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WHY TAKE A PRIVATE TOUR WITH ME IN HONG KONG?
Hong Kong is a city with a rich cultural heritage, where East meets West, which has evolved from a British Colony into a modern day metropolis with a unique one-country-two-systems form of governance which means it is part of China whilst being run by the people of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a surprisingly large city with hundreds of places that are worth visitng – this can be quite daunting even to people that live here, let alone a first time visitor!
I like to think of myself as a walking-talking-guide-book as well as a new friend; and a "real" guide book or bus tour is no substitute for a knowledgeable and good-humoured Englishman who has spent almost all of his adult life in Hong Kong.
DO YOU PROVIDE SAMPLE ITINERARIES?
Hong Kong is about 426 sq miles with a population of over 7 million people - with so much to see and do, it can be quite overwhelming for visitors and the biggest problem is managing your time. If you do not know the city it is difficult to work out how much you will be able to fit in.
Please note I do NOT work to a fixed itinerary nor do I propose itineraries for the following reasons:
I like to meet people in person and chat for a few minutes to work out interests and confirm points raised in prior communications
As you are signing up for a private tour, your "to do list" is important, please take the time to fill out the booking form on detail
I am very flexible, I may change itineraries during a tour if clients mention something different that they want to do and see.
I am available for tours from 3 hours to 8 hours, and once the number of hours is confirmed I use this as a template and figure out what we can do in that time frame (but I do not do this until we meet)
Timing is a major factor and is dependent on so many things such as weather and traffic so I need to retain the flexibility to make changes on the day of the tour
There are always new things to see and do in Hong Kong which I may add to tours at short notice.
I am more than happy to accomodate specific client requests (assuming that this is possible within the time frame of the tour) and I need flexibility with regards to the tour itinerary in order to give you the best possible tour experience.
Please note that bookings are subject to my availability and are on a first come first served basis....by the way if I am booked during the day then I am still available to do a night tour! Hong Kong is stunning at night.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I'VE BOOKED A TOUR?
Book a tour here. On the day of the tour I will pick you up at your hotel (or at a mutually agreed place) at the agreed time and then drop you off at the hotel at the end of your tour.
I am able to plan a tour very quickly depending on what you want to see and in the time you have available.
As far as the itinerary goes, please leave it to me, I will work out the itinerary once I have met you to give you a unique, personalised tour of Hong Kong with someone who has lived here for 30 years!
SHOULD I BRING CASH?
You will need HK$ cash for your tour as we will need this for transport, minor purchases etc. Most shops and restaurants will accept credit cards but if we go off the beaten track cash is needed as many food stalls and market stalls work on a cash basis only. HK$400-HK$500 cash should be adequate and it is highly recommended to purchase an Octopus Card™ for transport rather than use cash.
IS THERE A LOT OF WALKING INVOLVED?
As there is walking involved (even when using public transport) please let me know in advance if a 3+ hour schedule is a problem.
3 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours - whatever the tour length I structure the pace accordingly and to your needs.
The usual rules of walking apply and make sure you wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Water and soft drinks can be purchased at the thousands of convenience stores found on the streets in Hong Kong.
Finally - all tours are done at a reasonably leisurely pace, do not worry about this too much, the tour is part walking / part hopping around on public transport with plenty of rest periods, remember you're here to enjoy yourselves!
WHAT ABOUT INCLEMENT WEATHER?
Generally tours will go ahead unless we have some serious issues such as heavy rain or we are caught up in a typhoon, in other words I will normally follow guidelines issued by the Observatory in Hong Kong. In a nutshell tours will be cancelled at the start of the tour, if:
it is raining very hard and it is likely to carry on for a few hours
there is a typhoon near to Hong Kong and the weather is forecast to get much worse
For up to date weather, it's always best to refer to the Hong Kong Observatory Common sense will prevail.....!
I always give clients the option to cancel / reschedule a tour if we have persistent heavy rain, trust me, touring in this sort of rain can be just plain miserable but then again I have been out many times in tropical rain and it can be fun!
Please also take into account that from May - September it is always hot and humid (with or without the rain) in Hong Kong; normally the humidity level is around 80% - 90% during these months.
WHAT ABOUT FOOD TOURS?
I love food but I do not do food tours, I am perfectly happy to stop and eat at restaurants on tour and I know some great places to fit any budget.
If you want a specific food tour then there are other dedicated food tour companies who have excellent reputations and I am happy to refer you to good-quality companies.
If the urge strikes you, then you can also do your own research here at Tripadvisor Hong Kong.
HOW ABOUT DISNEYLAND HONG KONG?...OR OFFBEAT TOURS?
Hong Kong Disney is great for adults and kids alike. If you wish to visit such attractions as Disneyland or Ocean Park then you need to allow 6 - 8 hours. They are very easy to get to but in order to get the best out of the visit, you need to allocate time as many of the popular attractions have big queues. Visiting any outlying islands will also require the best part of a day.
I must point out that it is simply not necessary to hire me to take you to Disneyland or Ocean Park, you can easily do these on your own, and they are both easy to get to.
I specialise in Hong Kong tours only - by Hong Kong tours I mean Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories including Lantau Island.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE FULLY BOOKED?
I am happy to work on Sunday's and public holiday's including Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Prompt booking is always advisable as I work on a first-come-first-served basis and I can tour 7 days a week! I adore night tours as well... however there are times when I simply will not be able to fit you in, sorry!
I have no issues at all about giving you a recommendation for other excellent private guides.
DO YOU CATER FOR CHILDREN?
Absolutely! I am a family man with kids of my own and children of any age are welcome but be mindful that keeping small children interested for 3 - 8 hours can be a problem depending on the type of tour you schedule. My daughters are 16 and 13, play rugby, act and debate (on stage and at home) so I am well versed in catering to children.
TOURS FOR ACCOMPANIED KIDS 12 AND UNDER (AT THE TIME OF BOOKING) ARE FREE OF CHARGE!
CAN I PHONE YOU?
When I am on tour I DO NOT answer my telephone and I extend this courtesy to all clients.
You can email me directly at email@example.com or fill out the contact / booking form on my contact page.
WHAT LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK?
I speak English only, sorry! Cantonese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn ...and no, it is not some colonial mentality I have, I've been able to get by without it and English is widely spoken in Hong Kong as it is one of our official languages.
That said, I have picked up a few words of Cantonese in my time here, and you may on occasion hear me muttering a greeting or a simple question to a local shop-keeper!
IS IT OKAY TO TIP ME?
Most definitely...although a tip is certainly not expected, it will always be gratefully received.
Hong Kong is a major international city with an excellent reputation and is very tourist friendly, however, you need to look after your personal belongings as you would in any big city.
I will sometimes take pictures on tour for my website and FLICKR and I will keep this to a minimum. I am more than happy to take pictures of you!
Hong Kong is very civilised whilst being very fast paced. Keep an open mind and an open heart and you will love your time in Hong Kong!
A bit of background on me...
I arrived in Hong Kong as a British Soldier in 1989 and have been here ever since and I love the city. I have two teenage daughters who were born and raised in Hong Kong who go to a local English Speaking School. I have a very “English” sense of humour and am more than happy to share my personal and work experiences gained from living here as a very young British Army NCO through to middle-aged businessman. I know plenty of relevant historical facts about Hong Kong - as well as more than a few irrelevant ones. Living in Hong Kong isn't perfect in every way, far from it and I'm happy to answer any questions you have on any subject in an honest, warm and (sometimes) self-deprecating manner.