The Essential Hong Kong Walking Tour | Custom Private Hong Kong Tour
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The backstreets. The people. The city hidden within the city. Hong Kong as we live it. Our expert hosts will make sure you don’t miss it.



The Essential Hong Kong Custom Walking Tour


Hong Kong’s modern veneer of skyscrapers and state-of-the-art shopping complexes is deceptive. Once you know how and where to look, it peels away and you begin to see another world, another culture as it was, and is.


We created The Essential Hong Kong Walk to give you the keys to this other, less visible city. From the latest, up to the minute current events and political affairs, to the subtle traces of Chinese traditional practices that have been going on for a thousand years, we’ll unpack, de-mystify, and open up our Hong Kong for you.


The Itinerary: We Follow the Rhythm of the City


Rather than a set itinerary, we prefer to leave our plan somewhat open-ended. We think the beauty of cities is that they offer us unexpected moments, serendipitous encounters. Hong Kong has that in spades–walking a single block of this city densely packed with sights, sounds and smells is like walking ten blocks of any other!


Your host is an expert, not a tour guide, a professional journalist, writer, chef or academic. Since we all know the city like the back of our hands, and we speak the language, we can help you indulge your curiosity wherever it may take us, even if that leads to an impromptu detour that’s “off the list”.


Using Hong Kong, its people and its streets as our laboratory, we bring Hong Kong to life for you: History, society, politics, culture, traditions, food.



    We'll help you see what you haven't been seeing. You'll get a strong sense of what Hong Kong once was, and what it is today.


    We started as a trading city and our entrepreneurs have always been Hong Kong's engine. We'll show you why every alleyway is open for business


    Hong Kong is aroma. It fills the streets. We'll take you to the world's largest dried herbal markets, or to a shop selling the rare fragrant hardwood that gave Hong Kong its name

No two Essential HK walks are exactly alike, because we personalize them for you. We always begin our walks by spending a few minutes with our clients and speaking with them over tea or coffee. We listen, ask questions, and then suggest places we think will be of special interest to you along the way.

For instance, if you are a doctor, we might spend some time exploring Chinese medicine, or exploring the very critical Hong Kong topic of epidemiology and public sanitation. We very much enjoy revealing the wonder of Hong Kong’s built environment for city planners and engineers (Our drainage system keeps the city from sliding into the harbour. It’s fascinating!). We’ve taken lawyers to visit court, and politicians and social activists to observe our legislature in action, and our street protests in motion.


One thing you won’t get on our Essential HK walk is the typical tourist-guide patter of facts and figures, and third hand stories culled from history books you’ll soon forget. We engage you in conversation. One of the most common bits of feedback we receive is one we are most proud of–that by the end of the walk you feel you have been exploring a new city with a colleague or friend.


Choose the Neighborhood–Hong Kong or Kowloon

We can create an Essential Hong Kong Walk in any of a number of the city’s older working class areas:


Hong Kong Island:

  • Central and Sheung Wan (great for first-timers)
  • Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun (our favorite, classic path through two of HK’s oldest areas. Superb markets, hillside backstreets, food stalls)
  • Wan Chai (bustling, packed with history, and Hong Kong’s oldest Chinese temple)
  • Kennedy Town (working class neighborhood on the waterfront)



  • Yau Ma Tei/Jordan: Classic, densely packed old area and home to our kitchenware district, the wholesale fruit market, and artisanal workshops
  • Sham Shui Po/Shek Kip Mei: Magic for street food, also terrific for urban planners interested in our oldest public housing estates.

The Memorable Encounters are the Unexpected Ones


That is why we do not use scripted patter or one-size-fits-all itineraries. We believe the joy of a great global city is spontaneity. Hong Kong is full of magic. We’ll do our level best to put you in the path of some.

Not sure if you want to explore or eat? Do both! We can create a custom pairing for you. The Essential HK makes a perfect match with a guided dim sum or Won-Ton-A-Thon food graze.