved towards the doors, being pushed...im about to fall over, my backpack is heavy, i suffer Claustrophobia at the best of times....this is not helping the situation at all.... okay almost there...the train is already full...what the ???? okay now the guards are running towards us....what the f...k is going on????
They are shoving us in....im looking around for help, no one else seems to be bothered by this..... I'm not joking when i say that there is no room to even find breathing space!!
Its crazy- then comes the great adventure of trying to get off!!!
When taking the train from HK to go over the Schenzhen, pls. be careful of the crowd. Once the train door opens, you will see the locals doing the run ! Yes, really, they will run and when you get in line together with these ppl, they will start pushing their way to get to the immigration ASAP. So, be extra careful of your belongings !
It sure will be an eye opener !
Sundays are the day the Filipino community (the Amahs etc) have their day off and get together. They congregate around Central - a road is even blocked off for them to mingle, sing and dance and have their little religious gatherings. They also collect around the Star Ferry area Central and at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. They are all fun loving and its almost like party time when they get together along with all their large packages they have bought to send back home to families but if you are in a hurry and trying to get somewhere, it can take you quite a while to get through them all. After all, its Sunday and no one is supposed to be in a hurry.
Roads and streets are so limited around business districts in Hong kong. Traffic jam is one of the common daily life for people living there. If you are a tourist, MTR subway is your best bet to visit downtown and business areas.
HK streets can be deadly. Even if the streets are empty of vehicular traffic, the sidewalks are always packed and there are metal railings between the street and sidewalks so if you are in the street when traffic comes-you are screwed. I'm generally not a rule follower but I did not usually jaywalk in HK.
Like in Singapore, Sunday is the off day for the immigrant domestic workers so shopping and site-seeing will have the extra crowds. Check out the Central District on Sunday if you want to see what I mean.
Well, this is not exactly a 'DANGER' warning... but more as an eye-opener. DON'T COME TO HONGKONG DURING THE CHINESE NEW YEAR period which lasts for 15 days (yes, you read correctly). This city suddenly becomes a ghost town when ALL shops and offices will be closed for at least 5 days! So, if you happen to book your flight during this period, quickly call up your travel agent and arrange for another date....
But if you really can't change your date of travel, nevermind. Come and join in the festive atmosphere. Just ensure you get invited to the home of a Chinese family since the Chinese New Year season is a time when Chinese families get together to celebrate - yes, 15 days of togetherness and fun.
For single people, hear ye! During this period, you'd receive lots of 'hong bao' (red packets containing MONEY). It'd be given to you from a married person. ONLY SINGLE PEOPLE get this 'hong bao' priviledge. It's a Chinese tradition. Don't reject it if someone gives this to you. Just say 'thank you' and wish them a happy New Year. If you're a single, you don't have to return the favor. :-) Wonderful, isn't it? Personally speaking, this is the BEST time for me to collect loads of 'hong bao' (read: $$$) from relatives and married friends. I LOVE Chinese New Year!
P.S. Just to give you a rough idea how much you'd receive in a 'hong bao' packet. The 'market rate' for giving currently is US$7. The closer the person is to you, the BIGGER the 'hong pao' gets. So, don't be astonished if a close Chinese friend (who's married) gives you a 'hong bao' containing the equivalent of US$50 to US$100! So, the more Chinese friends you have, the more 'hong bao' you'd receive. Ah, now I'm sure you'd also enjoy this festive season.
HK may take a little getting use to. The streets are noisy and highly congested. The hardest thing for me as a westerner was to get used to this high of a population density