Thoughts on the situation in Hong Kong?

Travel Forums Asia Thoughts on the situation in Hong Kong?

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1. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 739 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

We are going to Japan in March next year and we were planning a stop over in Hong Kong but with escalating protests and even the travel warning increased I'm starting to wonder if it we need to reconsider our plans. It certainly doesn't help that my dad keeps sending me mainland China news where they talk about the protests as if preparing to send the army in.

Am I just letting my dad's paranoia get to me or would you change travel plans if something like this was happening where you planned to travel?

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 878 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

>would you change travel plans if something like this was happening where you planned to travel?

In a word, no (unless my government advisory changed to advise against all travel). And it wouldn't even cross my mind to worry about it so far ahead. I'd just wait and see what the reality was when I actually had to make a firm decision.

I go by my government's travel guidelines. If they advise against all travel to a country/part of a country I simply don't go (doing so would invalidate any normal travel insurance anyway). If they just advise caution I make my own decisions.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1185 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Monitor the situation closely, then make up your mind before you book your flights, keeping in mind that if you decide to go and conditions get worse you might have to make alternative plans.

Last year I booked flights to Managua, Nicaragua, before the troubles began. Delta Air Lines maintained its flight schedule for a while (I was one of the few passengers on a largely empty plane) before cutting back its schedule. Other carriers suspended service. On arrival we spent the night at a hotel across the street from the airport instead of going into the city, fearing that it might be difficult to get out because of roadblocks and paramilitary forces roaming the city. We made several detours in Nicaragua to avoid clashes (local taxi drivers often have up-to-date information in troubled lands). Since this was a multi-country Central America trip we flew back to the U.S. from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, as originally planned. We enjoyed our stay in Nicaragua, despite the troubles. The country was devoid of tourists; and many hotels and restaurants were closed, so we had to seek alternatives.

Keep in mind that once you book your flights, and the airline continues to serve that destination, it may be difficult to make changes without paying fees, which can be hefty.

As of now, the U.S. State Department has a Level 2 travel advisory for Hong Kong. It's the same level that it has for many of the countries in Europe. Read the advisories carefully to help determine risk, such as places to avoid. I recently visited Lebanon and Turkey, both of which are Level 3, "Reconsider Travel." A friend and I had planned to join other friends to a Level 4 "Do Not Travel" country, but we were denied visas. Our friends went and thoroughly enjoyed it.

As a U.S. citizen, I always register my itinerary with the State Department's Smart Traveler program. I've had several useful and informative updates that helped forestall problems.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/step.html

4. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 996 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

March is a very long way away, especially when it comes to politics.
It's rare that these things affect tourists as they want the tourists $.
It may be worth reviewing the situation after Christmas but even then if it's still happening it could all be cleared up within a week or two.

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1185 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

The events in Hong Kong are the subject of the cover of the latest issue of The Economist. There is a lot at stake. Rather than rely on the opinions and hearsay of others it's important to carefully research the situation yourself and understand the issues, particularly if you plan to travel there.

Sometimes it's not human events that should be considered. Nature also can play a role. For example, I will be visiting Indonesia's West Papua province in September. Earlier this year It was subject to devastating torrential rains and mudslides that killed more than 100 people.

It's wise for travelers to always be alert about events in the places they plan to visit; and to keep informed if health, safety and security are their top concerns.

6. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 215 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

It's very long long way away. The situation can change within a week. And Hong Kong is definitely worth a stop!

7. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1185 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

The latest development:

https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/important-notice/index.page?noticeid=1565255215067-2

https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_HK/travel-information/travel-preparation/travel-advisories/hong-kong-public-assembly-12Aug.html

As mentioned before, if you're thinking of going, stay tuned to events and make a decision closer to the time you want to visit. If you're determined to go and the clashes continue make sure you have alternative plans and have considered the ways and means to get out.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Aug-2019, 10:47 GMT by berner256 ]

8. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 991 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I go by my government's travel guidelines. If they advise against all travel to a country/part of a country I simply don't go (doing so would invalidate any normal travel insurance anyway). If they just advise caution I make my own decisions.

Not strictly speaking true in every case. The UK Foreign Office currently advises against travel to N Korea but it's perfectly safe, and we've been able to take out additional specialist insurance cover for our trip at a reasonable price, suggesting that the insurance company aren't too worried either!

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 878 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

I know specialist insurance is available, Sarah, though it's easier to get for some 'advise against all except essential travel' (e.g. N Korea) and 'advise against all travel' countries (e.g. Syria) than others. I said I'd avoid going to 'against all travel' countries because of the additional insurance....but N Korea isn't 'against all travel'. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Aug-2019, 15:07 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 991 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I know specialist insurance is available, Sarah, though it's easier to get for some 'advise against all except essential travel' (e.g. N Korea) and 'advise against all travel' countries (e.g. Syria) than others. I said I'd avoid going to 'against all travel' countries because of the additional insurance....but N Korea isn't 'against all travel'. :-)

Fair point!