Hong Kong – Life after the protests
2019 was a turbulent time for everyone living in Hong Kong. And around the world, we watched as the anti-government protests took over the streets of downtown Hong Kong, resulting in sometimes violent conflict between protesting civilians and the police.
While there were periods of great unrest, destruction and area wide shutdowns for nearly 6 months, in the period beginning January 2020 once daily protests are all but gone. So, we went to Hong Kong to visit in the aftermath of the protests and find out what life is like in their wake.
During the protests
While it’s true that some areas of the main city were considered unsafe due to the ongoing unrest and sometimes violent protests, it’s important to note that much of the city went on as normal. And for most residents and tourists, much of the city remained ‘operation as usual’ throughout. So apart from taking detours around affected areas, and avoiding some places, the biggest concern for most was their support/rejection of the protests and the damage to their city.
Life in Hong Kong since January 2020
While there remains evidence of the protests – there are stickers and some posters dotted around showcasing the protesters main concerns and points – much of the damage caused has been undone. Thanks to quick and effective effort from the government and businesses, almost all the damage done has been cleaned, repaired and painted over. So now, all that remains is some lingering tension between those deeply rooted in the cause of the riots.
A resilient city
As a visitor to the city in January it was hard to imagine that just weeks before certain streets that I was now driving down had been cordoned off, immersed in violence and under a spray of tear gas. The way in which the city has since come together – for the most part – and repaired the damage is quite amazing. And spending my time in the city, walking or getting public transport from area to area, the city feels calm and safe. Hong Kong has demonstrated its ability to bounce back, and quickly, from turmoil graciously.
Thankfully, it seems like the period of unrest has peaked and died down. And Hong Kong is once again an excellent and safe place to both live and travel. And quite amazingly, if you hadn’t read about or watched the protests unfold on the news, you could quite easily never know that they’d happened in the gleaming streets of downtown.
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