When most people think of boarding a boat in Hong Kong, the first thing that usually pops into mind is junks, but what if you’re after a more tranquil, relaxing experience where you actually get to SEE Hong Kong (versus seeing who can drink the most beers without getting seasick…)? That’s where Hello Hong Kong comes in! Founded by Laura Blackhall, Hello Hong Kong offers customised food, land and sea tours that let you experience new facets of the city without having to plan a thing. Their tours out at sea all take place aboard the quaint 47-foot ‘Local Hero’ sailboat and are the perfect weekend outing, especially for impressing out-of-town guests who have yet to experience the ‘other side’ of Hong Kong!
Our trip started out with a tour of the boat by our very knowledgeable sailing instructor, Ryan. Other than teaching us all the basic techniques of sailing and letting a few of us try our hand at steering (I can’t say I have a natural knack for it, but at the very least the boat didn’t tip!), Ryan regaled us with fun stories of his various trips sailing away to Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. Listening to him, I have to admit I had half a mind to quit my day job, don a white cap and set sail for far-off lands (I did the responsible thing and went back to the office afterwards…).
Our two-hour journey started at Aberdeen Marina Club, where we set sail around the west coast of Hong Kong Island toward Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay. It was gorgeous as always to see the serene side of Hong Kong, while our hosts pointed out familiar landmarks like Ocean Park and a row of very expensive buildings (okay, maybe I wasn’t listening for this last part). The boat itself is very quaint, but spacious enough to fit 10 comfortably, with people choosing either to sit out back or tan at the front of the ship. Underneath is a roomy cabin, where our host kept all the beverages and graciously kept refilling them for us!
There is something very relaxing about drifting out at sea on a sail boat, versus being on a speedboat or yacht, and I could have definitely spent a few more hours out at bay. As the sun started to set however, we turned around and made our way back to the Aberdeen marina. With a few glasses of chilled wine, great company and perfect weather, it was altogether a fantastic experience that I would definitely recommend.
The best thing about Hello Hong Kong is how great it is for out-of-towners who are after something a bit different in Hong Kong. There’s so much to see and do here if you dig a little deeper and Hello Hong Kong founder Laura Blackhall has spent hours on end researching all the most fascinating parts of our city! If you’re not a sea person, join one of their amazing food tours, shopping tours or a bespoke tour where everything is 100% customised depending on your interests. Whatever it is, Laura has a plethora of Hong Kong knowledge to share with you and you won’t be disappointed. As for me, I’m itching to get back on the Local Hero!
Hello Hong Kong offers three-hours, six-hour and overnight sails so you can choose the length and journey that’s right for you. The six-hour sail includes travel around Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay and Stanley Fort and a light seafood lunch at the Po Toi Islands while the Overnight Sail is a 2-day charter around Hong Kong’s geopark and the sandy white beaches of Tai Long Wan. For more information and pricing, visit www.hellohongkong.com.hk.