The second edition of the Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival will feature a variety of tours and programmes to give visitors an understanding of the captivating stories of the islands. The highlight of these events will be 360 regular free guided tours from November 15, 2023-January 14, 2024 conducted by docents from Kaifong Tour, as well as themed tours and other activities and workshops led by members of the local population.

high island hong kong
Tour participants will get a chance to check out High Island (© Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival)

Free guided tours

The free guided tours will follow six distinctive routes, each unveiling a unique facet of the islands:

  • Catholic Approaches, which will  trace 300 years of Catholic history on the island of Yim Tin Tsai.
  • Arriving in the Hakka Field, which will help participants understand how the nomadic Hakka people found their roots on the salt-producing island of Yim Tin Tsai.
  • Art We Crave, during which visitors can witness the artistic evolution of Yim Tin Tsai since the inception of art festivals in 2019.
  • From Far Away to Nowadays, which will give participants the chance to explore the remarkable topography of Sharp Island, part of the Hong Kong Geopark.
  • Unearthing the Fishing Gems, during which visitors can explore the picturesque Kau Sai Village.
  • Rippling in Hakka Fishery, which will provide an insight into parallel village cultures — one on land and one in the water.

The tours are available in Cantonese (Tuesday-Sunday), as well as Mandarin and English (Friday-Sunday and public holidays), except on Mondays, which are “self-exploration days”.

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Themed tours

The six themed tours will give participants a better understanding of the islands’ unique culture. Families can look out for the Running Dinosaur tour, which allows younger visitors to role-play dinosaurs as they learn about the topography on Sharp Island. The Trace with Five Senses tour will guide participants in an encounter with the Tung A Village through their senses. Those interested in herbal therapy can take part in the Weed Discovery Channel, which opens visitors’ eyes to common Chinese herbs found on Kau Sai Chau.

Join the artist

The event also offers opportunities for visitors to experience activities unique to the islands and interact with the artists to learn about the various artworks that are dotted across the islands as part of the festival. To create a safe space for artists and visitors to engage in deeper exchanges and conversations, the festival offers a series of artist-led workshops under the Join the Artist series. Led by artists who create the respective installations on the islands, each workshop takes a different form to allow participants to have a deeper understanding of the artworks.

kayaking and salt making workshops
Sign up for kayaking and salt-making workshops (© Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival)

Culinary fans may be interested in tea cake-making, cooking, and even sea-urchin hunting. Closer to Christmas, there will be many busking and live performances, from Chinese music to DanceSing and Performance Sundays, to rope-skipping and indigenous instrument jamming.

Island-hopping ferries

This year’s edition of the festival will feature island-hopping “kaito” experiences to Yim Tin Tsai and Sharp Island, with an additional route extending to Kau Sai Chau and High Island. Visitors need to pre-book the kaito tickets on the festival website and redeem the tickets at the Information Kiosk on the day of their scheduled trips.

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Header image credits: Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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