Walking tours explore intriguing surroundings at a leisurely pace, much like a photography class held in a thick bog of quicksand. Let it all sink in with today’s Groupon to Hidden Dragon Tours. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get a Chinese New Year–celebration walking tour (a $30 value). Tours take place on Sunday, January 29 and depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.<p>
- For $30, you get a Chinese New Year–celebration walking tour with an eight-course dinner (a $60 value). The tour takes place on Sunday, January 29, and departs at 5 p.m. The dinner, held at a local restaurant, includes:
- Stir-fried garlic prawns
- Lettuce wraps
- Lemon chicken
- Vegetable chow mein
- Sweet-and-sour pork
- Beef and broccoli
- Egg foo young
- Side of rice
- Two varieties of Chinese tea
Hidden Dragon Tours’ dedicated guides lead 1.5-hour tours through the winding, narrow streets of Victoria’s Old Chinatown, educating participants on the history and traditions of the Chinese lunar New Year. After meeting on Fisgard Street, groups wander past Edwardian and Renaissance buildings, many of which hold herbal medicine shops and music clubs, as they make their way toward the heart of the city’s festive celebration without having to bicker with the GPS. Aided by local storytellers and hands-on educational demonstrations, guides shepherd tours into the holiday’s active merrymaking and explain its myths and rituals. Guides may also divulge the back-story of sights such as a still-functioning vegetable market housing restaurants and stores as well as a Chinese school established in 1909. Throughout their walk, participants pass storefronts containing secret passageways and the architectural remnants of 19th- and 20th-century opium producers, gambling dens, and brothels, often the subjects of 19th-century documentary films.
At the end of the dinner tour, diners gather at a local Chinatown restaurant to commune around eight courses of traditional Chinese fare. Washing down bites with sips of tea, diners delve into stir-fried garlic prawns tossed with onions as well as pork doused in sweet-and-sour sauce. Beef and broccoli waltz with chopsticks while egg foo young swims in rich gravy. Fortune cookies provide a festive conclusion, cracking open to reveal bits of daily wisdom and reminders to preorder Elton John’s album release in 2025.
A city is like a walk-through history book with the stories scrawled along its streets and architecture. The sage-like guides of Hidden Dragon use their knowledge of that landscape to share the stories of Victoria. With that goal in mind, their menu of walking tours entices guests to join them through keystone locales that speak to the indigenous, British, and Chinese cultures that define the city, as well as the paranormal tales that comprise its folklore.
The Crown Victoria Native Island tour explores the indigenous people and British colonists that once inhabited the area. Guests walk past the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel situated beside the waters of Inner Harbour, totem poles, and the quaint historic shops of Old Town. The New World Old Chinatown tour inspired the Hidden Dragon name with journeys through the museums, courtyards, and concealed myths of Victoria’s Chinese community. For an alternative history of the region, guides divulge the stories of ghosts, witches, and demons found in the rooming houses and alleys of Dark Victoria.