Get local and personal with the ‘Hong Kong Pals’ programme

Want to find a family-run noodle place that is off the travel-guide radar? Or a hideout to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre? Come and talk to a Hong Kong Pal at one of our two in-town visitor centres!

Coming from all walks of life, the Hong Kong Pals are volunteers who are eager to share their personal recommendations and tips so that visitors can explore Hong Kong like a local. Some of the volunteers can even provide you with insights on special subjects, such as cemeteries or the way of life in certain districts. Make an appointment for a personal ’consultation‘ with a Hong Kong Pal.

   

 

Get hooked on hiking
Need a break from Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle? Hop on a minibus or taxi and find yourself in the verdant countryside in the blink of an eye! Three-quarters of Hong Kong’s land area is in fact rural, abound with hiking trails suitable for hikers of all levels. Our pals Amy and Esther have left their footprints on most of these trails and they are more than happy to recommend hikes that will suit your needs and interests.

 

Chasing butterflies
Watching butterflies may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you are in Hong Kong, but the fact is, due to its mild climate, the city is a butterfly haven. Records show that Hong Kong has a cumulative total of over 280 butterfly species, many of them classified as rare or very rare. Butterfly enthusiast Terina will show you her precious butterfly photo album, and share with you her favourite spots to admire these dainty, dancing creatures.

 

Look up – bird watching in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is not only home to more than seven million people, but also a refuge for over 90,000 migratory birds. In addition to the famous Mai Po Marshes, there are many good bird-watching places, including parks in the busy districts of Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. Ask Alan, an avid bird watcher, for tips on watching these beautiful winged animals in what appears to be a concrete jungle.

 

Hong Kong through a piece of paper
What can you make with paper? You’ll be amazed at what Chinese people can create with this delicate material – intricate lanterns, colourful flower banners, lifelike offerings for ancestors, and much more. If you are interested in the Chinese art of paper craft, you may want to meet Eva, a lover of Chinese handicrafts, and let her tell you where to find traditional paper knickknacks and the interesting stories behind them.

 

Exploring Hong Kong history through its cemeteries
A cemetery may be quiet and solemn, but it can tell you a lot about a city. Talk to KC, a guide for Hong Kong Cemetery Walk, to learn more about these resting places of souls that are silent bearers of Hong Kong’s local customs, beliefs and multicultural characteristics.

 

Appreciating revitalised historic buildings
One beautiful feature in Hong Kong’s cityscape is the juxtaposition of buildings old and new. Learn to appreciate Hong Kong’s historical buildings and the uncanny congruity between them and their sky-scraping neighbours with Canny, an urban designer by profession. She will also give you some ideas on where to eat after a tour to the heritage sites.

 

Real treasures in Sham Shui Po
If you are curious about the grassroots lifestyle of Hong Kong people, and at the same time interested in value-for-money electronic goods and clothes, Sham Shui Po is the place for you. Ernest will not only offer you tips on finding little treasures in the district, but also tell you how these treasures connect with the everyday lives of the local people.

 

Sai Kung, the back garden of Hong Kong
Sai Kung offers a welcome breather for urban denizens, with its pristine beaches and hiking trails, dainty cafes and relaxing bars, and fresh ’sea-to-table‘ seafood. Winna is more than willing to share with you her favourite eateries, and how to order seafood like a local. She will also be able to tell you a thing or two about the local historical sites and the culture of this ‘seafood town’.

 

Take stunning photos of Hong Kong
There is an end to every journey but the photographs of it last forever. Sit down with Sanford and Michael, two camera buffs with keen eyes for capturing the charm of Hong Kong. They will show you their own works and offer tips on getting the best shots in photogenic Hong Kong.

 

Chinese festive foods and culture
Moon cakes are for the Mid-Autumn Festival while rice dumplings are for the Dragon Boat Festival. But why? Let Alice tell you all the love stories, historical events, myths and symbolic meanings behind Chinese festive fare. What’s more, she will tell you where to try them!

 

Eat with the locals, like a local
With over 12,000 restaurants to choose from, you may want some help to decide where to begin your gastronomic journey in the culinary capital of Asia, especially if you feel like eating like a local. Feel free to ask avid foodie Johnson for recommendations on the cha chan teng (Hong Kong-style cafes), Chinese noodle shops and street food stalls that the locals cherish. Be prepared to gain a few pounds though!