Prostitution in Hong Kong is itself legal, but organized prostitution is illegal, as there are laws against keeping a vice establishment (brothel), causing or procuring another to be a prostitute, living on the prostitution of others, or public solicitation.
The most visible public venues for sex workers in Hong Kong, especially for tourists, are massage parlours and the so-called “Japanese style Host and hostess clubs”. However, most of the commercial sex worker industry consists of women working in small, usually one room apartments, usually referred to as “one-woman brothels”, the equivalent of the “walk-up brothel” in the United Kingdom. They advertise for clients through the Internet and local classifieds. Most popular mainstream newspapers will carry such classifieds with a brothel guides as an insert within racing form guides. Yellow neon advertising boxes were used to advertise sexual services to such an extent that “yellow” (黃) became synonymous with prostitution.
The laws of Hong Kong currently allow classified ads for prostitution and websites that allow clients to make appointments with prostitutes.
Red Light Districts
- Wan Chai – Red Light District mostly for tourists and expats.
- Hong Kong’s red light districts are made up of naughty massage parlors and dens located on the Kowloon Peninsula and parts of Hong Kong island as well the New Territories. There are no huge go go bar districts filled with bar girls like there are in Bangkok, Thailand’s red light districts.
There are many different kinds of prostitutes in Hong Kong.
Some girls will hang around the lobbies of hotels, and will even knock on the doors of the rooms of single men after being tipped off by the concierge. In more down-market accommodation the concierge may ask customers if they require company. American and other European prostitutes generally charge higher and are generally located in the business district of Central.
Street prostitutes: They may sometimes be seen on the pavements of Yau Ma Tei, Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun. Usually pimps or gangsters are not involved and the prostitute will loiter in the street in search of customers. After a deal is struck, they would go to a love hotel.
Price to have sex with a street prostitute in Hong Kong is 300 – 700 hk$.
Freelance: The growth of the Internet has facilitated a practice similar to “compensated dating” with amateur prostitutes offering their services on message boards and forums. CNN Asia reported in 2009 that social workers had found “compensated dating” was growing among Hong Kong teenage girls, the caseload of girls engaging in this practice had doubled in two years, the girls engaging in this practice had cut across socioeconomic levels, and Hong Kong legal experts said the practice was a form of prostitution. CNN reported that students, often teenagers, sell sex so they can buy consumer goods such as cell phones and clothes. They are often victims of crimes. Hong Kong social worker Chiu Tak-Choi said that most girls who engage in compensated dating don’t view themselves as prostitutes.
Legal and present. Some recommended locations:
- Adam’s Apple, 81 Nathan Road (beside Hyatt Hotel). +852 2367 6546. Mon-Sun 8pm – 3am.
- Bottoms Up, 14-16 Hankow Road (Basement) +852 2721 4509. Mon-Sat 4:30pm – 3:30am/ Happy hours 4:30pm – 8:30 pm.
- China City, 4/F Peninsula Centre, 67 Mody Road. +852 2723 1898. Mon-Sat 12pm – 4am.
- Club Boss, New Mandarin Plaza, 14 Science Museum Road. +852 2369 288. 3Mon-Sat 1pm – 4am.
- Club Cabaret, 1st Basement, New World Centre, 18 Salisbury Road, +852 2369 8431. Mon-Sat 11am – 4am.
- Club de Hong Kong, 3/F Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road. +852 2721 7788. Mon-Sat 9pm – 3am.
- Club Deluxe, L 301 New World Centre Office Building. +852 2721 0277. on-Sat 8pm – 3am.
- Club Macao, Las Vegas Venetian Hotel & Casino. Mon-Sat 3pm – 5am.
- Mandarin Palace, 24-28 Marsh Road. +852 2575 6551. Mon-Sat 6:30pm – 4am.
- New Tonnochy, 1-5 Tonnochy Road. +852 2511 1383. Mon-Sat 1pm – 3am.
- Super Star, 114/120 Lockhart Road. +852 3 5570 4420.
Night Club Workers
Night club workers: The term nightclub in Hong Kong is being driven from general use for being used as a euphemism for hostess clubs. Hostesses receive a basic retainer and commission for having customers buy expensive drinks, customers pay the club for the privilege of taking the girls out by buying out the girls “time”, whatever comes after being a matter of negotiation between the customer and hostess. A similar format can be found at some karaoke lounges with private rooms.
One-woman brothel: By Hong Kong law it is illegal for two or more prostitutes to work in the same premises. As a result, the most common form of legal prostitution in Hong Kong is the so-called “one-woman brothel”, where one woman receives customers in her apartment. The expense of the older centres of such activity has led to towns in the New Territories such as Yuen Long and Sheung Shui. Becoming centres for the one-woman brothel trade. This law however has little influence on the density of prostitute activity, the nature of Hong Kong housing meaning that entire floors of some buildings or even whole apartment blocks may consist of one woman brothels, with in some the letter of the law being adhered to by the subdivision of flats into multiple individual dwellings.
