Safety Tips in Hong Kong

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Hong Kong

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    Baggages demaged

    by DaHongHua Written Aug 27, 2013

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    This could happen at any airport but our experience took place at HK International Airport, after claiming our luggages checkin at Penang, transit Changi Int Airport. We ( 24 persons ) traveled in a tour group, 6 pieces of our luggages were broken up, 4 families were involved. We lodged our baggages claim report, the value inccured must be filled in HK Dollars. One of the family lost their Notebook pc, others found only damages on the locker.
    This has remind us ( and all travellers ) not to put valuable in their cargo baggages.
    While file in the claim, you can either claim the airlines or your insurance company.
    After returned from the trip, the airline agent called to say they can help to repair the locker but we need to send the case to their office and another time to take it back after the repair work. I decided to claim from the insurance agency USD50 for a new bag.

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    by IreneMcKay Written Jun 29, 2013

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    Summer is typhoon season here. There is a warning system in force. Typhoon1 is the lowest level - won't affect you, typhoon 3 - getting coser, expect unstable weather, typhoon 8 and 10 - stay indoors avoid sea areas.

    The buildings here can withstand typhoons. In severe typhoons the tall towers are designed to sway. Everything closes in a severe typhoon and public transport will eventually stop running. Biggest dangers are being hit by flying debris, being swept into the sea, landslides from torrential rain.

    The photos show the aftermath of Typhoon York. A typhoon 10 direct hit. Worst typhoon I ever experienced.

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    Typhoon Season

    by swissfondue Updated Jan 2, 2013

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    Big typhoons are rare but may occur anytime between May and November. While there is no need to be concerned its helpful to know that the Hong Kong Observatory has a system in place to give the city plenty of time to prepare for an impending storm.

    When a typhoon is approaching, warnings are broadcast on television and radio. There are various degrees of warning signals issued by the Observatory, but when signals 8NE, 8NW, 8SE or 8SW 9 and 10 are issued most businesses and shops close down and flights in and out of Hong Kong airport may be cancelled.

    I havent been in Hong Kong during a typhoon but was given this this information from a friend who lives there. My friend also said that many people dont feel the need to return directly to their homes as soon as a warning is posted, but choose to continue their leisure activities in and around Hong Kong despite the strong winds and heavy rainfall. He said that locals (and tourists) should be aware of the situation but not concerned by it.

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    Refund your Octopus Card Landside

    by cjg1 Written Mar 21, 2012

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    This is not so much a warning and danger but a don't forget to do this.

    The octopus card that just about every visitor to Hong Kong should have comes with a $50 HKD deposit per card. If you want to refund that deposit and also the current balance on your card before heading home, you need to do this landside in the airport before you go through immigration and security.

    If you forget, the card should be active for 3 years. The balance remaining I am not sure.

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    Notes for smoker

    by jeaz Written Jul 19, 2011

    If you are a smoker. Please smoke near to the trash area. Not every you can lit up your cigarette. Do not simply throw the cigarette bud on the floor or else where. Please throw in the trash bin. Once you been caught by plain uniform police, you'll be issue a summon of HKD1500.

    Do not try to bribe them. By bribing them, you'll caught yourself another offence.

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    by Skripa Written Oct 6, 2010

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    Huge and flying! I never saw those kind before! I did scream loud when first saw at night! And tried not to open my mouth wide=) but inside buildings u wont find those only on streets and mostly at night!

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    by malakingtete Written Apr 25, 2009

    If you are a Filipino, don't be surprised to see & hear Chinese airport staffs shouting "Domestik Helpe" and directing that you line up on a different counter.... They have this notion that mostly of the Filipinos arriving in Hong Kong are for domestic employment and if you are one, they would evidently treat you lowly . I may be one of the lucky ones who have the luxury to travel and be recognized as tourist but I must admit that it offends me that Filipinos are being generalized and branded. Been there thrice and each time I witness that it pricks my heart. What more are the feelings of those who are really there for employment, unselfishly depriving themselves of the time with their families to have a slightly higher income abroad and support them at home? The nobility of their intentions & what they do is masked by the materialism of the world. They should never at all times be approached & treated that way! It's one of the harshness of life that I will forever condemn because my father was once an OFW too.

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    Crossing the streets

    by barbie_sunrise Written Jan 11, 2009

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    Be careful crossing the streets. Always look to your right. Some drivers are not respectful to the pedestrians. Also locals may tend to disobey traffic rules like when the red sign is on they still cross the streets. Safety is the name of the game.

    Related to:
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    Understanding English

    by muhdhazwan Written Aug 5, 2008

    Although majority of HKers speak English and I really have no problem understanding them, there are some who doesnt speak it well. I sometime go to McDonalds to buy fries etc, and the servers are mostly youngsters.

