Hong Kong's diversity explored through walking tours

Across the harbour from Hong Kong's financial centre, is one building humming with restaurants from Middle Eastern South Asian, and African cuisines.

And Chunking Mansions offers much more than food, it is community hub for migrants and refugees.

Some Hong Kongers would never go inside, there is a stigma that the place is dangerous.

Social worker Jeffrey Andrews says he wants to change that fear through walking tours.

"I mean, for me, the greatest thing is when you see all the participants, 30 of them, when they first come in, you can see that nervousness, unease and as soon as an hour later they are like smiling and this is home, this is just like any part of Hong Kong."'

The tour is one of many offered by Hong Kong free tours that aims to show the 'real' Hong Kong.

Andrews hopes to build a bridge between cultures and broaden the definition of what it means to be a Hong Konger.

He explained that some people on the tours have said they felt apprehensive to ask questions on topics that may be considered sensitive, including political and religious persecution.

Another tour that hopes to promote acceptance of Hong Kong's diversity is the LGBT tour.

One of the stops is at a drag show with star "MissTina UglyHaira", who styles herself after singer Christina Aguilera. Tina welcomes all questions from the audience:

"They are very curious, and I am really happy that they really, really want to know what is the drag queen, and then they asked so many questions."

Some participants like Karen Lai, said the experience was eye-opening:

"This is my first time to watch a drag queen show. My parents are very conservative, so they always tell me that gay people are not normal, so in a way, I had no chance to meet them. And today I get to see them, watch the show, I realised it's nothing like my parents said."

Since foreign visitors have dried up with the global health crisis these tours now cater to locals, or as one Hong Kong resident put it - they feel like a tourist again in their own city.

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