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So what happened? They asked me many questions and requested me to present my company ID, the contact number of my friend in Hong Kong (which they attempted to call), my YouTube channel, and my work.
So what happened? They asked me many questions and requested me to present my company ID, the contact number of my friend in Hong Kong (which they attempted to call), my YouTube channel, and my work.

► Here's my personal account of the current situation (civil unrest) in Hong Kong as a tourist.

► When the rioters invaded Mongkok and burned a university... I was inside a MTR station...

[Hong Kong, China]
EDMARATION
| 1 | [HONG KONG] ► AS A TOURIST, IT'S MY RESPONSIBILITY TO FOLLOW THE RULES.
Geopolitical issues are complex and complicated topics for an overnight discussion. Sadly, issues like these are everywhere in the globe; and the fact that sharing your views about these issues would potentially offend or hurt someone, communication or freedom of speech is apparently not the best solution to reconcile differences. Each person has his/her own opinion or interpretation of these issues which make it even more complicated and dividing. Even Hong Kong, the progressive and freedom-loving city we knew, was not spared from the chaos of geopolitics and of opposing ideologies. Here's my personal account of the current situation (civil unrest) in Hong Kong as a tourist.

Before I start writing my main narrative, let us define "safety" first. Oxford dictionary defines it as "the state of being safe and protected from danger or harm". For this blog post, I'm not going to use the Oxford definition because I believe everywhere in the world is unsafe, which would make me easily lead to the conclusion that Hong Kong is unsafe (the riot alone is already enough to say that there is an impending threat or danger). For the purpose of this blog post, I'll contextualize safety as "being able to visit and experience the tourist attractions of Hong Kong without an actual encounter with the rioters and without sustaining physical/mental harm or death from such encounter."

I visited Hong Kong from the 16th to the 18th of November 2019 and what I will share to your are my personal encounters and experiences in Hong Kong. I hope it may give you an idea of what's happening there. By the way, aside from my personal expeiences, some of the information I shared here were based on the actual observation and insights of someone who has been living in Hong Kong for more than 5 years whom I had the chance to talk with.


Tourist Safety at the Hong Kong International Airport



My port of entry in Hong Kong was the Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). I landed at the airport at around 10:00 AM. The airport seemed to be under normal operation.

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
| 2 | [HONG KONG] ► THE AIRPORT SEEMED TO BE UNDER NORMAL OPERATION.
My experience at the airport was not smooth though as I underwent a second-level assessment at the Hong Kong immigration department. They did not exactly tell me what was the problem but I thought they didn't like the idea that I would exit Hong Kong via the Central Ferry Terminal and eventually, Macau Airport. One thing more, I was supposed to enter Hong Kong via Macau, but I canceled it because of a sudden more important appointment that came along with my flight to Macau the same day; so I had to book another flight but this time, to Hong Kong. I think the immigration officer got confused of the conflicting flight itineraries I presented with two flights landing either in Macau or in Hong Kong.

So what happened? They asked me many questions and requested me to present my company ID, the contact number of my friend in Hong Kong (which they attempted to call), my YouTube channel, and my work. Basically, the questions they asked were based on the documents I presented and on my answers to their questions. It was like an endless domino. They seemed to generate questions based on every single answer I gave them; and it went on and on.

Anyway, I could not blame them if they were very strict because as a tourist, it's my responsibility to follow rules and undergo the process. Speaking of safety, the airport was probably one of the busy places in Hong Kong you would less likely encounter rioters; and I think the Hong Kong/China government will not allow riots to happen there, as it may greatly affect the aviation operation of one of the world's busiest airports.

Aside from my interrogation experience at the immigration office (which is not actually a threat, it was a security measure), I felt very safe and secured at the Hong Kong International Airport.


Safety for Commuters (Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui)



I left Hong Kong International Airport via the airport bus terminal. Everything went well. There was no special or additional security checks other than the routine. I easily purchased a ticket, boarded the bus, and left the airport peacefully.

