FAQs

There are loads of travel apps. What makes iDiscover App&Map different?

iDiscover is…

  • Created by locals: it’s their favourite places that are on the map so you can spend your money locally and support the community.
  • Designed by locals: every map is a piece of art, a poetic ode to the neighbourhood.
  • Powered by locals: local sponsors that are aligned with our vision and make it all happen.

Where can I find the iDiscover App?

The apps are FREE to download from the App Store and Google Play. Search iDiscover.

Currently we have 6 iDiscover Apps:

  • iDiscover Hong Kong
  • iDiscover Macau
  • iDiscover Bali
  • iDiscover Java
  • iDiscover Yangon
  • iDiscover Manila
  • And more exciting destinations is coming soon! 🙂

Where can I find the iDiscover Maps?

iDiscover maps, printed locally and sustainably, are available for FREE from participating hotels, restaurants and cafes in each iDiscover neighbourhood.

Click here to find out where you can pick up a free map.

Why do I need the App if I have an iDiscover map?

  • Packed with insider secrets: there’s all the practical information like opening hours, directions, do’s & don’ts, but also detailed site descriptions, colourful anecdotes and lots of photos and videos so you can travel like a local.
  • Tips in the local language: especially helpful in traditional family run businesses, where English is not spoken. So you know what to order in a local tea house in Hong Kong or buy that puppet from a puppet maker in Surabaya.
  • GPS locator for easy navigation: so you can always find your way even in the small back alleys of Yogyakarta or the busy streets of Yangon. Nice to know: it works offline too! 

Why do all maps look different?

  • Each map is created by a local designer in their own personal style, representing a flavour of the neighbourhoods.
  • As a bonus, they are gorgeous designs that you’ll want to keep; they make a great souvenir of your travel adventures!

The app didn’t work.

The App is not perfect… technology is a beautiful thing, but is not always your best friend when you need it most. But we’d hate for you to be unhappy with your experience. Get in touch and we’ll help: i-discover@urbandiscovery.asia

How do you select the sites in your routes?

It is the locals who handpick the sites. We look for places that are unique to that neighbourhood, that you wouldn’t easily find anywhere else and are worth the detour. We include the obvious temples and monumental buildings that define a place, but also include popular local hangouts and lesser known sites.

The shop you put in there was closed.

In the iDiscover destinations, places come and go faster than we can keep up with. Our teams are constantly out on the streets trying to keep everything up to date, but we can only try our best…We’d like to hear what we can do better. Let us know at i-discover@urbandiscovery.asia.

I found a new place that you should really include.

Get in touch! Drop us a line at i-discover@urbandiscovery.asia

How do you make money out of this?

We don’t, it is our passion project, it is entirely self-funded and we rely on sponsors to cover our costs.

  • Development costs are covered. Thanks to our generous sponsors we can develop new routes. Their contributions pay for the tech, editing, quality control, design, distribution etc.. In return their logo and/or business is featured on the App&Map.
  • We keep operational costs to a minimum through grants from cultural foundations (NUFFIC, Jockey Club and Lord Wilson Trust) and flight sponsorship by Cathay Pacific.
  • We don’t advertise, instead we rely on a media partnership with Coconuts Media, local media partners (Zolima City Mag in Hong Kong Abang None in Jakarta) and our in-country brand ambassadors to get the word out.

Why did you create the iDiscover App?

  • Because we care! We care about local culture and heritage. We passionately believe it makes for more liveable and lovable cities. We connect old and new. We like the creative entrepreneurs and independent shops that inject new life into old neighbourhoods, but we also want to drive traffic to the shops that have been there for generations, so they can survive for yet another generation.
  • And because we believe in empowerment! All around Asia there are people -in universities, in NGO’s, in street associations and in creative collectives – who care about their environment! The problem is, their voices are often not loud enough to compete with the drills and jackhammers. We make their voices louder; we work with them to tell the tales of the neighbourhoods, the buildings and the people. We use technology to document the spirit of a place and repackage it in the form of a savvy app and a handy map.

Which cities are next on your list?

We’re only at the beginning of our iDiscover journey.

  • In Hong Kong, next up are the ‘hoods of Sai Ying Pun, Kennedy Town, Lei Yue Mun, Yau Tong and Yau Ma Tei.
  • In Indonesia we’re working on routes in Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Semarang.
  • In Yangon, soon to be released is a hop-on hop-off route along the Circular Railway Line.
  • In Macau we’ve walked the streets of the lovely neighbourhoods of Mong Ha and Coloane.
  • In Manila, we’ve soft launched Binondo and can’t wait to start exploring the old neighbourhood of Poblacion and Quiapo
  • In Northern-Thailand, we are putting the finishing touches on iDiscover Lampang and stated the curative process Chiang Mai.

And we have appetite for more: Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Ahmedabad and Colombo are next!

I would like to have an App&Map for my neighbourhood; how does it work?

We have a long wish list of cities we’d like to explore! So if you know of neighbourhoods with a strong identity and a compelling narrative, we’re happy to add this to the list. A couple of ingredients need to be in place: a local content partner and a sponsor.  If you know of local groups and designers we can work with, send them our way. Also if you know of corporates who would like to sponsor us, you know how to find us! i-discover@urbandiscovery.asia

Who is Urban Discovery?

  • iDiscover App&Map is a product of Urban Discovery, a Hong Kong based social enterprise with a mission: keeping heritage alive for a vibrant and viable urban future.
  • We develop creative educational tools to promote the awareness of the economic value of heritage. We build the business case for heritage revitalisation. We advise governments with historic city centres, reach out to developers that want to capitalise on the social and cultural investment potential of heritage buildings and work with NGOs to engage the community in heritage revitalisation projects.