Hoyin Hong in Iceland for the 5th time
In Mid-September a very good guest visited us at Arcanum Glacier Tours.
His name is Hoyin Hong and this visit to Iceland was his 5th and on every visit he has taken a tour with Arcanum.
We were curious to get to know more about Hong and his interests and travelling experiences.
Please tell us something about yourself. Where you are from, your studies and profession?
I’m born in Hong Kong. In 2003 I went to Scotland to attend high school and later I studied Actuarial Science at the University of Warwick.
At present I am a Financial Risk Analyst in an insurance company.
My family is based in Hong Kong whilst I work and live in Bournemouth, UK. So "visiting” Hong Kong is part of my annual travels.
I am a big football fan and Beckham is my favourite. I hold a Man.Utd. season ticket, although living down at the south coast makes it hard to attend every game. I love playing football and I’d like to think of myself as a good hairdresser – I have been giving myself a haircut for over ten years as well as giving my friends/family an occasional haircut!
We asked Hong about his travels, local holidays or always abroad?
Traveling both locally and also abroad is a very important part of my life. I love driving and I try to make the most out of my car. I have driven to nearby countries like France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and more on my holidays. Some of the most memorable places I have visited include hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru, seeing the Milky Way with bare eyes in Bolivia, Dog Sledging under the Northern Lights in Norway, eating around in Asia and last but not least exploring Amazing Iceland.
This is your 5th visit to Iceland and every time you take a glacier tour with Arcanum. Why Iceland, why glacier tours ?
I have been to Iceland 5 times since 2012. I fell in love with the country the moment I started driving around in the rural areas.
The landscape is so amazing that I had to stop and take photos every 5 minutes (or even less!).
Icelandic people are very warm and welcoming, generous and genuine. I have made new friends on every trip. I also visit my old friends and keep in touch with them as much as I can.
Needless to say, the Aurora Borealis and the Ice Caves are also part of the reasons that encourage me to come back again and again. Every time I visit Iceland I have a very busy itinerary. There is so much to see and do.
However, no matter how tight the schedule is, I always take time to join tours/activities with Arcanum.
I have done Ice-Climbing combined with a Glacier Walk with Tómas Birgir, Arcanum’s marketing manager and glacier guide. Tómas has become one of my best Icelandic friends.
I have also taken a Snowmobiling tour with Siggi, Sigurður Guðjónsson one of Arcanum’s snowmobile guides.
Having been to Iceland twice, I have suddenly become the go-to person when my friends have questions about travelling in Iceland.
I subsequently became the "tour guide” for my parents, my relatives and my brother respectively on a recent trip.
To make sure they experienced the real taste of Iceland I booked tours with Arcanum without hesitating.
Since then I have been on the Glacier Walk tour with Arcanum twice, the Snowmobiling tour and a Super Jeep tour.
The Glacier Walk tour is one of my favourite activities in Iceland, just imagine and picture yourself walking in such an amazing place.
What is it about glaciers which encourages you to visit again and again?
In short it is the Glacier and the Glacier Tours.
The Arcanum tour guides are always very humorous and informative. Mýrdalsjökull glacier is constantly on the move,
the shape of the glacier is never the same and therefore the route changes frequently.
But the Arcanum tour guides will always take you on some exciting, challenging and yet safe routes.
If you would like to know more about Mýrdalsjökull glacier in Iceland, I would highly recommend the Glacier tour with Arcanum - take my word for it – every one of their guides know their stuff, they are very passionate about the tours and very caring.
They put the customers’ safety first; they will bring you to some breath-taking scenery to take photographs and will always give you a helping hand in case you need to stretch across a running glacier water path.
It is not a challenging tour and is suitable for all ages.
Which places have you been visiting in Iceland now and on your previous trips?
I love the nature and I love photography. Iceland is the perfect place for that and satisfies my interests. I am yet to explore the volcano tour and would love to do so one day.
During the past trips, I have always visited the most well-known scenery such as Golden Circle, Jökulsarlón, Dettifoss to name a few.
In my most recent trip, I started to explore the hidden gems down the south/east coast, including canyons, waterfalls and interesting places such as Fjarðárgljúfur and Borgarfjörður, Brúarfoss, Gljúfrafoss, Nauthúsagil and Hoffell.
Have you detected changes in tourism in Iceland between your visits ? We know the numbers are increasing steadily and there are some worries that some parts of the country will be overcrowded too soon. Do you have an opinion on this ?
In the winter of 2012 when I came to Iceland for the first time, there were not many tourists. I would maybe see 5 cars on a 3 hours drive journey. That time I had a whole hotel to myself and could choose which room to sleep in during my stay. This was in Ólafsfjördur. Ever since I have noticed that the number of tourists have been doubling or even tripling every year. There are lot more coaches bringing tourists from the capital for day tours. On one hand I believe this is a good sign for the tourism as well as the economy. On the other hand it does concern me that this could become harmful to the beautiful nature of Iceland. I have a wish that every tourists visiting Iceland think about the environment and most importantly respect the nature.
Do you have further plans for visits to Iceland ?
There is still so much to explore that I cannot wait till the next time I come back. In particular, I have not spend much time in the west coast in the past which I look forward to visiting in the future.
Thank you Hong for sharing your experience with us, we are looking forward to your next visit.