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
| 3 | [HONG KONG] ► I LEFT THE HONG KONG AIRPORT VIA THE AIRPORT BUS TERMINAL.
NATHAN ROAD
| 4 | [HONG KONG] ► PROTESTERS IN HONG KONG TARGET CROWDED AREAS; AND THAT INCLUDES THE NATHAN ROAD, A POPULAR SHOPPING LANE IN HONG KONG. THERE WERE NO PROTESTERS DURING MY STAY HERE.
TSIM SHA TSUI
| 5 | [HONG KONG] ► I TOOK THIS PHOTO FROM INSIDE THE BUS. TSIM SHA TSUI LOOKED EXCITING, NO RIOTERS SEEN.
The travel was smooth and seamless. I didn't see any rioters along the way. I didn't see special checkpoints. I reached Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui full of friendly people, not rioters.

Although Nathan road is one of the places where the rioters stage a mass protest, they don't necessarily control the area. They organize protests at different parts in Hong Kong. I enjoyed my stay at Nathan Road because the location was very convenient for travelers.


How Safe is Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui?



Protesters in Hong Kong target crowded areas, and that includes the Nathan Road, a popular shopping lane in Hong Kong located in Tsim Sha Tsui. There were no protesters during my stay; however, there were "signs" showing that protesters once brought fear and threat to certain areas. I saw one MTR station (subway system in Hong Kong) that was closed because it was burned by the protesters, hence, causing public inconvenience in this particular part of Hong Kong that time. Some parts of Nathan Road were also hideous because the rioters left tasteless and cheap marks by vandalizing the once orderly and nice-looking public facilities of Hong Kong.

Aside from the tasteless remnants of the protesters, I didn't encounter any problem during my stay here. By the way, the rioters usually organize a rally during weekends. At Nathan Road, I did not witness any problem during my weekend stay there. Everything seemed peaceful.

| 6 | [HONG KONG] ► THIS IS THE MINDSET OF THE REBELLIOUS CLASS. THEY THINK THEY ARE THE ENSLAVED.
| 7 | [HONG KONG] ► TSIM SHA TSUI, HONG KONG'S VIBRANT OLD DOWNTOWN, IS UNSHAKEN BY THE SO-CALLED MASS PROTEST WHICH IS MEDIA-AMPLIFIED TO APPEAR BIG AND TO APPEAR SUPPORTED MY MAJORITY OF HONG KONGERS.
| 8 | [HONG KONG] ► MODY ROAD IN HONG KONG WAS NEVER MOODY. HONG KONG TRADE CONTINUES, BUSINESS AS USUAL.
What is shown by the huge profit-oriented media companies of the West and their allies in the East is that Hong Kong is doomed. Their plot shows us that Hong Kong seems helpless and that the rioters are significant enough to control everything in Hong Kong. In fact, some Hong Kongers don't even care about them. Some give them the middle finger and a laugh. They are free to exercise their freedom of speech; but one thing is for sure: China, with its power and seemingly different perspective of human right, could easily wipe them out if they become a threat to general public safety and security of Hong Kong.

Although I'm against a government that oppresses its people, what I wanted to convey is that Hong Kong is still a part of China (though they have two different political systems, for now); and with China's policy on National Security that is frowned in the West, stopping the protesters is an easy task if they want to sans the human rights consideration. What I mean is, the mass riot is an insignificant scene of the wholistic Hong Kong. The news I'm seeing on TV is actually very interesting, but don't expect to experience that drama when you go to Hong Kong as tourist (unless you would intentionally join the rioters to experience that drama yourself then go ahead). Tourist who will use their common sense will most likely get rid of the rioters.


Is it Safe to Commute via MTR in Hong Kong?



As I said, everywhere is unsafe. Paris, New York, Sydney, and Shanghai are even less safe compared to Hong Kong. In fact, according to the Economist, Hong Kong is the 3rd safest city in the world (2019) in terms of personal security. Aside from the closed MTR stations destroyed by the freedom-loving protesters, Hong Kong administrators (and I'm pretty sure China oversees it) would make it sure to keep its populace safe and secure from the hands of the protesters. If there are threats from the rioters, the MTR administration would close "threatened" stations and quickly inform the public about the closure as heads-up. I experienced this my self.

