Hello, I'm Jamie. 46 years living in Hong Kong - How local do you want to get?

Award Winning Private Tours in amazing Hong Kong, former British Colony from 1841 - 1997


Why would I need a private tour guide in Hong Kong?

A Private Tour Guide maximises your time and offers a personalised tour with premium quality service

Hong Kong is a fabulous city with a rich culture and heritage, where East meets West is a common phrase, Hong Kong is a huge place with literally hundreds of attractions and places to visit which can be quite daunting to first time visitors (and even to people that live here!).

I like to think of myself as a living guide book - many people make do with a printed guide book which is fine - or you could take a bus tour, or you could join a tour organised by a traditional coach tour company with a running commentary in poor English and blink-and-you'll-miss-it attractions as you drive by or you could join a so called Free Tour.

  Flags, whistles and badges - not in this lifetime!

Flags, whistles and badges - not in this lifetime!

...oh and a high quality PRIVATE TOUR is a totally different experience to one of those 2.5 hour so called "free tours" where you generally end up doing the tour with 25 other people! you have an inflexible tour itinerary, the guide talks through a microphone, works from a script, use diagrams and photocopied images, spends a lot of time upselling PAID tours....and you are expected to tip the guide by the way, so much for being free! - oh and there is no chance to have one on one detailed discussions with the guide about Hong Kong, so if you are stuck for something to do in Hong Kong then contact me.

  A typical Hong Kong "Free" Tour on the narrow streets of Hong Kong, 20 - 25 people is very typical

A typical Hong Kong "Free" Tour on the narrow streets of Hong Kong, 20 - 25 people is very typical


Sample Itineraries - why I don't have them

Hong Kong is a huge city, overall about 426 sq miles and a population of 7.37 million people - with so much to see and do, for most visitors it can be quite overwhelming and the biggest problem is time, if you do not know the city it is impossible to work out how much time you need to visit places, this is why we use a combination of walking and using Public Transport and I am pretty good on timing!

Please note I do NOT work to a fixed itinerary nor do I propose itineraries in advance, nor do I provide sample itineraries for the following reasons.

 •    I need to meet people in person and chat for a few minutes to ascertain interests and confirm points raised in prior communications

•    as you are signing up for a private tour, your "to do list" is important.

•    I am very flexible, I often change itineraries in an instant on tour when clients mention something they want to do and see, I need to retain this flexibility

•    I do tours from 3 hours to 12 hours, once the number of hours is confirmed for the tour 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 on the day, traffic etc again I need to retain the flexibility to change tack on the day of the tour and I am always discovering new things to see and do which I may add to tours, when I am not working I am exploring!

I have done well over 2,000 tours in the past 7 years, so I have a real feel for making up itineraries on the fly so to speak! - and honestly, most people leave it to me to show them the best of Hong Kong.

As mentioned I am more than happy to fit in specific client requests (assuming that this is possible within the time frame of the tour) and I have to say that clients overwhelmingly appreciate my somewhat offbeat approach to tour itineraries.

A guide book or bus tour is no substitute for a knowledgeable, personable, easygoing and friendly English Gentleman who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for 46 years under both British and Chinese rule. 

The Big Bus Company is in Hong Kong and I have been on it in the interests of research.

Just read the reviews on Tripadvisor, they are pretty accurate.

Generic Coach tours have been running for over 50 years in Hong Kong, the one above is very typical.  You would have thought that after 50 years of complaints that they would drop the Jewellery Factory stop and the "putting your face on a plate souvenir".

If you don't want to do one of those generic coach tours as shown above and are offered by the Hotel Concierges (the itinerary has not really changed in 50 + years !! and remember it includes the dreaded Jewellery Factory stop) - then contact me now, remember this could be you on the bus below contemplating the hard sell at the jewellery factory! and then wondering how you got suckered into buying that cheesy plate...



I guess the point I am trying to make is that I need flexibility with regards to the tour itinerary in order to give you the best possible experience.

Please note that bookings are subject to my availability and are on a first come first served basis....oh if I am booked during the day then book a night tour with me! Hong Kong is absolutely fabulous at night.