    So they may not be able to understand our English and vice versa. So it would really help if we just point to the pictures in the menu. And if you want to upsize your meal, dont say upsize but say bigger. And if you want it take away, say plastic bag.

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    Mandarin won't get you far

    by deeper_blue Written Jul 19, 2008

    Cantonese is the local language in Hong Kong, some may speak Mandarin but don't rely on it, English is surprisingly not spoken by a large number of people, since the British handover, English has been less studied in schools, although the older generation can often speak it very well.

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    Money Exchange

    by rmcuesta Written Mar 21, 2008

    do not exchange your money in HK airport banks (US dollars to HK dollars) nor to the tour operator who will pick you up at the airport. buy only about 100 HK dollars for your pocket money in the next 12 hours. exchange with them are 10-20% more expensive compared if you will buy HK dollars in the city proper e.g. in Haiphong Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.

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    Street/Tailor Hawkers

    by poetjo Written Mar 13, 2008

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    When I was in Hong Kong in 2005 the tailors/street hawkers were lurking around Nathan Road. Now, in 2008 they are all over Tsim Sha Tsui. They target tourists and if you talk or even just glance at them they will not leave you alone. I made the mistake during this last visit in March 2008 of glancing at one of them when he reached over and put his hands on my bag. I asked him "what are you doing" to which he replied "I have leather handbags upstairs". I quickly pushed his hand away and told him to leave me alone. This was on Nathan Road. They are everywhere including right as you get off the star ferry and enter Tsim Sha Tsui. They are annoying and persistent. My advice is to totally ignore them. Even if they start walking alongside you, which they will, walk quickly and don't even acknowledge their presence. I was talking with some business owners in the area and they told me that they hurt their businesses as well because tourist don't even want to shop there. I wouldn't not shop there because of them because you can just avoid them altogether by ignoring them.

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    Triads 14 K

    by budapest8 Written Oct 26, 2007

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    The 14K Triad is one of the largest triad groups
    to come out of Hong Kong. Formed after the Second World War
    by nationalists fleeing communist China, it has around 30 sub-groups,
    more than 20,000 members and a well-organized leadership.

    Shui Fong (水房幫 - Lit. Water Room Gang) is a Triad group which was up
    and coming in my days, one of the major 4 families.
    They originate from a workers' union of the legacy Hong Kong Soft drink company,
    Wo On Lok (和安樂). For this reason, Shui Fong is also known as Wo On Lok.
    When Hong Kong was given back many of them moved their operations
    to Macau and there were many bloody turf wars with many
    gangland style killings.
    I remember hearing stories of some of the new skyskrapers
    being built had problems with triads as the contracts went
    often to companies who gave the biggest kick backs and
    sometimes if 'Their' workers were not employed a squad
    of thugs were sent in beat the hell out of everyone on site,
    but when the police showed up, nobody knew nothing.

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    Triads 14 K

    by budapest8 Updated Oct 26, 2007

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    During my time when I lived in Hong Kong,
    I used to frequent a few watering holes and
    joints mostly in TST Kowloon side, I had quite
    a varied sortie of friends. A Scotsman working as a
    Border Gaurd, a local girl who was locations manager
    for HKTV (We were both born on the same day).
    An ex-pat TST bar owner, An Israeli businessman
    who was one of the commandoes who took part
    in the freeing of the hostages at Entebbe,
    a few European and Australasian back packers
    now based in Chung King Da Block A, a Chinese
    girl who worked as an escourt for rich Chinese,
    An Aussie called Gavin who was in the precious
    stones business.
    Well we knew most of the joints in TST, Makarti
    District where most of the Phillipino's used to hang
    on Hong Kong Side.
    Once in a street around the Ocean Terminal
    I saw an attack in a flashy bar upon
    off duty HK European police by a gang of
    youths looking like extras straight out of a
    Kung Fu flick. Most of them had tatooes and
    pagers on their belts. Luckily the police arrived
    within 10 minutes and the gang vanished into the
    crowds outside.

    Related to:
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    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    The weather and air-conditioners!

    by Marpessa Written Sep 25, 2007

    Not really a danger, but more of a warning.

    I was in Hong Kong in July and it was still hot at 11pm at night (approx. 30 degrees celsius), so just take care to dress appropriately for the weather and make sure that you are drinking plenty of water as well.

    Also, due to the weather I think about 95% of homes and housing in Hong Kong have air-conditioning. Which is only a problem when you can be walking down some of the streets and the A/Cs will sometimes drip on you, just watch out for that. :)

    Related to:
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    • Family Travel

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