How to Stay Safe as a Solo Female Traveler in Hong Kong: Practical Tips & Advice – Yoga, Wine & Travel

How to Stay Safe as a Solo Female Traveler in Hong Kong: Practical Tips & Advice

Let me start by saying, nay, declaring that Hong Kong is one of the safest places in the world. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the world and most of that involves petty crime. Having lived in the city for nearly 3 decades (oops does that give my age away?), I am passionate about sharing the best of what Hong Kong has to offer and truly believe that it is a destination that has something for every single type of traveler. It’s a wonderful blend of East meets West and is widely considered to be Asia’s world city. If you are a solo female traveler who is excited to explore new destinations around the world, here’s what you should know if you are planning a trip to Hong Kong!

Getting in and getting around

The fastest and most efficient way to get into Hong Kong from the airport is via the Airport Express train. It stops at Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong stations and will take you into the city in just 24 minutes. Once you have arrived at one of the stations you can hop on a bus, train or taxi to get you to your accommodation.

Photo credit: Ekidin / Pixabay

Photo credit: Ekidin / Pixabay

There are plenty of cheap, safe and clean transportation options to help get you around the city. The last subway train and bus typically departs around midnight, and metered taxis can be found on every street corner. On Hong Kong island and Kowloon the taxis are painted red (they are Green in the New Territories and Blue on Lantau Island), and taxis who are willing to travel between Hong Kong island and Kowloon side often indicate this by putting up an “out of service” sign – counter-intuitive, I know.

Photo credit: Shenxin / Pixabay

Photo credit: Shenxin / Pixabay

If you are 1) on Hong Kong side and need to get to Kowloon and 2) missed the last train or bus, then ask the driver to wind down the window and ask if they are willing to “goh hoi?”, which means “cross harbour?” While most taxi drivers understand some English, bring the hotel’s business card or address in Chinese just in case. If for some reason you don’t feel safe, ask the driver to stop, pay the fare and get out. You should also consider texting the license plate number to a friend or family member.

Ridesharing apps like Uber (which is currently illegal in the city) are not widely available in Hong Kong and in my experience involves long waiting times due to a shortage of vehicles.

Planning your visit? Here are 11 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Hong Kong!

What to wear

In general, you can wear pretty much anything you want and I’ve personally never felt unsafe. However, Hong Kong can still be considered relatively conservative compared to some Western cities. You should be prepared for stares (from both men and women) if you show lots of skin. Will you be groped or harassed? Unlikely. But be alert as there unfortunately have been many cases of perverts taking upskirt photos of women in public places, especially in shopping malls where there are escalators or glossy floors. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and call out the offender – if you are taking public transportation, notify the staff or conductor immediately and ask for help from other bystanders. The incident should be reported to the police as soon as possible.

Going out partying in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a great place to go out drinking and dancing. Drinks are cheap and many bars and clubs open until the wee hours of the morning. There are 2 main areas to go out drinking in Hong Kong: Lan Kwai Fong in Central, and Lockhart Road in Wan Chai. If I had to categorize the 2, Lan Kwai Fong is mostly populated with more upscale bars and restaurants, and Wan Chai offers many sports and dive bars (as well as strip clubs). In general, there are many police patrolmen in both of these areas, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

That being said, watch your drink, watch your wallet, watch your phone. There have been cases of drinks being spiked and there is lots of petty theft in these areas. If something goes missing, report the loss to the manager of the bar or club, or if it took place in the street file a lost property report with the police. If your wallet is stolen, you should immediately check any rubbish bins nearby as thieves often take the cash and toss the wallet; if it’s not there, file a report and call your credit card company to cancel your cards.

Photo credit: Yiucheung / Shutterstock

The legal drinking age in Hong Kong is 18 years old and most places will check your ID if you appear to be underage. Your driver’s license or local ID is generally accepted and I would recommend against taking your passport out with you. There is minimal alcohol-related violence but as you would anywhere else in the world, be alert and aware. Here are some of my favorite happy hour spots in Hong Kong!

Looking for some ideas for off-the-beaten-path things to do in Hong Kong? Read my latest article here!

