We all know Hong Kong as modern city. Densely compact, architects frequently praise its amazing skyline; in fact, it’s commonly called the most vertical city in the world. It’s an innovative financial center that successfully blends Eastern and Western culture. It boasts a fantastic cuisine. Its Museum of Art and Museum of History are absolute must-sees. It’s blessed with one of the best public transportation systems on the planet. But how does Hong Kong’s nature measure up? Is Hong Kong green? Actually it is. If you’ve been ignoring it, it’s time to check it out our favorite outdoor activities in Hong Kong.
1. City Hiking
Forty percent of Hong Kong is protected park space. Given that, there is an infinite number of hiking paths that allows residents and visitors alike to escape from the city’s graceful skyscrapers to peaceful, green and blue landscapes. Two of our favorites are the circular, hour-long hike on Hong’s famous Victoria Peak and the very scenic trail from Victoria Peak to Aberdeen, which takes between two to three hours depending on your pace. Both offer amazing views of Hong Kong’s iconic harbor. Click here for more hiking suggestions.
2. Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Approaching its 150th birthday, this is one of the oldest botanical and zoological sites in the world. Home to over 1000 plant species, the site encompasses just under 14 acres. It is a popular area for locals to unwind and for visitors to explore. Many residents come here in the morning to practice tai chi. When here be sure to check out the orchids; Hong Kong is home to approximately 120 native orchid species. The new garden in the west is where visitors can discover the zoo’s animals including approximately 400 birds, many of which are endangered species.
3. Visit the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China
Officially part of the UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network, this is one of Hong Kong’s true treasures. Spread out over 12,000 acres, the Geopark is located inside the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region. Each of its eight designed areas highlights a special feature of Hong Kong’s unique natural landscapes. The Geopark promotes its spectacular geology, cultural heritage and wildlife. The best way to visit is to take one of the Geopark’s official tours; currently there are 11 guided tour routes for visitors to choose from: 2 boat tours and 9 land tours.
4. Catch the ferry out to Lamma Island
In half an hour you can escape to the serenity of one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands. While the island is often known for its excellent seafood restaurants, bohemian residents and archeological site in Sham Wan, we’re focusing now on its nature. Transportation is extremely limited once on the island, so most people get around by foot or bicycle. Lamma Island contains some of the best trails that one can explore in Hong Kong, and it’s also the one place in Hong Kong where endangered, green sea turtles arrive annually to nest and lay their eggs. For vacationers wanting some downtime, the island is also home to very pretty beaches in Hung Shing Ye and Lo So Shing.
5. Explore the Chinese Garden inside Kowloon Walled City Park
This former army fortress turned city park houses a superb example of a classical, Southern Chinese garden complete with bamboo, charming walkways, sculptures, pavilions, bonsai and lotus ponds. Spend some time exploring the beauty of this serene space. On Sundays there are often lion dance and kung fu performances inside the park.