Rethink Hong Kong travel

BANGKOK, 15 July 2019: Thailand’s Consulate in Hong Kong has warned Thais to be vigilant and avoid visiting areas of Hong Kong where protesters gather.

The warning was posted online at the weekend as thousands of Thais headed for Hong Kong for a long weekend break.

By taking leave on Monday, 15 July, they can enjoy a five-day holiday break, as both 16 and 17 July are national holidays for Asanha Bucha and the start of Buddhist Lent.

Protests erupted on the streets of Hong Kong at the weekend in Sheung Shui District and the New Territories.

The Thai consulate’s warning said travellers on the MTR and could face delays and protests could cause severe traffic jams, especially for those leaving the city for the airport.

Travellers are advised to check in for flights early to be on the safe side.

Some of the protests are targeting Chinese merchants who visit Hong Kong to buy tax-free products that they take back to mainland China amassing huge profits, while other protestors are targeting the government over its handling of a controversial extradition bill subsequently suspended, but not repealed. Protesters are demanding the bill be scrapped and have called for resignations of key ministers.

A third protest rally by Hong Kong media groups focuses on a demand press freedom in reporting news.

The Thai consulate, which rarely issues travel advisories, said travellers should consider their travel options carefully with regards Hong Kong and if travel was essential to avoid the protest zones in the city.

Over the weekend, several thousand Hong Kong citizens marched to protest against mainland Chinese traders.

The demonstration in the town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen, started peacefully but progressed into scuffles and shouting.

Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray.