Hong Kong is far more than a chrome-and-glass urban jungle – in fact, some 40 percent of the terrain is dedicated as protected parkland. When the downtown temperature rises, Hong Kongers head for the hills for fine hiking and cycling trails, or to one of myriad national parks and beaches for family relaxation and convening with nature.
Even in the urban areas, pleasant parks and gardens can be found. The delicately landscaped Hong Kong Park sits on a grassy incline overlooking the Financial District. Paths weave between rocks and ponds, attracting city elders, schoolchildren, bank workers, and families, while the fountains are popular spots for pre-wedding photo shoots.
Opened in 2006, the 150-acre (61-ha) Hong Kong Wetland Park in the Northern Territories is a modern ecotourism center, demonstrating the dramatic diversity of the wetland habitat, which is often overlooked by city folk. Set in the heart of a picturesque rolling valley, the Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden is beautifully maintained and showcases new initiatives for sustainable living and improving wildlife habitats and biodiversity.
Keen walkers should head to Shek O Country Park. The undulating 2½-mile (4-km) Dragon’s Back Peak trail, linking Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak, affords fine views of Big Wave Bay.
Dragon’s Back Trail Southern District;
Hong Kong Park 19 Cotton Tree Drive, Central,
Hong Kong Island Hong Kong Wetland Park Tin Shui Wan, New Territories;
Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Tai Po, New Territories;