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Scams and safety in Hong Kong?

edited October 2010 in - Hong Kong
Are there any common scams in Hong Kong that tourists should be aware of? I've heard about accommodation scams but I don't know any others. Is Hong Kong a safe place, can you walk around at night without having to worry? I know parts of China are safe and others not, but what is Hong Kong like?


  • edited 3:03AM
    Nothing in particular - not if you are arriving as an individual. You may read about members of Chinese tour groups getting forced to go shopping but that shouldn't happen to you.

    I've often walked around late at night and never felt threatened.You only need normal, sensible precautions.
  • edited 3:03AM
    Thanks for your reply.
    Can you maybe give me some tips on what the best areas to stay are and what tourist attractions should I definitely not miss while I'm there?
  • edited 3:03AM
    Sure - but that's a big question.

    How long have you got?
    What are your interests?
    What style do you travel?
  • edited 3:03AM
    I've got a week in the city.
    I'm interested in a range of things from architecture to museums to historical sites to parties and pop culture. I'm not sure what you mean by your third question, but I'm not a backpacker. I don't spend insane amounts of money when I'm travelling but I do like to be comfortable and I like to enjoy myself and learn about the places I'm in - learn more than just the general touristy stuff, I like to find out about the people that live in a country and get to know more about their lives.
  • edited 3:03AM
    One big decision will be whether to stay on Hong Kong Island or not. Given that you have a week I would, and close to the Central (that's a district) ferry terminal (Sheung Wan). That way you will be able to head out and visit other islands more easily. You'll have the metro and buses handy too, and these will be your mainstay when getting around Hong Kong island and over to Kowloon. Don't forget to try the trams and Star Ferry for the experience. Walking is a great option and you can get suggested routes from HK Tourism centres.

    Victoria Peak is worth a look - but choose your day.

    The view from the tip of Kowloon should satisfy your achitectural interest - at least as far as modern buildings are concerned. For older ones try a temple such as Wong Tai Sin or Che Kung in Sha Tin.

    The markets around Mongkok are also worth a wander. Go to these during the day and in the evening as they do feel different. I like the Flower Market and the Pet Market.

    Maybe spend one day heading over to the other side of the island to Stanley and/or Aberdeen.

    Lamma Island is worth a day. Further afield you could visit Sai Kung for a great bit of coast.

    Lan Kwai Fong is noted for its bars. I've always preferred the ones in Tsim Sha Tsui.
  • edited 3:03AM
    Thank you so much, this information is really helpful.
  • edited 3:03AM
    Probably some of these scams happen in HK too:
  • I found Nathan road to be a massive hassle factor. I was looking for my hotel and people were coming up to me asking me where I was going and when I asked for directions they would tell me that the hotel is closed etc or they didn't know where it was. Then they would try and take me to their hotels or to a hotel for commission etc. I know this is pretty standard in many places across Asia but just be careful. I kept calm and it turns out my hotel was 1 minute walk away so I was okay.

    You also get a lot of people trying to sell you fake rolex's etc and hassling you all the way down the road.
  • edited 3:03AM
    Stay away from the Perfect Digital camera store on Chatham Road. The salesmen are real con artists and will swindle you if you are not very well versed in camera and equipment prices. I was taken for about UD$200 on grossly overpriced accessories. When I went back to complain they made "restitution" by giving me a lens worth $400 on their printed price list but I later learned it was worth $50 at most.
  • edited 3:03AM
    i' ve just come back from hong kong and was ripped off by perfect digital.
    never go shopping tired after a plane flight
  • edited 3:03AM
    PERFECT DIGITAL is the worst shop ever, i was ripped off too! i realized that after few hours! went back to the shop,got some money back, but still i am ripped off! No one should go to that HORRIBLE shop!
  • edited 3:03AM
    Perfect digital is an absolute discrase. Sales rep and manager had us believing the lens we brought was the new model that came out within the last few months. Also the price was tripled of what's it is actually worth. after going home and googling the product we soon found this lens was 5 years old and was worth 295 us dollars. We had been scammed for 853 us dollars. We went back down there and demanded our money back or a better price. They refused to give a full refund but gave us an extra lens to make us feel better. We were told this lens was worth 650 us dollars. We went home once again and was agrivated to see the price was a mere 150 us dollars. We went down to perfect digital for a 3rd time to get a full refund. This time the manager was very aggressive towards us and it took 45 minutes of arguing to regain 2000 hong kong dollars. What I failed to mention at the start was we also had traded in our old camera lens with the purchase. We demanded to have the lens back. The final result was our old lens back and the one lens we brought for 4500 hong kong dollars ( which is still over priced by 300 us dollars. This was the best we could do. We urge anyone in the market for electronics to stay away from small companies and only do business with large companies and trusted brands. Do your research online before being sucked into the hongkpng markets!
  • edited 3:03AM
    Try to avoid PERFECT DIGITAL along Nathan Road, it is probably the dirtiest shop on Nathan, and an expert on the 'BAIT & SWITCH' scheme. If you do not want to ruin your stay in Hong Kong, do not visit this shop!
  • edited 3:03AM
    we visited temple street markets and during walk through the stalls we came across 3D Digital and Audio. We noticed in the display there was an IPad 4 the lates version and enquired about the price. As we had already done our homework and compared prices with both Australia and Honk Kong we knew it could not be cheaper than $630au for a 32GB wi fi. So they guy in the stall tells me its about $3500 with them adding on a free screen saver and case, so my interst is peaked and so we go to office which is just through the other side of the stall to discuss. Here the main man "Alan" tells me that he knows how much the aussie dollar is and that there is no duty on electronics in HK all this of course is to draw me in further. I then ask him for the best price and then he says he can do it for $2900hk which is as you can imagine a fantastic price as this was approx $364au which is approx half the normal price. Anyway he then calls in the order and we wait, at this time his assistant offers us a drink and we wait some more. While we are waiting he starts to question our decision to buy the IPad as we should be buying something like the Google machine as it can do so much more and for a few dollars more it would be more up to date, fortunately our daughter has insisted on only the IPad so we were not interested. After waiting for another 15mins and still no IPad he chases up the warehouse and is told they only have 2 left but set up in chinese not for other countries. So he gets his card and rights down is name and the price all very offical and then tells me he can deliver to us if we pay now or he can deliver to us and we can pay cash only on delivery. We said no problem we can come back on Tuesday to collect so please have it ready then. Then we went back to our hotel. When we got there I decided I would google to company and I found a scam article on the 3D Digital and Audio in Hong Kong. The scam noted was exactly how it went down with us, fortunately for us though we stuck to what we wanted and didnot change our mind. So anyone who goes to Temple Street Markets for electronics be aware - regards Mel Sydney Australia holiday date was 5-15/3/13
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