Today I have to give a big shout-out to the lovely team at Walk in Hong Kong. This group of young, dynamic and dedicated people has Hong Kong’s history close to its heart and is keen to share anecdotes, insights and also myths with anyone interested in finding out more about Hong Kong.
Walk in Hong Kong offers regular tours on the island and also in Kowloon, they are usually on the weekend. My parents did one tour around Sham Shui Po and loved it, so it was only a matter of time before I followed suit. I joined the Urban Myths walk in Wan Chai, which is an easy 2.5 hours walk along Queen’s Road East – but it is full of great insights.
Our guide Haider started by telling us that most of the myths and stories he’d been sharing with us, come directly from his grandmother who is 90 years old and lives in Wan Chai for more than 50 years. She knows the ins and outs – and more importantly she told him all the stories, and I can promise you, you won’t find those in a guide book!
We met at Pacific Place 3 – which has a nice big mural that is closely linked to Wan Chai’s history, but of course, no one had any idea of why it was there (and I am not going to spoil the fun, you have to meet Haider to find out the answer).
Then we walked along Sun, Moon and Star street – and let’s just say there is a spooky area, where a shrine of the earth god is hopefully protecting all the neighbours and visitors!
Haider knew this neighbourhood – he pointed out a church to us, showed us some interesting tiles in the floor, talked about some celebrities and well-known neighbours and diligently answered all our questions. We were a group of 13 participants, including locals and tourists, from the East and the West. So our questions were a bit random, but Haider held his ground.
The biggest surprise for me was not the Blue House, the colorful Start Street Refuse Collection Point (which I had written about previously) or the haunted house above Ship Street (again, I covered haunted houses in a previous blog post) … but the Pak Tai Temple in Wan Chai that I have been completely unaware of! More about this in another blog post.
Overall, a great experience – I found out new things about my neighbourhood and had a really great afternoon. A big thank you to Haider, Candy and the team of Walk in Hong Kong, who are doing a great job in keeping the old stories alive and helping to protect the heritage of Hong Kong.