Header image courtesy of Walk Hong Kong
It might feel like you have run out of things to do in the city, given that most of us have been stuck at home for a while now. However, the beauty of living in a multi-faceted and historically rich place is that there are always new (or old) things to explore. Don’t know where to start? Check out these unique ideas courtesy of experience platform Mylocals!
Hong Kong’s international image as a glitzy metropolis is as pervasive as the images of neon-lit street markets so favoured by budding and professional photographers. While luxury hotels and swanky speakeasies are all the rage, it is also worthwhile to delve into different neighbourhoods, especially the ones where locals frequent.
Offered by Hidden Gems Travel, the cultural and historical tour of Kowloon lets you get in touch with the less glamorous but no less interesting side of Hong Kong—into the rapidly gentrifying Sham Shui Po. Known as a haven for street food, vintage finds, and cool cafés, this itinerary is perfect for a day out with family or friends.
Nature therapy has been touted as one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to boost your mood and improve your physical health. Why not combine a trip down history lane with a walk on the wild side on this tour of Lai Chi Wo, the best-preserved Hakka walled village in Hong Kong, located within Plover Cove Country Park in New Territories?
Hosted by Walk Hong Kong, this moderately easy trek is vastly rewarding, doling out tranquil scenes of rice fields, forests, and quiet streams, as well as uncovering rustic paths to stone mills, ancient wells, and monasteries. Most of the residents no longer reside within the village, but a few still return on the weekends or during Chinese New Year.
Feng shui, a type of geomancy rooted in Chinese philosophy, plays a huge part in Hong Kong society, from how people arrange their furniture at home or in the workplace to influencing the design of major architectural landmarks. Follow Hong Kong a la Carte as they expound on the stories behind how various iconic buildings came to look how they do today, including the HSBC Main Building, Bank of China Tower, IFC, and more.
As part of the Beliefs and Superstitions tour, you will also tour Sai Ying Pun and Wan Chai, more specifically through the parts rumoured to be haunted. As a result of catastrophic events like war and disease, the souls and spirits of the departed are said to still wander through certain streets and alleys. Follow in their footsteps if you dare!
Soho, frequented by the in-the-know crowd, is well-known amongst locals and tourists alike, but did you know that the sloped grid of streets used to cater to a very different population? Known as 30 Houses, the area comprised a group of tenement houses between Hollywood Road and Caine Road built in the mid-nineteenth century.
Housing labourers and essential businesses such as print shops, wet markets, and noodle stalls, it was a community that provided goods and services to the city’s finance centre. Join Travel Tricks’s tour of the Soho area to find out more about all the stories and hidden gems nestled in every corner, beyond the trendy eateries and flashing signs.
One of Hong Kong’s most recognisable features would have to be the tram—the iconic shade of dark green was even officially recognised by Pantone as part of its archives, aptly named “Hong Kong Tram Green.” It is arguably one of the best ways to explore the city—unhurriedly and scenically. Hop on the “Ding Ding” with tour guide Audrey Yip and listen in on her tale of philanthropy and charity as she takes you on a tour starting from the commercial Causeway Bay and into the quiet but energetic nook that is Happy Valley, just a few streets away.
Allow yourself to be whisked away from Causeway Bay’s luxury shopping malls to an alternative institution where there are affordable fashion picks aplenty—Jardine’s Crescent Street Market. Happy Valley is a residential enclave with quaint neighbourhood eats, an air of ease, and several prominent religious and philanthropic organisations, such as Po Leung Kuk, St Margaret’s Church, and Hong Kong Jockey Club. Spend a leisurely day finding out about how they came to be, and leave with a newfound appreciation for the hardworking men and women providing the population with much-needed social welfare since the city’s inception.
But that’s not all that Mylocals has to offer! With over 90 experiences and private tours currently available for booking on the platform, Mylocals offers experiences (which are workshops led by passionate individuals) and private tours (which are led by licensed tour guides or agencies). Once everything is confirmed, all you need to do is prepare for how much you will enjoy yourselves on your day out. Check out all the tours here and sign up for an adventure!