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Southeast Asia, once popular among Chinese visitors, has lost its charm to tourists due to safety concerns. Videos and news stories about kidnapping, scam and murder cases have gone viral on Chinese social media, fuelling Chinese fear about travelling to countries like Thailand and Myanmar.

The Thai government tries to lure more Chinese tourists to the kingdom by relaxing its visa policy, but the effectiveness is in question. In the Periscope section, Varsity reporters speak to restaurant and resort operators to learn how the tourism industry in Thailand is being affected by the declining number of Chinese tourists. 

Following a visit by the director and two scriptwriters of a Hong Kong movie, In Broad Daylight, to a Varsity class on November 30, 2023, reporters have turned sharings and exchanges during the sharing session into two stories.

The People section features challenges and difficulties a Hong Kong female footballer and the fifth generation of the “Leung So Kee”, a 138-year-old Hong Kong umbrella brand.

Other topics covered are mental health of the younger generation and suicide rates in Hong Kong. In China, more fresh graduates study abroad due to the weak economy and high jobless rate, while those who take over family businesses also face difficulties making the handover work.

Varsity reporters also examine how the opening of the closed area in Sha Tau Kok will affect residents there, and how traumatised children of prisoners cope with challenges in life.

On a positive note, this issue has stories about an elderly-run NGO, therapy dogs that offer solace, and the heart-warming tale of parrots returning home with the help of Hong Kong Parrot Rescue (HKPR).

If this unsettling world is a desert, I hope Varsity can be a shared spiritual oasis helping readers get through it with a cool mind and a warm heart.

Enjoy your read!

Kossy Chen

Managing editor