Hong Kong Alert
Preparing the What-If
During Your Tour

Hong Kong alert is to provide you the information so that you can plan ahead of time or protect yourselves during your Hong Kong vacation.

Effects from Mother Nature

Bad things happen all the time. Some are very minor. Some could be very bad.

Some are by human and some are due to Mother Nature which is mostly weather.

Here are just a few common examples in the Hong Kong alert. It may result to change your plans:

1) Hong Kong Symphony of Lights cancels if it is rainy or thunderstorm (typhoon) is coming

2) If there is severe thunderstorm with black warning signals, transportation could stop. Tsing Ma Bridge, the main road connecting to the Hong Kong Airport, would close, too.

3) Ngong Ping 360 stops operation quite often due to mechanical issues.

The What-Ifs

We always teach our kids to be aware of bad people. Unfortunately, no matter where you go, you always somehow see some bad guys. Some target on tourists. Here are some of their tricks:

1) When it comes to emergency that you need assistance from law enforcement or Hong Kong police, call 999.

2) Hong Kong taxi may pick up tourists with many shopping bags in the area flooded with luxury stores. The driver would suggest the tourist to put their shopping bags into the
trunk. On the way to the customer's destination, they give excuses of changing shifts and kicked the customers out of the taxi and speed away. Customers lost everything that they spent thousands of dollars on.

3) Or, they tried to give you a "bargain" to go to a tourist spot for a fixed rate, for instance, the Hong Kong Victoria Peak. But they actually charge you 3 or 4 times more than what the regular price is. They even pick up their customers at the taxi forbidden area.

How to Tackle?

So, how to tackle this and protect yourselves?

Best way to do it is to understand the way how it works under normal circumstances. Check out our Hong Kong taxi page to find out the normal practice of the drivers.

Since there are so many luxury stores in Hong Kong, competitions are getting worse and worse. For their survivals, some stores open in residential buildings or on the second floor.

They sell the real stuffs, but they may not have the warranty to come with. They always have a person in the street carrying a banner with the brand of products they sell and the stores location.

The price sometimes is half of the original price. Is it worthy to take that risk?

It depends on what kind of products, like a luxury brand of handbag or electronics, you buy and how important of the warranties to you. I personally had the experience of buying merchandise in this kind of stores. I do think that some of them are worth the trip and the money.

At the same time, you need to understand that you are taking a risk.

Where Is The Bathroom
(a.k.a. Hong Kong Public Toilets)?

For Hong Kong people, they call them "public toilets".  Even growing up in Hong Kong, finding a public bathroom is one of the most challenging tasks.  Believe me, when your bladder can't hold very long, it is very, very tough. 

Now, having my own child, looking for a "public toilet" in Hong Kong is always a number one priority.  It is because there are not many which leads to long lines.  Some places only offer to their customers.

I must admit that Hong Kong bathrooms are much cleaner compared to years ago.  But there are still a lot of rooms for improvements. 

Unfortunately, family bathrooms are not very popular either although it improved a lot.  It is still far behind from the western countries.  If you have a baby or toddler who needs family bathroom to change diaper or breastfeeding, it depends on your luck.  Even if there is one, you may need to wait for 10-15 minutes for the one in front of you to finish.  That was my experience last time with my toddler-then.

So, here are some tips for you:

1) Big shopping malls always have a bathroom in every 3-4 stories, such as The Times Square, Sogo, Festival Walks, the Landmark and so forth.  So, when you get into the mall, always look into the directory first in order to locate where the bathroom is.

2) Striped malls, most of the time, only offer to their own customers.  In other words, if you buy something in a boutique, you can ask them to use their bathroom".  They will give you a key to unlock the door.

3) Restaurants only allow their customers' use.  It is prohibited from the public.  But the western franchised restaurants, such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Cafe de Coral, Maxim's (a.k.a. MX), Fairwood and other big fast food chains, are pretty good to allow people to use theirs even though some people are not their customers.

4) There are always "public toilets" in any Hong Kong parks, such as the Victoria Park, Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Park and so forth.  Always, always have someone accompanying you.  Don't go in there all by yourself.  A lot of time, crimes happen in there.

Check back later for more Hong Kong alert updates.

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