Important : - I do NOT arrange flights, hotels, airport transfers, bus tours etc

 


What happens once I've booked a tour?                       Should I bring cash?

 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 conclusion of the tour if you wish.

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, clients are usually more than happy to leave it to me, particularly first timers to this wonderful city, I normally work out the itinerary in my head once I have met you to give you a rather unique, highly personalised tour of Hong Kong with someone who has lived here for over 46 years!

There is always an element of mystery and surprise to my tours by the way....

Finally, I invite you to go to my Flickr site (link on the navigation bar) to help see what Hong Kong is all about, many clients use my site to decide what they want to visit.

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. As a guide HK$400 - HK$500 cash should cover most eventualities and it is better to purchase an Octopus Card™ for transport rather than use cash.   

One of our old banknotes, sadly no longer in circulation


There seems to be a lot of walking involved!

As there is a bit of walking involved (even when using public transport) you will need to 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.

I am not a big fan of steps (hey, I walk all day!) but please note there are times when they just cannot be avoided - oh and I do NOT do tours by car.

The usual rules of walking apply, be prepared 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 and to emphasize - 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 I want people to enjoy themselves! 

Weather issues

 

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.....!

Click on the image to enlarge the image

May 24th 2017 - we had 11 inches of rain in one day!

We get odd weather patterns here as well - a bit of rain in the air! June 4th 2016 at my spot at the Peak.

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 to September it is always hot and humid (with or without the rain) in Hong Kong, we are talking 33oC and 80% - 90% humidity and the temperature does not seem to drop much in the evening.


What about food tours? 

 

I love food, and I estimate I have eaten in well over 1,250 + local restaurants in over 46 years here but that does not make me a foodie! food is such a subjective matter, what I like you may well hate!

I will categorically state now, that I do not do food tours, but I am perfectly happy to stop and eat at restaurants (or sample egg tarts!!) 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, these would be a much better bet for you and I am happy to refer quality companies.

If the urge strikes you, then you can also do your own research here at Tripadvisor Hong Kong

Not my favourite food in the world!  - a typical food tour involves sampling food at 5 / 6 restaurants.... not a good idea for an overweight guy who is diabetic!


How about Disneyland Hong Kong?

...or other 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 as an absolute minimum. 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 a good part of the day.

I would also point out that hiring me to take you to Disneyland or Ocean Park is just not necessary, you can easily do these on your own, they are both pretty easy to get to.  

Please note that my tours are Private Tours I do NOT do PUBLIC GROUP TOURS In other words just you and me, it is NOT possible for other people to join the tour unless you invite them!

Of course I might be willing to do a tour in this awesome Bentley Bentayga SUV - this is currently the fastest and most expensive SUV on the planet and I have to say it is a beautiful car, comes with a picnic hamper as well!! - go here for all of my Bentley images

I specialise in Hong Kong tours only - by Hong Kong tours I mean Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories including Lantau Island.

Please note that my tours are Walking Tours, we walk and use Public Transport, this is the best way to see Hong Kong. It is not all walking, there are rest breaks and I am very sensitive to peoples physical condition

One of life's great adventures, riding the subway in Hong Kong! Hong Kong simply has the best public transport in the world.... and that is a fact!

.


You appear to be very busy, what happens if you are fully booked?

I may still be available even on days where I have an existing tour (ie. on TOUR on my calendar) depending on your timing and the number of hours for the tour, if needs be please contact me for confirmation.

I am always happy to work on Sunday's and public holiday's including Christmas Day and New Year's day.... I would say that Sunday is absolutely the most popular day to do a tour in Hong Kong, so much to see and do!

Yes, I am a very busy chap so prompt booking is always advisable as I work on a first come, first served basis and I work 7 days a week!  I do love a good night tour 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.

Absolutely! I specialise in family tours, I am a family man with 3 kids of my own (and I regularly supervise school trips) so children are welcome (of any age) but be mindful that keeping small kids under 4 interested for 3 - 12 hours can be a problem depending on what type of tour you schedule. I have been told that I can even keep moody teenagers amused - I should know, my youngest is 18!

caitlin + elyse.jpg

 Caitlin & Elyse


Can I phone you?

