Asia is full of so many amazing destinations that it’s hard to choose one when looking for a vacation on this side of the globe.
Many opt for the cultural paradise of Thailand, while some go more off the grid, such as Vietnam. Wherever you decide to go in Asia, you really can’t go wrong.
Regardless of where you book your trip, it’s always important to have a heads-up on safety matters in that particular place.
In this case, the United States State Department just issued travel advisory updates for 3 separate destinations in Asia.
Here is what travelers should know:
Hong Kong: Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution
Hong Kong has been taking over headlines lately by coming up with creative ways to become a powerhouse in the tourism industry again.
After implementing very strict COVID rules, they have loosened up and want to invite the world over to see what an awesome place it is.
If you have plans to book a trip to Hong Kong any time soon, travelers should be aware the State Dept. has issued a Level 2 travel advisory.
All this means is to make yourself more aware of certain scenarios when visiting. In particular, Hong Kong does not recognize dual citizenship.
There have been political demonstrations held lately where arrests have been made. Those who are of both Chinese and U.S. descent may be targeted for further questioning and even detainment.
The Hong Kong SAR government does not take kindly to outsiders taking part in these demonstrations. It is best to steer clear of large gatherings forming in the streets.
Some important tips to stay safe in Hong Kong:
- Keep a low profile
- Do not take photographs of demonstrations or police offers
- If you are detained, request to contact the U.S. Consulate
Macau: Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
Macau has become more than just its gambling hub reputation, as it is one of the hottest destinations in Asia right now.
However, with the recent advisory from the State Dept., it is being advised to reconsider traveling to Macau.
Some of the reasons behind the latest update are arbitrary enforcement of their laws, as well as the U.S.’s lack of ability to provide certain consular services to those in need.
Like Hong Kong, Macau does not recognize dual nationalities. It’s important for those of multi-national descent to be extra vigilant of their whereabouts to avoid unnecessary confrontations.
Demonstrations have also been held in Macau, so it is best to avoid them if you are in the area.
Some important tips for staying safe in Macau:
- Stay up to date by reading the State Department’s travel information on Macau
- Avoid large crowds/gatherings
- Always be aware of your surroundings
Mainland China: Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
Needless to say, China has been a hot topic in the news for over 3 years straight. Without rehashing details we are all aware of for the past few years, it’s unfortunate all the talk about China ignores some truly astonishing destinations in this massive country.
A big reason for that is that China has not been welcoming tourists for quite some time. Although, they have eased up on some entry restrictions.
For those who decide to make their way to China, the State Department is concerned with wrongful detentions and arbitrary enforcement of their laws.
Those who are detained may not have access to U.S. assistive services and may not even be informed of their alleged crime.
Another key concern is potential “exit bans”, where the U.S. would have restricted ability to assist U.S. citizens being faced with forceful tactics while unable to leave.
The U.S. also warns against speaking negatively of the country on any social media platforms or through any messages on your computer or phone. Inspections of your person and belongings can occur at random.
Those of Chinese or U.S. descent need to be extra watchful of their actions, as they can also become a target, just like in Macau and Hong Kong.
Some important tips to stay safe in China:
- Do not take drugs before or after arriving, as it can result in immediate arrest, harsh fines, or deportation
- Avoid demonstrations
- Enroll in STEP
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com