It might be the best cityscape in the world but there is only so long you can stare at sheets of glass and walls of concrete. Luckily Hong Kong has a great big green side. This city-state has miles of golden beaches and acres of country parks on the Outlying Islands and in the New Territories.
While the Hong Kong outdoors are popular with locals they are woefully underexplored by tourists and you’ll find plenty of space away from the maddening crowd of the city.
Below are the best places in Hong Kong’s outdoors and the best ways to explore them.
Where to Go
Below we profile some of the outdoor destinations in Hong Kong, from islands and beaches to a village on stilts.
If the thought of the great green outback turns you green you’ll be glad to know that you don’t need a tent to get to some of Hong Kong’s best beaches. Many of the best stretches of sand are a half an hour bus ride away from Central, while a little more time on public transport will earn you a trip to a deserted cove or bay.
Arguably the most enjoyable of Hong Kong’s outlying islands, Lamma has no cars, an enjoyable one street village and some fantastic hikes and beaches. Reached easily by ferry and with a couple of accommodation options, Lamma is a great place to unwind away from the city.
Much maligned since the airport was painted across its northern end and Tung Chung developed into a concrete jungle, the southern end of Lantau Island remains a green getaway. Tai O, the village on stilts is a particularly enjoyable day out while several enjoyable hikes ring the island’s mountainous interior.
If you want to learn about the territory’s outdoors rather than just see them then head for Hong Kong Wetland Park. This nature reserve is sank into the Mai Po marshlands and is home to thousands of migrating birds across the 60 hectare site.
What to Do
Whether you fancy a mountain workout or just want to sail around the areas picturesque coastline we’ve got everything covered below.
Hiking in Hong Kong is about as far away from the city’s image as you can get but even on Hong Kong Island there are some fantastic hikes across bucolic mountainous countryside with views over the shimmering South China Sea. Further out in the New Territories there are a variety of hikes, from mild trots through a country park filled with monkeys to more strenuous walks across jungleous countryside.
A little more difficult to organise but Hong Kong does have some dedicated cycle trails and a handful of shops who will lend you a bike.
If all of the above still sound too strenuous how about seeing a stretch of the Hong Kong coastline with a beer in hand a crew at your beckon call? Hiring out a boat, or junk at the weekend is a popular pastime in Hong Kong and this popularity keeps prices manageable. If you don’t have a ready group of friends to call on there are a couple of companies that organise
Need to Know
Everything else you should know:
A Hong Kong icon. Famed for the pink hue to their skin there are a number of firms that run dolphin watching tours around the waters of Lantau Island.
Said to be the descendants of escaped or released pets, the estimated 2,000 monkeys in Hong Kong can mostly be found in Kam Shing park.