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Explore Hong Kong

Five groups running Hong Kong walking tours for visitors and locals

You don't have to be in the city on holiday to enjoy these guided walks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 July, 2015, 6:33am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 July, 2015, 6:33am

You don’t have to be a visitor to Hong Kong to enjoy a guided tour that'll show you some of the city's history and attractions. There's something for everyone, from the military history buff to the food and nature lovers. So grab a pair of comfortable walking shoes and join in.

For food lovers

Hong Kong Foodie’s mission is to lead hungry souls to some of the city’s best food spots. It recently launched the Tai Po Market Foodie Tour, which is ideal for those game to try less familiar local fare. You get to taste seafood dishes, roast goose, snake soup and, for those with a sweet tooth, handmade Chinese sweets. “Tai Po Market is the perfect destination for our latest foodie tour,” says Cecilia Leung, founder of Hong Kong Foodie. “Most importantly, it is home to some of Hong Kong’s favourite foodie haunts.” Leung says: “We will  help participants navigate this less visited neighbourhood and make local eateries more accessible, especially to non-Cantonese speakers.” Those who sign up will also get to explore historical and cultural sites in the back streets around Tai Po Market, learning about its agricultural past and its transformation into the highly developed new town we see today. For more information, visit http://www.hongkongfoodietours.com/tours/tai-po-market-foodie-tour/

For history lovers

Many people in Hong Kong, visitors and residents alike, are surprised to learn that the territory was the scene of a short (18 days) but bloody battle at the end of 1941 between Britain (and its allies) and the invading Japanese. The subsequent Japanese occupation lasted three years and eight months until that nation's surrender at the end of the second world war. Gabi Baumgartner of Walk Hong Kong says many who join its walks are also surprised  so many wartime relics and defensive works across Hong Kong survived the 1941 battle, the Japanese occupation and post-war development. “Anyone taking part in our WW2 walks will be surprised at how much, and what, happened in Hong Kong during that time. There are enough visible reminders to make the stories come back to life on these tours. WW2 enthusiasts and those with general knowledge of WW2 will find it interesting to complement their knowledge with that of our expert guide,” says Baumgartner. “We have designed a number of walks which cover in detail aspects of this fascinating period of Hong Kong’s history.” Battlefield tours include areas around the Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail,  Pinewood Battery on Victoria Peak, and the  Stanley Heritage Trail - all on Hong Kong Island -  the Shing Mun Redoubt and Devil's Peak in Kowloon, and the Museum of Coastal Defence. For more information see http://www.walkhongkong.com/ww2hongkong.html

For design lovers

Little Adventures in Hong Kong takes people to places that allow them to explore the city's public housing, transport and urban planning. “I take people from downtown areas to see the older public housing in Shek Kip Mei and Ngau Tau Kok,” says Daisann McLane, director of Little Adventures in Hong Kong.  “So much of Hong Kong’s image is centred on skyscrapers and the harbour and Hong Kong Island, but something like 49 per cent of Hongkongers live in public housing, so it’s an essential part of understanding the city and the culture.” McLane says all walks are private and bespoke and no two are alike. “If people are interested in 1960s industrial architecture, or adaptive reuse, I’ll steer them to areas like San Po Kong or Chai Wan. The Fanling/On the Borderlands walk is popular because it covers so many periods of our history in a relatively contained area - the Tang clan villages we visit in Fanling pre-date the founding of Hong Kong by several hundred years. You have the colonial public buildings of Luen Wo market, the early public housing ‘new town’ estates by the MTR. … Anything you want to know about what’s going on in Hong Kong today is tangible and visible in Fanling. It’s an extraordinary way to dig more deeply into the layers of the city.” For more information see http://www.littleadventuresinhongkong.com/adventures-further-afield/

For adventure lovers 

From remote hilltop vistas to secluded waterfalls and golden beaches, Wild Hong Kong will take you on an adventure to remember, its founder, well-travelled Scot Rory Mackay says. “Our aim is to share this beautiful backyard and show Hong Kong’s hidden gems.” Wild Hong Kong’s focus is guided hikes around various parts of rural Hong Kong (half- and full-day routes are available, as well as customised packages). “We are open to entertaining all types of travellers and locals who have an adventurous spirit. Hiking is our focus but we also specialise in activities such as cliff jumping and canoeing.” Walking tours include exploring the depths of Lantau Island’s Yellow Dragon Gorge – a secluded oasis surrounded by cliffs and waterfalls – as well as the waterfalls on the slopes of Tai Mo Shan mountain and the beaches and mountains of Sai Kung. For more information see www.wildhongkong.com

For lovers of shopping

OK, this one is across the border but any spender – whether visitor or local – will more than likely have a story about a shopping trip to Shenzhen and it will most likely include comments about how overwhelming and at times stressful  the experience is. That’s where Hello Hong Kong comes in. Its full-day shopping tour to Shenzhen helps spenders get the most out of the border city's handbag, jewellery, and clothing shops  (personal tailoring is available for anyone wishing to have a favourite item copied, or to order a made-to-measure suit which can be posted back to Hong Kong). The guide will also take you to stalls in the Lo Wu Shopping Centre selling colourful fabric, from the lightest Thai silks to the best-quality wool and cashmere. A visit to a beauty shop for a manicure or pedicure or a massage can be arranged, as can a stop at a hair salon for a quick wash and  blow-dry. For more information, see http://www.hellohongkong.com.hk/#!shenzhen-shopping-tour/c8sv