Safety, Hong Kong
While making a round tour at Hong Kong, Victoria, Aberdeen,
our Guide stopped the bus and shows us a public bath place at south sea coast:
"See, this is very shure bath place because it is with guarantee free of sharks-
roundup is installed a strong net".
So for a traveller it needs no more explanation!
See the photo....
I went to HK alone. I'm a single, mid 20's white Canadian girl. I was very worried before my trip and was preparing for the worst. I felt completely safe and had no trouble at all. I walked around with my purse, went all over, took taxis, went on the MTR. No trouble at all.
I honestly couldn't believe how clean HK was. The shopping is great, the MTR is super efficient and cheap and taxis are so cheap. There is no need to worry about visiting there.
The only suggestion I have is to learn destination names in Cantonese as taxi drivers do not know english. "day teet" means subway.
There is one thing I was wary of...but its because I am overly cautious. The food. I ate at McDonalds the whole time because I didn't want to get sick. The Big Mac meal is only $2 CAD!
Do be prepared for extreme heat and humidity. I was covered in sticky sweat the whole time. Always carry a bottle of water with you.
Hong Kong is a safe city; serious crimes are not common. There are pickpockets but it's not a real concern even in crowded places (Metro etc) so far as you take general precautions.
Although there are some complaints against the police force, they are not an issue for tourists (unless you're interested in things like their complaint-handling mechanism). The consensus is that the police officers on beat are polite and helpful (even though you might just be ask for directions). All of them speak English (but the proficiency of course varies), and some may speak Mandarin.
And yes, the police force houses divisions that oversee Railways. Police Officers in these divisions patrol in stations and trains.
In emergency (only), dial 999. Presumably all 999 call centre operators speak English and are capable of handling English reports. Otherwise, approach any police officers or get into nearby police stations for assistance.
Uniformed police officers come in two forms: blue (junior level; equivalent to enlisted & warrant officers) and white (officers). They are easily identifiable. The locals are accustomed to addressing them "ar sir" regardless of their ranks.
Rest assured that all uniformed police officers are indeed police officers. Those not belonging to the patrol sub-units may be in plain clothing. If you're in doubt of the identity of someone who claims to be a police, you can ask him/her to produce his warrant card. Nobody in Hong Kong will ask you to pay fine of any sort on the street.
By the way, be a law-abiding tourist (in a positivist not moral sense) and cross the road only when it's in green. Apart from police officers, "traffic wardens" (in brown uniform) sometimes look for jaywalkers.
Have a nice trip in Hong Kong!
Hong Kong is located at the western shore of the Pacific Ocean and is in the typhoon zone from Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, China and Japan.
So if you are in Hong Kong especially in July and August, if there is any typhoon warnings or alerts, do take the necessary safety precaution. Even if there is no direct hit, there could be strong winds, heavy rain, flooding which can cause landslides and flying objects in the streets.
Warnings will be on local televison and if in doubt, ask and follow what the locals do. Just stay in door until the storm is over or has passed..
Apart from Pickpockets, there are no major safety concerns in Hong Kong. To mee it seems like one of the safest places on earth. The tourist areas like Nathan Road are usually crowded until well in the night, making it highly unlikely that you will encounter serious crime there.
While I was at the Peak, I found there are many garden paths to walk on, and I was also cautioned against going on them after dark, as you could get robbed.
Go durining the day and maybe closer to dusk so it is a little cooler. Don't travel alone. Walk with people.
I found it to be very safe in Hong Kong. There were police everywhere and that in and of itself made me feel safe.
There were nights or shall I say early morning hours that I would walk from the promenade area back to my hotel along Canton Road and felt completely safe as there are people walking about at all hours.
There are also taxis everywhere just in case you need one.
It doesn't happen often, the Peak is quite safe, but just to warn anyone, I read two stories in the South China Morning Post of tourists being attacked/robbed there:
1. A lone Hungarian was only sitting 100m from the mall taking photos when his rucksack was snatched with $2000 cash, passport, credit cards, mobile phone, camera etc. The police got his bag back, but only a map and an empty water bottle were left.
2. Two women (either US/Aust) were robbed when walking together around the Peak.
I'm not trying to scare people, just let them know to be careful. The Peak is popular and mostly very very safe. Just use common sense.
Ladies market (Tung Choi St, I think) sells many fake designer handbags. These are fine to look at and buy and it's ok to ask if they will "bring if down" (from their flat) for you to see. However, if they ask you to go up to look at the bags, politely refuse or ask them to bring it down for you to see. If they say no, walk away.
I made the mistake of going up alone to see the bags, I thought it was safe because there was a young English couple also going up. I told my mum later and she flipped. The locals don't do it! Her Chinese friends were shocked.
Apparently if there is a police raid, they lock you in and leg it. Also, you never know who they are or whether they have other reasons for asking you to go up there. Better safe than sorry.
Apparently you could get hit on the head and robbed, kidnapped or sold as a sex slave....
Just be careful, you don't know who these people are. Do not go up, especially alone and stay in the crowed streets.
I remember a tip in the Bangkok site by travelagent4thailand regarding a drink at a club. The same thing can happen to you in Hong Kong. Went for a quick drink in one of those spot with topless women and got ripoff (basically held up) inside the bar. I'm repeating the tip from travelagent4thailand, reign those libidos! hehehe
well...Hong Kong is a crowded, noisy and busy place to live. But as a tourist, you will find here is quite safe (no big natural disasters), people is just busy but treat tourists well. even their English proficiency is not too high (not everyone is biligual), but they will try to give you a help hand if you ask for. as I am a citizen here, I feel safe since I was born.
though here were some big strokes/social movements (in 1970s or before), political stability is quite steady (compare with other countries). Big labour strokes seldom appear here. our transportation system is stable and not so complicating.
People just rush for daily life but it is the unique cultural face.
While it may be cheap or you may feel in a mood to sample cultural delights, eating from street vendors should at best be avoided, that is... if you don't want to spend the rest of your holiday squatting in the WC.
While this may sound off-putting, this is "common sense" wherever you go. So if you are ever hungry in the street, wait until you reach a restaurant or a McDonalds etc (which to me is a safe bet). And that way at least, you know the food is going to be nicer.
Please note that it's ILLEGAL to sell those Japanese electrical products with the voltage didn't readjust before importing to HK due to safety purpose. So what you should get from the shops are those readily in use in HK and so as in UK without the use of converter, but you need the plug adaptor for three square prongs. But since Japan is not likely to export those new design electronic models, some local shops will buy them directly in Japan and claim for personal use when pass through the custom. These shops are usually very small and confined to areas out of main streets
Please beware when you buy from illegal hawkers, or else, you may get caught.
Sinse it's rather smoky in Autumn-Winter, people have health problem should avoid staying outdoors too long.
when you are in crowded areas exp. mongkok, please take a really good care of your belongings as pick-pockets are very common.
Hong Kong is a very full city and especially on busy places a Walhalla for pickpocketers. So, hold on tight to your belongings and don't leave your purse on a visible place (like your trousers' backpocket). If you go from Hong Kong on a tour to one of the neighboring Chinese towns, be prepared to see poverty in the real. Little children with big dark eyes, dressed in extremely old and dirty cloths will beg and you have to be pretty strong to say 'no'. Tip: if you plan this ahead, take old toys and other things from home as gifts and you will see smiles that you will never forget!