HK’s Best Tour Guides
Hong Kong's best tour guides: find the best tours for discovering Hong Kong on foot, by boat, by bike, by bus or from the air.
There is something for everybody on the Walk in Hong Kong tour list, with thematic tours like “City Scents” and “1967 Riots”. The guides here have really done their homework, offering nine walking tours which will leave your brain bulging with Hong Kong history.
If you are keen to just explore a local neighbourhood, they also do several area tours, covering districts like North Point and Yau Ma Tei. Some of the tour dates have already passed, but perhaps with a decent number of people, they may re-schedule. Guides Paul, Chung-wah and Haider conduct tours of around 2.5 hours in English and Cantonese with prices starting at HK$280 per person.
Fancy going it alone? If you aren’t keen to trail behind a group of people, Urban Discovery offers self-guided tours that enable you to explore the city at your own pace. Download their free iDiscover City Walk app and set off on a series of neighbourhood walks, including the highlights of Wan Chai and Sai Kung. The focus here is on history, with each walk raising awareness of some of Hong Kong’s disappearing urban heritage.
If just reading about all this walking is making your feet ache, there is an alternate way to see Hong Kong’s sights – from the comfort of a padded bicycle seat. Discover the city’s ecological diversity and heritage on a bike via the Hong Kong Biking Tour.
While the city centre may not be equipped for cycling, the landscape of the New Territories is perfect for seeing Hong Kong in a different light, while cycling through spots like the Nam Sheng Wai Peninsula and Hong Kong’s Wetland Park. Bikes and helmets are provided for short (three hours) or full tours (five-eight hours) which start at HK$500 per person. Tours run until April so you need to act fast but they do offer an extensive range of other cycling tours throughout Asia too.
If you are more interested in baskets of dim sum and plates of char siu than temples or markets, your best bet is to join the Hong Kong Foodie Tour. Focussing on Hong Kong’s culinary culture, guides Cecilia and Silvana take you on a thorough culinary experience on foot.
The old Kowloon district of Sham Shui Po houses several foodie hotspots, which they will show you by visiting six different family-run eateries, from breakfast until lunch hour on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You will learn how each specialty has been perfected throughout the years while sampling dishes from authentic handmade noodles to steamed rice rolls. The Central and Sheung Wan tour (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) is a similar affair, where you will start off at 2:15 pm and pop into a variety of eateries, with nibbles and conversation along the way. Each tour costs HK$720 per adult or HK$520 per child.
11. Sam the Local
Sam the Local could be anyone. Your guide might be female or male and may or not be called Sam. The concept here is simple: visit the website and scroll through a long list of local expert guides and read about their areas of expertise, places in the city they know well, languages they speak, etc. Once you have found a “Local” to your liking, they will make a customised outing itinerary based on your interests/requests (prices and group sizes vary depending on who you pick). Each Local can offer you something different, like photographer Michael K., who encourages you to bring your camera along for a creative tour of the city.
Finally, we couldn’t forget the ubiquitous red buses of the world-famous Big Bus Tour or the local purple Rickshaw bus. While some people may find these double-decker vehicles packed with tourists craning their heads out the windows a tad cheesy, others find the hop-on, hop-off option of darting around the city perfect when you have limited time.
For HK$200 per person (HK$100 for children and seniors), the Rickshaw bus gives riders a 540-degreee panoramic view from the open top deck, covering “20 declared monuments and 29 Grade-1 historic buildings”. The one-day ticket allows you to get on and off wherever you like along the way.
Similarly, Big Bus offers the hop-on, hop-off option on a 24 hour “Premium Tour” and a 48 hour “Deluxe Tour”, covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Stanley starting at US$55 per person (US$49 for children). Those wanting one-on-one guidance from an actual person should skip these tour buses (commentary comes in the form of an audio guide) but they are perfect when you only have a few hours to kill between flights, and are ideal for seniors or those with limited mobility. You can still get a great sense of the city as the double-deckers wind through Hong Kong’s streets packed with culture and jaw-dropping skyscrapers (note that the Big Bus prices are in US$).
Have we missed something? Drop us a line at [email protected] with your suggestions!