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Hong Kong

In light of all the recent protests going on in Hong Kong, I’m looking for anyone whom has been there before. I’m planning a trip to HK in early December so still a little ways away, but am still curious to see if others would advise on holding off and picking a new city due to all the demonstrations taking place. Are the protests taking place in popular areas or are they easily avoidable so that I would have an enjoyable trip? I’m most likely still going to go on with my plans, but figured I would ask some other travel lovers their thoughts.

Posted by
8906 posts

I've been to HK many times; it's one of my favorite cities. The territory larger than most people realize, it's about the size of Rhode Island, so if there are protests going on during your visit you can easily avoid them by visiting other districts. December is a great time of the year to visit as the heat and humidity won't as oppressive as in the summer. As much as the locals are resenting the heavy handedness of the Chinese government, its first and foremost one of the planets busiest business centers so it would take a lot shut most of it down due to political protest.

Posted by
3536 posts

I too have been to HK many times. I noticed the diff after China became in charge. If u must go then select an international or other hotel away from usual protests. I suspect they will continue,
Things change and regretfully I will not return.

Posted by
13930 posts

There are two parts to HK - Kowloon side (mainland) and Hong Kong side (the island). From what I've seen on the news, most of the protests are on HK side, since that's where the government buildings are. So you may want to book a hotel on Kowloon side. It's easy to go back and forth by ferry (scenic) or metro (faster, can be very crowded). There's lots to see on HK side that wouldn't be near the protests and plenty more Kowloon side.

Heck, Kowloon may not be as crowded as usual if there's a big protest somewhere!!

For a better picture of what's going on and what to expect, use the HK forum on tripadvisor.com. I've used that on both my trips and it's been very helpful.

Posted by
8906 posts

While the current round of protests are on the HK Island side, when they first started a couple of years ago it was centered on the Monkok neighborhood in Kowloon. So they could easily move around to any area.

Posted by
516 posts

...and in general, hotels are cheaper on Kowloon side than HK side (for same relative class/level of accommodation).

Posted by
13930 posts

I've been thinking of you for the past few days as I watch the developments in HK. If I had a choice at this point, much as I have enjoyed both my week-long visits there, I would not plan a trip there. Choose another option, both Thailand and Vietnam are well worth visiting.

Posted by
631 posts

I am scheduled for an overnight layover there at the end of October on my return from Chiang Mai and considering whether to try to change that. I was looking forward to an evening there, but not sure that’s a good idea.

Posted by
187 posts

I have been to HK twice and enjoyed it greatly. But I don’t think I would plan a trip there now. I mean, they are shutting down the airport!

Two other Asian cities that I really loved were Singapore and Seoul. I found Singapore just as easy to navigate as Hong Kong - lots of English, delicious food, a great mix of cultures, interesting and unusual sights, a good subway. I just went to Seoul in June for a few days and would love to return (and see more of Korea). But it may be cold and dark in December (of course, Singapore will be hot - as it is all year long.)

Asia is so big and fascinating. Enjoy!

Posted by
326 posts

Zach: The Canadian government has now issued a travel advisory for Canadians planning to travel to Hong Kong. They have raised the risk level to "Exercise a high degree of caution due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations". For more details, below is the Government of Canada website:

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/hong-kong

If it were me, I would consider changing to Seoul, South Korea since you will already be close by in Japan.

Posted by
6147 posts

I don't think anyone can predict the situation in Hong Kong in December, the situation is very fluid. You should probably hang tight and just see what happens. There are still many months to go.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you all for the suggestions. I wasn’t planning on purchasing any plane tickets until late September at the earliest, so I will continue to monitor the situation.

Posted by
13930 posts

Saigon, Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok - all major airports with lots of flight choices. Singapore is probably the most expensive for an overnight.

Posted by
48 posts

It's breaking my heart to see what's going on in my old stomping grounds. That being said, I'd probably re-consider plans as well - as others have said, Singapore or Seoul are good back-ups. It seems like this is going to last for quite some time to come.

Posted by
28 posts

Officially focused on planning a Tokyo/Seoul December trip for my first Asian adventure. This actually makes more sense logistically and relieves the need to constantly monitor the situation in HK while planning. My second Asian adventure will definitely be Hong Kong and Bangkok though.

Posted by
4950 posts

FWIW I know someone who was planning a trip to HK in December, joining a cruise there. The Chinese authorities made it very difficult for her to get a visa (making multiple requests for more info and rejecting photographs for more detail). No reason - she's pretty innocuous and experienced in the visa process. The inference being that they were making it difficult to discourage Americans from visiting. She ended up canceling trip.

Posted by
13930 posts

Is that new that you need to apply in advance for a visa to Hong Kong? I was there 2 years ago and it was automatic and free on arrival.

Posted by
631 posts

No visa needed for Hong Kong or Macau for less than three months (from U.S.) - but yes for China in most instances. So maybe the cruise had a couple of stops in China.

Posted by
4950 posts

Yes, the ship was to stop in Shanghai (or whatever its called now) and a couple of other places. The cruise line was not helpful.