NATHAN ROAD, Hong Kong Protest
| 9 | [HONG KONG] ► ALTHOUGH THE PROTESTERS DESTROYED SOME MTR STATIONS (SEEING THE GENERAL PUBLIC SUFFER SEEMED TO BE THEIR GOAL, WHAT A CONSCIENCE!), TRAIN TRANSPORTATION IN HONG KONG WAS NOT NECESSARILY PARALYZED.
When the rioters invaded Mongkok and burned a university as part of their freedom of expression in expense of the same rights and freedom their fellow Hong Kongers have, I was inside a MTR station in Hong Kong when I heard a public announcement informing the commuting public that the train would not stop at Mongkok station because of the public disorder caused by the rioters who consider themselves "politically woke". Apparently, the awakening that they have is something that projects public disorder, fear, and suffering.


Other Places in Hong Kong



Near the guesthouse where I stayed in Hong Kong is a historical place called the Signal Hill or the Blackhead Point. The hill features a >100-year-old tower which was used to monitor incoming vessels into Hong Kong harbour.

HONG KONG SIGNAL HILL/BLACKHEAD POINT
| 10 | [HONG KONG] ► THIS PLACE WAS VERY SILENT AND PEACEFUL YOU'LL FORGET THERE'S A SPORADIC PROTEST HAPPENING IN HONG KONG.
Aside from the tower, Signal Hill also has a park with a view of the Hong Kong Harbour. If getting rid of the rioters is your concern, then this is a safe haven. It was indeed a very peaceful place.

During my experience here, I saw some Caucasian people reading a book or just relaxing. There were also Hong Kong couples having the romantic time of their lives. I only saw about less than 15 people here during my 2-hour stay. Forget the rioters, they only target crowded areas where they could garner maximum publicity and visibility.


Is it Safe in Hong Kong at Night?



Like what I mentioned above, everywhere is unsafe because danger is everywhere; but for this context, it's about getting rid of and avoiding physical harm from the rioters.

I roamed around Tsim Sha Tsui until 11 PM without encountering the rioters. Again, it's common sense. Do not go where the rioters go. I was enjoying my time in Tsim Sha Shui viewing the Hong Kong's night skyline and the Avenue of Stars while the rioters were busy burning a university near Mongkok. What I'm trying to say is, the rioters do not control everything that's in Hong Kong. Just avoid them and enjoy the places of Hong Kong without them.

HONG KONG PROTEST
| 11 | [HONG KONG] ► FOR THE RIOTERS, THEY ONLY HAVE UNFORTUNATE LIMITED OPTION: LIBERTY VS DEATH. MAJORITY OF HONG KONGERS WHO DO NOT SCREAM THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DRAMA WOULD PROBABLY CHOOSE LIBERTY AND LIFE. WHAT A POSITIVE OUTLOOK WOULD THAT BE! IF YOUR SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM IS ANOTHER PROBLEM, THEN THE RESULT WOULD BE ANOTHER PROBLEM.
HONG KONG VICTORIA CLOCK TOWER
| 12 | [HONG KONG] ► VICTORIA CLOCK TOWER, PLEASE ENLIGHTEN THEM.
I watched the Victoria Harbour light show and explored the Avenue of stars at night peacefully with the cold Hong Kong breeze. There were many tourists that time (although much less than the usual because of the fear of tourists to travel to Hong Kong).

Other popular public places like the central terminal, central district, and Victoria Peak seemed to operate normally; although you have to be mindful of the schedule and location of riots so that you could avoid them.


Safety Tips



1. Do not wear black or white shirt. These colors are what the protesters wear.

2. When exploring during the weekend, be mindful of the location of the protesters/rioters as they usually do it (burn schools, destroy MTR, etc) during the weekend. Weekdays are generally normal days in Hong Kong.

That's it! Happy travels and Happy New Year! World Peace! 💚 | end of story |

Maps Showing the Location of #HONGKONG

MAP OF HONG KONG
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the categories "Special Features". See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.

► UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
|3| 25-March-2020: Proofread edits applied.
|2| 02-January-2020: Twitter metadata was added.
|1| 01-January-2020: This post was published.


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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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