~Hooking up~

If you meet a special someone and decide to take it further, please use your best judgment just as you would anywhere else in the worldLet somebody back home know where you are headed and be sure to make a beeline for the nearest convenience store to pick up a packet of condoms.

Looking for a convenient and safe place to stay? Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay – click here to book accommodation in Hong Kong!

Resources for meeting people in Hong Kong

If you’re looking to meet up with or be hosted by people in Hong Kong, there are tons of options!

If you’re staying in a hostel, head to the communal space to see if any other fellow solo travelers want to explore the city together. There are also a plethora of fun events that take place across the city every single day – most events will have an events page on Facebook (just search for “Events in Hong Kong”). For example, this week alone there is a poetry open mic, free flow happy hour, Bollywood-themed party, hip hop brunch (no idea what this means) and wellness-focused market. There are also tons of interest groups that regularly meet up to go hiking, practice Yoga, learn languages, salsa dance and so on. Check out Meetup.com for upcoming events!

Prefer swiping? Dating apps are popular in Hong Kong and some people use it to meet new people on their travels.

Useful numbers

Make sure you stay connected with friends and family back home by purchasing a local SIM card. There are shops at the airport when you arrive as well as shops that sell special tourist SIM cards in the city. If you don’t end up getting a local SIM card then head to the closest McDonald’s or Starbucks for free wifi.

Here are some key numbers to know for your trip:

999: Emergency (police, ambulance, fire services)

2527 7177: Police hotline

2508 1234: Hong Kong Tourism Board visitor hotline

1872 920: 24 hour taxi lost & found hotline

Is it your first-ever visit to Hong Kong? Here are some essential things to check off your Hong Kong bucket list!

For the tl;dr crowd, Hong Kong is extremely safe to visit for solo female travelers. Ladies, you should exercise caution (just as you would anywhere else in the world) and explore all the different things Hong Kong has to offer! Have you visited Hong Kong before? Tell me all about it in the comments section below!

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This article contains affiliate links. If you choose to book using these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my website by using these links, I only recommend products or services that I have personally used & hotels I have visited and loved. 

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52 Comments

  1. Victoria says:

    Great tips 🙂 it sounds like you mainly need to use common sense as you would anywhere, which is great. I’d love to visit HK sometime, and that rooftop yoga class looks ace!

  2. Natalia says:

    I’m thinking of booking a trip to Hong Kong so great advice! Would you say the ‘dress code’ is similar to Korea? Legs are fine but shoulders are still considered risque?

    • Flo says:

      Shoulders are fine too! Tons of cleavage/butt cheeks hanging out/lots of midriff showing: generally not seen around town 🙂

  3. Nam says:

    YES! Hong Kong is sooo safe tbh – although the “uncles” and “aunties” like to glare at you in general whether you are dress appropriately or not!

  4. Great tips here and nice that you included those phone numbers! Hong Kong is so cool! I’ve visited twice and felt very safe. You’re lucky to have lived there so long!! And you’re still younger than me😉

    • Flo says:

      Isn’t Hong Kong just the best? Most of my friends who have visited can’t get over how clean, cheap and efficient the public transportation network is.

  5. Such great tips for someone visiting Hong Kong for the first time! I’ve never been myself, but it’s nice to know that it’s a safe place to visit. It sounds like a great place to live 🙂

  6. wish I had partied more when I was in HK! Sounds fairly similar to Bangkok in terms of safety!

  7. C-Ludik says:

    Great tips for somebody visiting Hong Kong for the first time ! Hong Kong seems such an exciting, lively and vibrant city, that really lives up to it’s term: “East meets West”. It’s good to know that the public transportation network is so clean, cheap and efficient !

  8. Meg says:

    As woman who has just started solo-traveling, thank you for this! I really loved my first solo-female trip, and now have my eye on what could be next. It’s so good to get some insider information to help it be a bit more comfortable.

  9. John says:

    Great information! Including the phone numbers is such a great idea.

