Isn’t it dangerous in Hong Kong now?

Lately Hong Kong has globally created red alerts in the news. The Hong Kong protests has been going on since three months back in time. It all started with that prisoners were handed back to China and now after 15 Sundays of protests it is about the increased influence of Beijing at the SAR region that Hong Kong is. Hong Kong was a part of China but it is not today. From Europe I have read the news about the developments and I know that media tries to generate clicks so often the stories we can read in the papers portraits a story more eye catching than the actual situation really is. The news in media didn’t scared me away from one of my favorite places but unfortunately many other tourists have decided to go elsewhere. I checked with some friends living in Hong Kong and they said it was all fine going there. I trust them so I booked my ticket and went.

How I ended up in Asia

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“Are you having vacation again?!” I heard when I checked out from the office. Well, the last time I had some days off were in the beginning of July so I thought I deserved a long weekend. The original plan wasn’t though to travel to Hong Kong. I have been longing for New York for quite a while and decided with a friend to go and spend a weekend there. Then obstacle A came. There were no hotels with reasonable prices there. Everything was booked out except luxury places, and I don’t need that when I only will sleep and shower at the hotel. Then obstacle B came. The flights were suddenly full. Not just from Stockholm, but also from Copenhagen, Oslo and the rest of Europe. We didn’t understood why NYC would be so popular in the middle of September until an american colleague of mine told me that the collages starts the following week. Of course every student from Europe have to fly back. See you another time NYC.

So, just to put out the world map looking up potential vacation destinations. Or cancel. I was thinking about postponing my vacation a bit but realized that this was the best weekend in a while and I needed an escape from Stockholm so I checked options. Seychelles – rain, Cape Town – only 14 degrees warm, Chicago – full flights, Miami – need one more vacation day, LA – full flights, Boston – full flights, Montreal – full flights, Bangkok – heavy rain, Tel Aviv – full flights so what was left that was an exciting destination suitable for four days, with no Visa requirement and over 30 degrees warm, possibility to socialize and do beach/pool? Hong Kong.

Four days in Hong Kong

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So, after four days in Hong Kong, how much of the protests did I noticed? When walking around in Central and Wan Chai where the government offices are located I saw more polices than normal. Other than that nothing. On Sunday all streets in the central part of Hong Kong was blocked and quite many stores in that area (all?) were closed. I stayed updated about the situation by reading South China Morningpost and asked in the lobby at my hotel about parts to avoid. I also booked a hotel which is not in the middle of Hong Kong island to avoid being blocked out when the streets were closed.

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On Sunday when the protests was going on I was a bit curious like many others. What would happen. It started at 12 and before that I walked to Wan Chai. It all looked normal but with less people outside. Shops were open and it was all normal. Then I spent the day at the beach and when I got home the inner city was shut down. The protesters wearing black and the police were confronting with each other inside the blocked zone and just outside where my hotel was myself and many other guests as well as press people were watching the happenings from a safe distance. We could only see the police, no protesters.

The yellow vests in Paris vs. Hong Kong protests?

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As a coincidence I ended up going to Paris when the yellow vests were protesting there in December 2018. That was all fine being there at that time although it was boring that a lot of places were closed down. I never felt treated there and we had almost the Eiffel tour for our selves. Media described Paris as a war zone and it wasn’t. Same thing with Hong Kong now. Media describes it as a dangerous place when it in fact is almost like normal except less tourists here. The everyday life of the Hong Kongers seems to go on as usual. The sun is shining, the weather is hot and if you have plans on going here, it is a perfect time doing so if the situation stays as it is today. The hotel prices have dropped and so has also the flights. Go here with an open mind, follow the local news and don’t be stupid and you will have a good time! What is your opinion about traveling to destinations with political issues? are you strictly reading the news at home and listen to their alerts or are you following local media, common sense and safety advice’s?

/ Pernilla that just returned from a trip to Hong Kong

 

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