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Humans of Hong Kong: off the beaten track with Stephanie Frossard

French tour guide Stephanie Frossard still finds the unexpected in Hong Kong after 14 years here.

We see Hong Kong through new eyes with Stephanie Frossard, a French tour guide who takes intrepid visitors on unusual trips around town. Join us as she shares stories of how Hong Kong continues to surprise her, her favourite places in the city, and why she doesn’t miss home.

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“Even after 14 years in Hong Kong, I am still a tourist in my own city. Yesterday, I was in Central, and I turned down a small lane, it’s just between two buildings — one of those narrow areas you will never enter in any other city in the world because it’s unsafe or dirty. I just entered and I discover a courtyard in the middle of Central. It was nice; there were four elderly guys playing mahjong and it’s this kind of surprise that I really like.”

Frossard likes to take tours to the West Kowloon Cultural District for its unique blend of tradition and modernity.

“My clients come from many different places around the world. I have, of course, a lot of French-speaking clients. And I have also a lot of Australian clients, some from New Zealand, some Americans, some even from Singapore. And I also guide Hong Kong people, actually. Even local people and even Hong Kong residents, you know, after 30 years, they still discover some anecdotes and stories about the buildings they pass every day.”

“I particularly like taking people to the West Kowloon Cultural District, Yau Ma Tei, and Jordan. It’s the fact that they really illustrate the blend you have in Hong Kong between traditions and modernity, the abandoned city and the space, and also the cheap markets and the high-end shopping. It’s really a good way to discover all the sides of Hong Kong. And I think West Kowloon is also a good place to finish a tour. When you have had a very, very busy day in town, it’s good to come here and enjoy the sunset. And even as a tour guide, I always enjoy the place.”

Enjoying the sunset from West Kowloon is a great way to end a tour, Frossard says

“I have two kids that arrived with me in Hong Kong 14 years ago, and I had a third one in Hong Kong. So we like to joke with him and say that he is a Hongkonger, but he’s blonde with blue eyes, so he’s not really a Hongkonger, but it’s true that my kids really feel like Hong Kong is home because that’s where they grew up.”

“It’s hard to say why I stayed in Hong Kong. I like everything in Hong Kong. What I really like about the city is the diversity of the territory — there’s just so much to do. Everything is in Hong Kong — there’s nowhere else in the world like it. I don’t miss home, really. It’s really a destination. It’s not just an airport.”

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