Research on independent youth tourism in Asia has tended to examine visits to peripheral and exotic destinations rather than to developed, urbanised cities such as Hong Kong. The present research addresses this significant gap, with its principal aim being to increase understanding of independent outbound Chinese tourism, before visa arrangements change and it becomes more widespread outside of the current approved destinations, such as the Hong Kong Special Administration Regions (SAR) of China. The research is also linked to work on the “experience economy”, especially within the wider context of globalisation and the changing role of cities and places within the tourist economy. This article investigates the extent to which outbound Chinese independent youth tourists will follow this trend to discover ever deeper cultural experiences of the local culture of host societies, as against imitating current forms of mass sightseeing tourism, albeit in a non-institutionalised form. The study found that both trends were common as well as others in the experiences this group of youth tourists sought of Hong Kong, which has implications for destination planning and marketing of urban destinations further afield that will receive these kinds of tourists one day when visa arrangements have changed. Copyright © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.