We all know that Hong Kong right now is facing changes which outrage the locals, leading to protests. If you’re travelling to Hong Kong soon, you might want to read our story, from someone who’s been there in the midst of the recent chaos.
Is it safe to travel to Hong Kong right now?
Like you, I asked this question to myself many times weeks before our flight. The protests were scheduled and looking peaceful last June so I didn’t worry much. But when I saw the news about the MTR attack in Yuen Long , the thought of travelling there started to bother me and husband. And worst, August 5 came, there was a city-wide strike which has affected the transport causing many flights to get cancelled. That day, I also found out that several riots have already happened in Tsim Sha Tsui and nearby districts. I booked a guesthouse in Tsim Sha Tsui for 5 nights, there’s no way we’re going to stay there after seeing the updates in the news.
So that same day of August 5, I called booking.com to cancel our booking and I booked a hotel in a location that’s far from the protests, but closer to the airport and Disneyland. Checking Hong Kong map, I focused my search in Tsing Yi and voila! I found a very nice hotel – Rambler Garden Hotel – which amazingly is cheaper from the guest house I first booked.
After hotel rebooking, next that I was worried about was our flight because Cebu Pacific was posting that time regarding recommendations to reschedule or cancel the travel. We’re visiting Hong Kong to celebrate my eldest daughter’s 7th birthday, I don’t think rescheduling our flight is a good idea. So August 7 came, we proceeded with our plans. We arrived at Mactan International Airport very early (it was our first-time to travel abroad so you can understand the excitement and nervousness!). And thankfully, we landed in HK safely and there were no protesters in the area.
We skipped the use of MTR and preferred Taxi because of our big pieces of luggage. First impression? To be honest, it seemed like the region is not facing problems at the moment. We were welcomed in the hotel and the staff told us that Tsing Yi is very safe. He’s indeed right! During our 5 nights of stay there and exploring their mall and MTR station, we haven’t seen any protesters.
Lantau Island was the first place we explored and it was amazingly packed with tourists. Our tour that day involved exploring Tai O fishing village, very far from the center but really worth visiting. Our day 2 required us to be more vigilant but nothing really happened thank God. Our destination that day was Hong Kong Ocean Park, we rode the MTR from Tsing Yi, requiring us to have a quick stop and strolling in the Central and Admiralty MTR stations where most protests happen based on the news. It was already 9PM when we travelled back to Tsing Yi and everything’s still in order, people were really ‘business as usual’ to be honest. And on our 3rd day, Disneyland was our destination and trust me, still too many tourists in the area.
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Parents these days throw extravagant parties for their kids’ 7th birthday. If they have the funds, why not right? But for us, we’re done with parties. This is why we decided last year to prepare for our first trip abroad to celebrate Louise’s 7th birthday, and the destination? Where else but to every girl’s dream – Disneyland!!! It has long been decided that we go to Hong Kong but problems in the region have worsen as we approached the schedule of our travel. But God has guided us, he helped me made last minute changes to our itinerary and bookings, I even asked for signs if we were to proceed or just cancel our trip… And finally, we pushed through with our plans! This may not look like a perfect family photo but it’s enough to remember our struggles yet satisfying experience just to be in this place. God is good indeed!!! #blessed #thankful #7thbirthday #7thbirthdaycelebration
So to answer your question, is it safe to travel to Hong Kong right now? It’s still a BIG YES for me, just forget visiting the tourist attractions that are near the protests for now, Victoria Peak specifically. As for your flights, if it’s possible to change your departure flight in Macau then do it. Macau is a great place to visit when you’re in Hong Kong actually, it’s just a 2-hour journey through a ferry.
For more stories about our Hong Kong – Macau trip, feel free to follow me on IG (@hannah_iway) and check out my IG stories. Visit my blog every now and then for more Hong Kong travel tips with kids.