With Hong Kong’s skyscraper filled cityscape, it’s easy for many of us to neglect the countless natural gems in this city – country parks, hiking trails and our many outlying islands. In fact, only 25 percent of Hong Kong’s land area has been development, and 40 percent is designated by the government as country parks and special areas for the purposes of nature conservation, countryside recreation and outdoor education. Ever felt a bit stressed out staring at the tower-studded skyline? Explore outdoors for after-school/work activities or weekend getaways – Nature never ceases to amaze us! Check out some of the beautiful wildlife and scenery that Hong Kong has to offer.
Managed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), Hong Kong has 24 country parks comprising hills, woodlands, reservoirs and coastline. Most of them are easily accessible by the public through footpaths and trails, frequented by some 10 million visitors every year.
Hiking is one of the most popular recreational activities among urban dwellers in Hong Kong. Some of the most visited hiking trails include the MacLehose Trail that stretches from Sai Kung in the east to Tuen Mun in the west, the circular Lantau Trail on the Lantau Island, and the Hong Kong Trail that crosses five country parks on the Hong Kong Island.
Hong Kong has so many interesting outlying islands to explore: an island that resembles a turtle with four legs stretched out wide (Bluff Island), the oldest stratum in Hong Kong (Wong Chuk Kok Tsui), an islet in the shape of a stone seal (Yan Chau Tong), and the world-class hexagonal rock columns (High Island). Which one fascinates you the most?
Hong Kong is home to eight Geo-Areas of geological, natural and cultural significance – and they might be closer than you think! For example, High Island is only 40 minutes away from Sai Kung Town, making it one of the hottest holiday hot spots in town.
Nature is not always green, it can be blue – yes, the ocean is waving! Kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, or just enjoying a relaxing afternoon on a beach are all ways you can savor Hong Kong’s many marine parks and beaches. Marine parks are protected from development and commercial fishing activities.
Tung Ping Chau, Hoi Ha Wan, Yan Chau Tong, Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau are some of the most popular ones. Plus, you might even catch a glimpse of our famous Chinese White Dolphins in the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park.
TNC has been actively engaging people throughout Hong Kong to explore our local natural beauty through our annual Global Photo Contest. Be sure to sign up for emails to be the first to know when our next Hong Kong nature event is happening!