Travel Thoughts: Day out with a T8 Typhoon warning (Hong Kong)

Typhoon season typically runs from May through to late September, with September particularly susceptible to typhoons. So imagine our surprise when we encountered on when we visited in October. Thankfully it was just a passing typhoon, and the weather only lasted 2 days, and the the skies soon cleared up for the remaining days we were in Hong Kong.  

Hong Kong's Warning System

Hong Kong has an easy warning system which informs the level of intensity, and is posted on all TV Stations (look for the box in the top right-hand corner). Announcements are also regularly made on within the MTR Stations  to keep commuters updated.

Dorsett Hotel Mongkok
The handy mobile phone which our hotel, Dorsett Hotel Mongkok, also had the latest updates and kept us up to date.

You can get more information from the Hong Kong Observatory

Below is a brief explanation for the various warning levels:

T1. This simply means that a Typhoon has been spotted within 800km of Hong Kong and is only intended as a notice to watch for further developments. There is a good chance it will still change course and miss Hong Kong completely.

T3. Winds of up to 110km are expected. For the most part, Hong Kong will carry on as usual during a T3 warning: public transport will continue to run, while museums and shops will be open. Flights or ferries to Macau might be delayed, so it's good to check the schedules. Hong Kong will usually issue a T3 signal about a dozen times each year.

T8. Winds may now be in excess of 180km. Most of Hong Kong will close up shops and send workers home. Public transport will operate during the warning period, but once the T8 signal has been confirmed or announced, it will stop. T8 signals can last anywhere from an hour or two to all day.

Although the area we were in was not really in the typhoon's way, the weather was wet and rainy one second, drizzling the next and pouring water right after. Since it was a warning T8, we stayed away from the islands and taking the ferry to the other end of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong
Cars were still on the street and not many shops were open

Despite the warnings about the weather throughout the day in the MTR Stations, life seemed to go on as locals went about their daily business. Of course, not everything was opened so there wasn't much to see or do except eat and shop, which suited us just fine.

Hong Kong
The crowd at the MTR Stations never seemed to cease
Hong Kong
Wet and rainy weather, with not much opened except for smaller shops and some eateries / restaurants

In the end, we spent the next 2 days mostly eating (non-stop) with a little shopping in-between. It was an interesting experience traveling in intermittent rainy weather, and the possibility of transport being terminated at any moment. The feeling of uncertainty soon diminished when we saw the still vibrant crowd at the MTR Stations and people about doing their daily business. It also helped that C's local friend brought us around on the third day, so we were more assured of getting around. 

Though I have to say, getting 60% drenched while waiting in the rain for some over-rated beef noodles in Central on the third day was possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No way am I every going to wait in the rain for anythig ever again, but it was fun when there were a whole of other people waiting in the queue as well and getting soaked. And at least I could say that I have tried doing something that ridiculous in my life - waiting in the heavy rain for about 45 minutes just for a bowl of (over-rated) beef noodles. 😂😂 

It was one of those moments I am glad my bag was waterproof, but unfortunately my shoes were not. So exploring Hong Kong the rest of the day in wet soggy and squeaky shoes was definitely a memorable but not enjoyable experience, especially when walking in the shopping malls on their pristine floors and cold air-conditioning. Thank God we didn't catch a cold and we healthy throughout the rest of the trip.

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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