Having a gaming business magnate for a father, Josie Ho would surely have picked up some of that business savvy. But don’t count on the Hong Kong actress and singer to come up with a “sales pitch” to convince overseas friends to visit her home city.
“I don’t think there’s a need to convince my friends,” she offers via e-mail, “I am here in Hong Kong and they love to come!”
It’s a cheeky response from an edgy star who has thrilled audiences over the years with her bold acting and musical ventures.
Ho’s now adding another feather to her filmography cap: She is the host of the fourth season of A Taste Of Hong Kong, a travel series that features the sights and sounds of the city.
In the show, the 42-year-old navigates the busy streets and districts of Hong Kong with some of South-East Asia’s young influencers (Malaysia is represented by YouTuber and blogger Daphne Charice).
“Just get ready to rock and discover Hong Kong with me!” she says.
Here, Ho tells Star2 more about a few of her favourite things in Hong Kong.
We’ve seen you in your capacity as an actress and singer. What can people expect from ‘Josie Ho the travel companion?’
I’m a local and I’ll show you Hong Kong from my perspective. A Taste Of Hong Kong focuses on inspiring visitors to experience Hong Kong like a local. I’ll take you to explore Hong Kong, not just for eating and shopping, but in-depth experiences. The experiences are my personal favourites, I would say, proudly presented to you by Josie Ho.
On screen, we see the fun aspect of being in a travel series. Tell us something that people would not expect at all about the reality of filming a travel show.
This is not only a travel show, it’s also about how I spend my time in Hong Kong, my stories in my city. Actually, when we filmed at Hipster 9, the vintage shop, I was really doing some shopping and got some beautiful vintage rings! Sometimes you just don’t get enough time in each location … I am going back to Pui O at Lantau!
What personal satisfaction do you get from filming a travel series?
To show the beauty of my city. To tour with new friends around Hong Kong – introducing my favourite spots, hanging out, chatting and laughing together. I also plan to host a mini concert with my band in MOM Livehouse featured in the show, to share my new songs with fans.
What are some uniquely Hong Kong experiences that travellers should look for during their visit?
It really depends on what you are looking for. With the rich diversity and quality of experience that Hong Kong has to offer, there is always something for everybody. Cha chaan teng (tea restaurant) is definitely iconic Hong Kong. And the Star Ferry, you just can’t miss it. For first-timers, I would suggest The Peak for the magnificent view. For nature lovers, Geopark is a must. The boat ride to Geopark is impressive.
What are some of your favourite things to do and see in Hong Kong, some recommendations for travellers to discover Hong Kong like a local?
As you can always find something new in Hong Kong, the list is endless! Go to the small shops and cafes in Poho – you will be surprised by the hidden gems in small alleys.
Where does one go for a life-changing foodie experience in Hong Kong?
Well, I won’t define a foodie experience as life-changing. What’s special in Hong Kong is our local street food. You just miss it so much when you are away from home. Wantan noodles, fish balls, cha chaan teng dishes are many Hongkongers’ comfort food.
Could you share some travel tips for travellers to Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is very safe. Even for ladies travelling alone, you don’t have to worry about safety. I would suggest you plan your trip, if you wish to maximise your time here. MTR is easy to use and it connects almost all major parts of Hong Kong, so just get an Octopus Card and explore with MTR.
Based on your observation, how has the tourism scene in Hong Kong evolved over the years?
Hong Kong has so much to offer tourists – attractions, dining, hotels, etcetera. If you want a luxury holiday, there’s a variety of five-stars and high-end stuff to choose from. If you are looking for value for money, the street food, dai pai dong (open-air food stalls) will never disappoint. And our countryside here is priceless – tourists get to know the beauty of Hong Kong hikes and come for more experiential trips, to feel and see Hong Kong.
The three-part A Taste Of Hong Kong 4 premieres on Aug 14 at 9.55pm on TLC (Astro Ch 707).