The beauty of travel comes in the form of exploring uncharted territories, but with the rolls of red tape that have been plastered all over international travel, many of us have been left to saunter around our local domains for most—if not the entirety of—the past year or two. Even if you are already familiar with the nooks and crannies of the city, there is still a colourful array of wholly new experiences to try out. Lending us a pair of fresh eyes, Mylocals is the brand-new travel platform that is going to bring you a wealth of unique tours to rediscover Hong Kong!
Begin your week by shaking off the misimpression that Hong Kong is simply a tangle of skyscrapers and shopping malls, and venture into the well-kept secret side of the New Territories instead.
Led by Hidden Gems Travel, the “How Close is China?” tour takes you on a journey to the border fringes by bike, shifting gears to present the area at a tranquil pace. A location rich in history and ecological wonders, the tour uncovers the indigenous stories and customs of Sheung Shui’s New Town, introducing you to the community that built their lives alongside the biggest farmland in the city. Enjoy feeling the breeze in your hair and the ground speeding past from underneath you, with glimpses of the not-so-distant Shenzhen visible to the naked eye.
Talk to any native of the city and you will find that nearly every single one of them would agree that the most fitting geographical representation of Hong Kong is Lion Rock. An iconic fixture throughout local society, Lion Rock stands in as a symbolic front signifying the propensity to working hard in preparation for better times. Admire the iconic cliff from a whole new perspective, perched right along the mountaintop itself.
Led by Hong Kong Mountain Guides Union, this outdoor climb is suited for newbies and seasoned scramblers alike. Instilling the can-do spirit of Hong Kong, the upwards journey is one that leaves a lasting memory of fun, imbued with an inspiring message of perseverance. Befitting multi-pitch climbing, you can belay your way up and get a sweeping view over the urban expanses of Kowloon, like the king of the jungle overlooking its pride.
Happy hump day! It’s just the time for a mid-week refresher. Treat your body to a soothing all-rounded yoga session held in the serene natural scenes of Mui Wo. Inclusive of mindful walking and yoga practices that meld together mental focus, cleansing breathing patterns, and fluid physicality, the Eight Limbs of Yoga in Nature experience by Walk Hong Kong focuses on routines that draw a connection between your inner self and your surroundings. After the adrenaline-packed feats of the past two days, it’s only right that you spend some time to calm your muscles!
Follow up your gentle workout by going on to train your arts and crafts skills. Busy your hands with a paper lantern crafting workshop instructed by local paper craftsman Master Choi. Considered a part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage, traditional paper craftsmanship plays a major role in many significant Chinese festivals and religious practices. Embedded into every fold and bind is the acumen from generations of practitioners. Hoping to find new blood to keep this beautiful craft alive, Master Choi’s workshops aim to inspire people to get to know and delve into the art of paper lantern making.
Circling around the same handful of glitzy flagships and mainstream brands sure does not sound like a fruitful shopping experience, and getting away from this sort of common ordeal is exactly what the Meeting Old Masters tour is all about. Chaperoned by Renee Lui, a guide who has fond ties with the decades-old shops all around the Yau Ma Tei and Jordan neighbourhood, you will come to uncover retailers who place an emphasis on quality goods rather than flashy bells and whistles.
Touring through various shopfronts in the district, the trip winds its way through up to 11 different local artisan and craft stores, each with a unique tale to unearth. In fact, several have been in operation for over half a century! Whether or not you return home with a haul, the one thing you are guaranteed to leave with is a deeper appreciation for Hong Kong’s one-of-a-kind artistry.
One of the ways to take in the full story of a place is to head right back to the beginning. Headed by Tai Po native William Chu, this Hiking into the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark tour is one that lays bare the origins of Hong Kong, highlighting the past conditions of the city when it was first made habitable by the fishing population.
Starring the Ma Shi Chau special area, the tour takes you right to the heart of a world-class natural site. As you come to get a look at the 400-year-old local Sam Mun Tsai fishing village, the Global Geopark with 280-million-year-old geological rock forms and folds, and the endless horizon of the Tolo Harbour, the differences presented by today’s transformations will seem all the more vast and extraordinary.
When the weekend rolls around, you know it’s time to let loose and get wild! Famously a city that never sleeps, the other side of Hong Kong nightlife that is usually kept in the dark will come to glow neon under the city lights as part of this throwback walkthrough of Temple Street and Yau Ma Tei. Your gatekeeper to the keyhole that grants a peek into the underbelly of Kowloon—filled with the stuff of triad-themed action films—is Armie Ma, who runs this Kowloon Pulp Fiction tour with a brimming arsenal of crazy tales begging to be told.
Here is your chance to go behind the surface of a busy fruit market to unfold the whispers of drugs, gangs, and gambling, minus any sort of risky moves. A karaoke parlour stuck in time immemorial, a fortune-telling booth, and a 200-year-old temple are just a few places you will be coming across during this adrenaline rush of an expedition.
Even if you didn’t end up having one too many cans of icy beer on Saturday night, a Sunday spent feasting is still the best way to enjoy the final day of the week. With the wealth of options in the food paradise that is Hong Kong, there is a whole treasure trove of culinary scenes to explore, and Hong Kong Greeters have zeroed in on meatless cuisines to devise this vibrant Vegetarian Food and Culture Tour of Kowloon.
Their featured eateries include a lovingly selected range of local delicacies, including street food from Sham Shui Po, as well as vegetarian dim sum in Wong Tai Sin, before rounding off with desserts in Nan Lian Chinese Garden. With each stop, you get to become better acquainted with each neighbourhood through taste. There are even vegan options available to accommodate for all!
Carrying up to a hundred one-of-a-kind experiences and private tours with many more to come, Mylocals offers a myriad of ways to rediscover and explore Hong Kong. Their catalogue is online and ready for booking, with each experience listed being led and managed by individuals, in addition to exclusive tours held by licensed groups and guides—all of who run their activities with heart.
Are you up for an adventure? Click here to join the Mylocals platform, and browse through their listings to find something new. If you would like to share your passion for a special interest or your knowledge of a craft, sign up here to become a host on Mylocals.