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Sky shield

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  1. Sky shield

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    It was announced yesterday that the number of visitors arrivals in HK for the previous week was down 50% year on year. (Mind you these numbers include Chinese tourists which make up the bulk of the numbers). There was also a photo showing a Cathay flight from Beijing 90% empty (China is obviously boycotting CX). The low hotel prices are offered by the wholesalers who bought blocks of rooms for the tour groups which are not coming. These are mainly the lower price hotels catering to the groups. I do not discuss politics with people that I do not know, but just wanting to point to a fact. HK has been returned to China for 22 years now, most of the active demonstrators have not lived under the "colonalist" regime for one single day. So what is it? The answer may be found that the most frequently sung song during the demonstrations is "do you hear the people sing?"
  2. Sky shield

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    Just another update from a local. Last Sunday (4 days ago), 1.7 million people, in pouring rain, turned out in the streets demonstrating. There was no violence; no shop was broken into. (Actually none in the past 11 weeks of protests). The government is (finally) starting a dialogue with KOLs. The outcome is unpredictable, but it appears that reasons have prevailed, once again. The planes are flying, on schedule. Hotel prices are so low, unheard of. Yesterday, in busy Central, I could get a good table at lunch easily, this restaurant will usually need a reservation 3 days in advance!
  3. As a local resident, I do not know what is store next week. As they say, in politics a week is a very long time. But the popular thinking at this time is that the demonstrations will run out of steam, but how soon is anybody's guess. Most will bet when schools/universities open again in early September. Hopefully, a reconciliation process will begin. I should add however that for 98% of HK (people and localities), lives are normal. People just go about and do whatever they have been doing. The demonstrations are now mainly directed against police stations.
  4. Sky shield

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    At this very hour, the Airport Authority has obtained a court injunction forbiddening any act of wilful disruption to flight operations. My bet is that the demonstrators will pay heed. They will move on to something else. I expect that normal flight operations will be restored within a day or two.
  5. Sky shield

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    The situation is fluid, as a local, I do not want to speculate what will happen the next minute. So if your cruise is sometime in October and later, there is nothing to do but watch. But if you are committed to come, at the present time, there is really no major risk to personal safety, but there will be inconvenience because of the wild cat demonstrations and non-cooperation movements. I actually returned Wednesday last week from Europe (Oceania Marina disembarked in England). But in all these days since, I lived my days normally, work and home, nothing adnormal. Of course, I stayed away from the demonstrations. FWIW, the majority opinion supports the demonstrators, even though we all will advise less violence. There are signs today that restraints are exercised, following harder tactics used by the police. The next big event will be a demonstration this coming Sunday, in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. A huge turnout exceeding one million people is expected. What / how this one goes, whether there will be serious violence tagging at the end towards midnight, will go a long way to tell us what will happen next.
  6. For a teenage girl, I shall advise against (for HK) Central or Admiralty, basically the business/banking district. Causeway Bay (on HK Island) should be a good pick, more young fashions. Mongkok on Kowloon may appeal to the younger, but is lower scale generally. It will not be wrong if you pick Tsimshatsui (TST), the traditional tourist area. But at the end, the difference is not huge, as the subway (MTR) connects all these areas and the travel time is short, HK is a compact place. For Tokyo, a good area is Roppongi, upscale and close to the National Art Gallery. Night life too.
  7. I would pick Macau as well. It is easy to get to, ferry sailings are every 15 minutes and there is no need to book in advance, unless it is a Sunday or public holiday. After your show, there will still be night sailings throughout the night, even though on a less frequent basis. Macau has some history, and another advantage is the Portuguese food. From the ferry piers in Macau, you can use the complimentary shuttle buses of the various hotel groups and visit the various places, using the ferry piers as hubs. Taxies in Macau are sometimes dufficult to hail, unless you line up in the stand in front of a hotel/casino, but they will give priority to staying guests. The House of Water is quite unique and worth seeing. They may have an earlier show at 6 pm, and you can go to both with dinner in between. The two venues are within walkable distance, 10 - 15 minutes walk.
  8. Oh, further, HK Dollars in cash only for your fare. There are ATMs in the Arrival Hall (you may have to ask for directions) and there is a money exchange counter when you exit the customs hall but before you leave the restricted area.
  9. When you exit from the airport, there are 3 taxi lines. One is the "Urban Taxies" (red colour), the other is "NT (New Territories Taxies" (green colour) and finally the "Lantau Taxies" (blue colour). Each of the green and blue has restricted areas to operate; but the red ones can operate anywhere. For the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, you will need the Urban / red taxies. Make sure you are in the right line, there are clear markings and signages, and most people will use the red taxies. When you are near the head of the line, there will be some English speaking helpers (employed by the Airport Authority) asking for your destination and point you to a vacant taxi. They will write down the license plate number of the taxi on a card and give it to you and indicate an estimated fare (HK$ 350 most likely in your case). Keep the card if you have a complaint to make later on. The helper will also usually tell the driver in Chinese / Cantonese your destination. Should be easy.
  10. Each and every time that when I was in Singapore, I would go to Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant in One Fullerton, nesr the Merlion Park. I go for crabs. A dinner for 2 will be about USD 100, crabs but no steamed fish. Very popular and I would strongly recommend a reservation. Some of my friends got turned away and had to return the next day. It has a website, google it, and I think it will take a reservation on line. Enjoy.
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