Pandemic inspires local tourists to explore Hong Kong's nature
By Cen Ziyuan, Shen Langlang
Locals have shifted from enjoying Hong Kong's metropolitan vibe to exploring the city's outdoor life and nature amid the pandemic.
Jeung Him-Cheung, known as Uncle Him, has been a tour guide for more than four decades.
"I started in 1978 or 79. It has been more than 40 years. I haven't stopped participating in tourism activities," he said.
Uncle Him is an expert in Hong Kong's ecology and passionate about sharing the beauty of nature. One of his popular tours takes customers to Hong Kong's Tung Lung Chau Island.
"The tour is about mountains, rivers, stones and bugs. I am all about environmental protection. I want to share my knowledge about how to protect the environment through tours," he explained.
The tour to Tung Lung Chau Island is the most popular one-day tour of the travel agency, where Uncle Him works.
Local seafood is served for dinner, allowing families and friends to enjoy a feast of what the ocean can offer. The tour group is made up of locals and the young people studying and working in Hong Kong.
"Inching closer to nature" is a new concept promoted by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, hoping to encourage locals to shift their attention from the urban aspects of the city to outdoor activities.
According to official data, public green spaces account for up to 40 percent of the total land in Hong Kong with most residents living in only one-fourth of the city's land.
With group tours resuming after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, day tours over weekends have become very popular.