Walking your own walk

Wong Yat-hei

A travel book encourages people to discover their surroundings on their own

Wong Yat-hei |

Latest Articles

Big cat, um, spotted roaming Chinese city (yes, it’s a leopard)

Long March 5B debris re-enters atmosphere over Maldives

Hong Kong rescue: the US fighter pilot saved by Chinese guerillas during the second world war

‘Add Ink’ commemorates Hong Kong, from Occupy Central to Covid-19

Chan Keung and Lin Ri Xi, the founders of Blackpaper, envision a new style of travel.
If you think the best way to travel is on guided tours, think again. More and more Hong Kong people prefer to set off on their own.

While they may still stick to the recommendations of guidebooks, many like exploring destinations on their own initiative.

Two young locals seek to aid such travellers. They have formed Blackpaper, a Chinese-language zine, and have just published a travel guide called Walker: New Seven Wonders to help out adventurous souls.

In the book, they and several other popular bloggers each share tips on their own seven destinations.

"We called it a pseudo-travel book," says Chan Keung, one of the founders of Blackpaper. "We want to be different, so this book is not about the hottest attractions or places where you can shop or eat, as in a regular travel book.

"It's about places that left a deep impression on our writers and places that have meaning to them - places where miracles happened."

Contributors wrote about their favourite restaurants, bars, parks and cafes. The idea is to help other travellers create their own memorable experiences.

"A travel book is something that every Hong Kong tourist has in their hands when they go on holiday," says Lin Ri Xi, the zine's other founder. "We want readers not only to follow the tips in travel books but also to create their own."

And you can start your explorations right here at home. "In a section, we list seven Hong Kong attractions," he adds. "You may wonder: Why do they list sights in Hong Kong? Shouldn't travelling be about visiting overseas locations?"

He answers his own question: "It doesn't matter where you are. We believe that you can find places anywhere to make your heart stir. I hope readers will come up with their own seven miraculous places."

One contributor to the book is a popular food blogger who goes by the name of Sleepless Prince. He explains his contributions.

"When I go on holiday, I never enjoy looking at travel guides. I talk to locals and ask them for their recommendations on sights and eateries," he says.

"It's a special process that often leads you to special places."

Sleepless Prince discovered his travel "miracles" through common human interaction.

"One of my miracles was about a young man who I met on the street. He took 30 minutes to walk me to a restaurant," he recalls.

"I was deeply touched. I could not imagine someone in Hong Kong doing something like that."

Sleepless Prince says he was approached by several publishers about writing a book, but turned them down.

But he said yes finally to Blackpaper because the proceeds from its book's sales will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation - a doubly miraculous feat.