Kowloon is not just an ideal area to go around to find massage parlors. There are many restaurants and nightlife options in the area to explore by foot as well. Matter of fact a some hotels in Kowloon double as massage dens. For example the Kimberley Hotel in the Tsim Tsa Tsui district is a popular and very professionally run hotel in what is the best location in the city. It’s kind of hard to believe that a certain section of the hotel is designated as a brothel. The Kimberley Hotel is not involved with prostitution, though they probably have an idea of whats happening within their premise. And since prostitution is legal in Hong Kong the working girls have the right to stay in the hotel as any other guests.
Erotic Massage Parlors & Saunas
Saunas and massage parlours: Ostensibly these are regular saunas with the management turning a blind eye to other services the masseuses may offer. Usually the “menu” on offer will fall just short of vaginal intercourse, with manual stimulation with hands (“hand-job”), breasts (“milk-job” or “Russian”) and oral sex (“BJ”) being amongst the services available after negotiation.
Finding naughty massage parlors with ladies providing sex is very easy in Hong Kong and you can find a lady offering rates as little as $250HK for an hour of service. Of course you can expect to spend $1500HK for sex only with younger and more attractive Chinese ladies.
Thailand and Philippines
Another major aspect of this trade is migrant sex workers. These sex workers are particularly visible in the Wan Chai district, catering mainly to Western businessmen and tourists. The sex workers operating in this area are predominantly Thai (including transsexuals) and Filipino. Many work on a freelance basis in Wan Chai bars and discothèques.
Many migrant sex workers arrive on a short tourist visa and try to make as much as money as possible by prostituting illegally before leaving Hong Kong, some returning frequently. There are also “underground” organizations (such as Thai restaurants and escort bars) that arrange for foreign (usually Thai) and mainland girls to gain work in Hong Kong legally with an entertainment visa, but in fact they actually work in go-go bars in Wan Chai or other hostess clubs around Hong Kong.
In the Philippines, “agencies” officially recruiting girls as bar maids operate quite openly and professionally, one such agency can for example be found in Mabalacat, near Angeles City. The girls are selected according to looks, language and conversation skills, trained by choreographers how to dance, and undergo medical exams (drugs, HIV, hepatitis B,C, pregnancy) and have to make a substantial cash deposit before signing a contract. They are instructed what to say at immigration. Once in Hong Kong, they discover what the real job is and they find themselves with debt, no money, and nowhere to go. Often they resign to their fate and do what they are told to do. The system seems to be protected in higher places, retired police officers being involved in the management of the bars.
Russia and East Europe
In recent years, prostitutes from Eastern Europe and Russia have also came to Hong Kong. Fake contracts, often for domestic service, facilitate trafficking in Hong Kong where a large number of East European women are also trafficked for prostitution purposes.
Despite the more visible presence of Thai and Filipino sex workers in Hong Kong, the majority of migrant sex workers who come to Hong Kong are from mainland China. It is reported that with RMB10,000–20,000, mainland Chinese girls would normally secure a three-month visa. Other frequent or previously deported visitors might experience tight visa requirements and would normally obtain only seven-day visas. Owing to the short stays and other expensive costs (to pay for the travel arrangements and cover the high cost of renting apartments, advertising etc. in Hong Kong), sex workers would exert all their energy and work from morning till night during their seven-day stay. The necessity to make money quickly also means that the sex workers are more likely to take risks. Also if the sex workers are abused, they are less likely to seek redress from the relevant authorities.
Many mainland girls advertise their services on websites where they put their pictures, contact numbers and service charges. The youngest and most attractive may offer their services to customers at three- or four-star hotels and provide their services there; their own accommodation is less likely to be of this quality, but usually within a walk or short ride away from the main clusters of hotels, to which they are led to by their pimps, known locally as “grooms”.
Older, less attractive girls will find themselves working in the one woman brothels as “phoenixes” (鳳), a term derived from the similarity of the Chinese word for prostitute to that of chicken (雞). Prices are lower than for girls who target the tourist hotels, variations in price being a product of location, with those working within the corridor formed by Nathan Road being on the whole higher than that found in the towns of the New Territories.
Sex Shops & Adult Stores
In Kowloon there are lots of street vendors selling fake Viagra, Cialis and Kamagra. You can find dildos and porn dvd movies under the table from street vendors.
- Exotic Hotel, 3 Essex Crescent, Kowloon Tong, 2338 6222.
- Ginza Hotel, G-H, 1/F, Windsor Mansion, Chatham Rd S, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2369 9103.
- Hotel Victoria, Citywide inc 209 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai; 2511 1889.
- Mingle Place at the Eden, 148 Wellington St, Central, 2850 6289.
- Romantic Hotel, 9 Norfolk Rd, Kowloon Tong, 2338 6223.