What languages do you speak?

In a nutshell, when I am on tour I simply DO NOT answer my telephone and I extend this courtesy to all clients.

Indeed I turn off the volume on my phone when I go out and I quite often forget to turn it back on!

I am utterly useless at languages, I speak English only, sorry! I actually know lots of words and phrases in Cantonese but I cannot get the tones right!!

Cantonese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn ...and no, it is not some colonial mentality I have, I am just plain stupid! Cantonese is not a problem, my wife and other family members are a phone call away should there be a problem, and frankly, English is widely spoken in Hong Kong as it is after all, one of our official languages.




Is it okay to tip me, your personal tour guide?

Tipping is always optional and boy, what an awkward subject to broach! if you have had a great time and want to thank me in this manner, then gratuities are very much appreciated!

...however, let me be clear,  I will never ask, I will never be offended if you do not offer a tip and I am not going to claim that 50% of the tip will go to charity! ( I have been giving to charities all my adult life in Hong Kong! )

Lastly,

 

Hong Kong is a major international city with an excellent reputation and is very tourist friendly. It is a safe place so carrying expensive camera equipment and wearing a Rolex watch will not increase your chances of getting robbed.

However you need to look after your wallet and mobile phones on the MTR (subway system) and in crowded markets like you would in any bustling metropolis.

I am a keen amateur photographer and I will sometimes take pictures on tour, I keep this to a minimum. I am also more than happy to take pictures of you!

Have you ever seen a burnt out / melted phone box before? whoever was in there obviously had a heated conversation with someone!

Welcome to Hong Kong 1250.jpg

Hong Kong is fast paced and a bit in your face, but it is also very civilised; remember we get between 55 - 65 million visitors a year so we know how to look after our guests. Take it from me, you will absolutely enjoy your time in Hong Kong!

Me and my personality.... 

I arrived in Hong Kong as a child of 11 in early January 1972 and have been here ever since and I love it here, I am married with 3 boys who where all born and raised in Hong Kong.... my wife is Asian, born and bred in Hong Kong! and Cantonese is her first language.

I have a somewhat evolved (and understated) dry English sense of humour! and you should take this into account when I regale stories about living here.

I am full of completely useless facts about Hong Kong...(and I know plenty of historical facts as well!)

I tend to say it as it is, Hong Kong is NOT perfect by any means and naturally I will answer any question you throw at me, I DO NOT offer up sanitized answers or opinions, I do not sugar coat things and can be quite blunt on certain issues so please take this into account.

 Sometimes you just have to shake your head in wonderment - Gold Mickey Mouse, 23lbs of pure 24k gold, roughly US$468,000


... ok, not quite the last bit. 

Disclaimer 

All information provided on the J3 Tours website is correct to the best of my knowledge, errors, omissions and exceptions not withstanding.

J3 Tours / Jamie Lloyd do not assume responsibility or any liability for any tour participant’s own misunderstanding or misinterpretation of any information provided on this site. 

 

Refund Policy

Refunds will be dealt with on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances

Any medical condition or medication being taken that might affect your health or participation in one of our tours must be notified to us in writing (e mail) prior to the tour.

If you have a preexisting medical condition then Personal Accident Insurance is strongly advised.

Be mindful that our summers are very hot and humid.

 

All tours are undertaken at the tour participants own risk. J3 Tours / Jamie Lloyd accept no liability or obligation in the event of illness, injury, death or loss or damage to personal property.

Finally - J3 Tours / Jamie Lloyd reserves the right to take photographs and film footage of clients on tours and / or any activities and to use the material in any way we deems appropriate including but not limited to featuring it on our company website and on promotional materials. 

Travel Services Provided by: This is Asia (Hong Kong Macau) Limited                                                 Travel Agents Licence Number: 354091

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Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents & Travel Industry Council                           Travel Industry Council Registration Number: 23091 - 0