Safety Issues 安全問題

Safety Issues 安全問題

Bird watching is a good and healthy hobby.

More people start to explore new sites to spot more kinds of birds. But the safety issue comes.

Many of my friends are hikers. But constantly I hear that they would not recommend bird watchers to go into the hills and forests due to personal safety.

They say mountain robbery has been getting more flagrant these years. Some of their friends got their valuables and expensive hiking equipment robbed.

Their comment that, birders usually carry expensive equipment like high-end scopes and advanced cameras, which make birders attractive targets for robbers in rural areas.

They also say that such cases have been heard in specific places like Kowloon Peak and Cloudy Hill. Several country parks were also "Black Spots".

I just want to know 1) if you have heard of similar cases.

And 2) how do you protect yourself when you are in wilderness.

Also, 3) do you go bird watching or taking photos alone ?

If so, 4) how do you protect yourself and your properties ?


Relax. HK is a safe place.

I have never heard birdwatchers in HK are victims of robbery. Not an issue in HK, probably thieves are too lazy and don't go and hike in countryside. Also targets (the occurrence of birdwatchers) are unpredictable in countryside.   

But in other places, it is a problem. I have given up visiting a mountain forest nr Kathmandu, Nepal after listened to local advice.


I think louislee is prudent to be concerned about safety while birding.

I have never heard of birders being a victim of crime in HK but I would hate for there to be a first time. I've never had a problem even though I often bird alone. Once, I was told to be careful of crime by HK police officers when I was birding on a trail near Luk Keng in the the Northwest New Territories.  

My suggestion would be when birding alone stick to the traditional birding locations such as Mai Po, Long Valley, Tai Po Kau, Po Toi, Pui O, Shing Mun and Lung Fu Shan. I have never heard about any problems in these areas and they are generally well traveled. There shouldn't be any problems there.


Before I have birdwatching as a hobby, I have hiked in many rural areas in HK for 20 years.  Maybe I can share with you my experiences about the safety in the wild.

Hong Kong countryside, frankly, is not 100% safe, esp before 1997 when more illegal immigrants (II) came from Mainland.  That's why you often heard robbery happened in Northern NT like Luk Keng, Sheung Shui or Fanling.

However, as China is becoming more and more prosperous, number of IIs has decreased drastically so comparatively hiking in Northern NT is much more safe than before.

On the other hand, there is still some safety concern for individual hiking/birdwatching in some areas, esp those country parks that ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO URBAN AREAS.  Cloudy Hill is very close to Tai Po Market.  Lion Rock, Tate's Cairn, Beacon Hill, Kowloon Peak even have roads connected and the robbers can escape easily.  Other smaller areas with frequent and consistent morning hikers and the elderly who exercise are also more vulnerable.  

All in all, I still do not suggest one goes hiking/birdwatching in uncommon rural areas esp for those more remoted ones.  The more important concern is your physical problem or injury that may occur during the hike/birdwatch.  For common birding areas as what Brendan said, it should be all fine even you are alone.
Manson Tsang


Thanks for all assurance.

So now I am convinced that I can go bird-watching without excessively worrying about safety issues