THIS is most distressing. Hong Kongers arriving for rest and recreation in the historic Russian city of St Petersburg, which is now in the throes of sub-zero temperatures, are getting a decidedly icy reception.
But it's not the weather that is to blame. One businessman just back from Mother Russia told Keeping Posted that the White Knights revellers who were in St Petersburg recently are at fault.
In remarks that were far from chivalrous, our informant told us: ''We had to stay in a hotel about 20 minutes by taxi from the city centre because we were told by our travel guide that none of the main hotels would accommodate guests from Hong Kong afterwhat happened when the St Petersburg ball-goers hit town some weeks back.
''Our guide tried to be as helpful as possible but it was bloody inconvenient. I can tell you, we all cursed the White Knights out loud.
''And no sooner had we identified ourselves to locals as coming from Hong Kong when we felt we were getting the cold shoulder treatment.'' According to the Hong Kong holidaymakers who were in St Petersburg last week, their guide outlined a catalogue of ''incidents'' involving the Hong Kong party set.
Related our source: ''They included the smashing of glasses in the hotel premises, noisy scenes in the hallways at night, moving the furniture in the lobby and displacement of pictures hanging on the walls.'' The guide also told of an incident that is supposed to be causing much merriment in Russian travel circles.
It apparently involved one ball-goer who insisted on being driven to the venue from her hotel in a private car, as travelling on the scheduled coach would have messed about the distinctive headgear she was wearing.
So the Keeping Posted travel advisory is: St Petersburg with its palaces and museums is a great place for a holiday - unless, of course, you happen to come from Hong Kong.