  10. I was looking at Soho for my stay option. Glad to see it in the safe list. Saving this post for my visit.

  11. Kallsy says:

    Such valid advice for Hong Kong but also good reminders for visiting almost any country. Thank you for also including the useful numbers as well. Every time I’m about to travel to a new place I always try to write these down in my phone. You can really never be too prepared when it comes to safety! I’m looking forward to visting Hong Kong in 2018 (hopefully)!

  12. Thanks for being so thorough! Good to know about the up skirt issues, as I just thought that was more of a horrible stereotype of thing. I definitely want to get out to Hong Kong and enjoy it all! Also, good to know about the “Out of Service” taxis – lol I’d be forever waiting to cross the harbor!

    • Flo says:

      Unfortunately there are a LOT of upskirting cases in Hong Kong as there are tons of shiny surfaces around (no joke), but people are generally very good about stepping in and speaking up!

  13. CJ Haughey says:

    Hong Kong looks like a great city but I can’t help think it’s just another huge city like Shanghai or Seoul. Would take a long time living there to truly appreciate it.

  14. Great tips! I mostly travel solo, so safety is always a concern of mine. I haven’t yet been to Hong Kong but I plan to visit one day. This info is good to know.

  15. Good reminders for most places! Hong Kong looks so clean and safe, hopefully we can get over there to visit soon!

  16. Rhiannon says:

    Such a good idea to include those useful phone numbers!! I normally don’t even bother to check the main emergency number of a country before I go (very irresponsible, I know) but if I needed to use it would hazard a guess at 999 or 911 or 112.
    Where you mentioned there being cases of men taking photos while on escalators, unfortunately that happens more often than we realise, even in the ‘safest’ countries like Hong Kong! BUT, at least being above someone on an escalator gives us the power to kick them full on in the face if we realise what’s going on.

    • Flo says:

      It’s actually happened to me at a major sporting event here in Hong Kong – the police tackled the guy to the ground!

  17. Eve Kay says:

    Of my seven years living in Hong Kong, I went out countless times post-midnight (sometimes until sunrise LOL) and never have I felt unsafe even passing by back alleys, etc. Definitely one of the safest place in the world and this is one thing I like best about HK!

    • Flo says:

      I totally agree, Eve! A few friends have asked if it’s safe to visit Hong Kong on their own, and I always say yes – just be cautious and aware of certain issues and how to get around.

  18. This is great advice for anyone travelling. Whether it be Hong Kong or New York City. It is best to stay safe. My friend is from Hong Kong and she said it is one of the safest places Shes been.

    • Flo says:

      Absolutely! It’s important to stay smart and have all the facts before traveling abroad, especially if you’re traveling alone. There are just a few things to be aware of before visiting Hong Kong.

  19. Rachelle says:

    I love how many wonderful tips you have included, from dress to what kinds of ID to take out at night. Although we can never have enough posts like this, I really appreciate your disclaimer about how we need to exercise caution no matter where we travel to. I’ve never personally been to Hong Kong and am encouraged by this post!

    • Flo says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, Rachelle! I really wanted to include practical information to help with the travel planning process!

  20. neha says:

    It’s great to know that Hong Kong is relatively so safe for women travelers. However, it’s really nice that you have compiled this post for tips on what to do, how to dress and what precautions to take to be super safe there. Applies to many other destinations as well.

  21. Anna says:

    Now this is somewhere i definitely want to go. Thanks for adding to my intrigue.

  22. Natalie says:

    This is an AMAZING article! When I’m planning my travels, I like to get the no-holds-barred information about my destination, and this does just that. I haven’t visited Hong Kong yet, but it looks as if I really need to!

  23. Such a fun overview of Hong Kong. I knew it had a lot to offer, but your perspective really made it feel like i could spend a lot of time there rather than just touring.

    • Flo says:

      Thank you for checking this out, Bruce! There’s tons to see and do, and it isn’t hard to get off the beaten path in Hong Kong 🙂

  24. Great tips Flo, I haven’t experienced solo travel but it seems like common sense and good judgement are key. Thank you for sharing your advice x

  25. Robert says:

    Some very helpful tips even for guys! I’m traveling to Hong Kong for the first time in Sept. Looking forward to my visit and all the attractions the city has to offer! 🙂

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