25th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) Since the reopening of Hong Kong’s borders, many Mainland Chinese tourists have flocked to the city for sightseeing and shopping. On social media platforms like Xiaohongshu, Douyin, and Weibo, they often share their experiences and travel itineraries. Some of their plans and photo locations may seem unconventional to locals, such as eating McDonald’s on MacDonnell Road or posing like Li Ka-shing on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Most Hong Kong people have never considered these places as tourist hotspots.
However, when it comes to the most popular Hong Kong souvenir among Mainland Chinese tourists, bottled teas sold in convenience stores must be mentioned. They have been widely praised on Xiaohongshu and even caused a buying frenzy, with some popular styles selling out quickly. One Mainland tourist posted on Xiaohongshu, praising the various flavors of “ISHIDAROHO Kitagawahanbee” and describing them as “super, super, super, super, super, super delicious.”
Recently, a Mainland tourist caused quite a stir at Hong Kong Customs. She claimed to have brought back a whole line of the same drinks during a recent trip to Hong Kong, which led to suspicion of smuggling by Hong Kong Customs. However, the customs officer‘s response left netizens laughing out loud.
After her trip to Hong Kong, the tourist returned to Mainland China through the Luohu Port carrying a suitcase filled with bottled teas. She claimed that Hong Kong Customs had become stricter in inspecting luggage, including backpacks and carry-on bags, using X-ray machines. As she was passing through the X-ray machine, the customs officer at Luohu Port stopped her and asked her to open her suitcase for inspection. To her surprise, the officer found about 20 different brands of bottled tea, including Dao De, Kitagawahanbee, and Nestle.
Although the officer was initially suspicious of the quantity of liquid in the suitcase, he soon realised that it was just tea. The officer told the tourist, “Don’t bring so much next time,” before letting her go. Although the tourist did not carry any prohibited items, she was relieved that she had passed the customs inspection without any issues.
Netizens were divided in their reactions to the incident. Some praised the tourist’s love for tea and her determination to bring back such a heavy load of bottled tea. They commented, “I’ve lived in Hong Kong for so many years and haven’t tried such a wide range of drinks,” “Is this drink really that good?” and “This is hilarious.” However, some netizens expressed their confusion as to why the beverage is so popular among Mainland Chinese tourists and questioned its taste.