Header image courtesy of @ock_chan (via Instagram) and geopark.gov.hk
Like a favourite book that yields new surprises every time you revisit it, Hong Kong’s wonders never cease to amaze. From the further-flung fringes of the island to right at the heart of the city centre, there exist a plethora of natural and man-made places that evoke imagery of destinations you have to fly to. Whether you’re craving a bite from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market or a glimpse of Japan’s delicate cherry blossoms, we’ve got you covered. After our first edition of places around Hong Kong where one is seemingly transported to other corners of the globe, here are even more closer-to-home destinations for your exploring.
Sakura flower season is likely the most popular time for people to visit Japan. The cascade of pink blossoms serves as a perfect background for many a burgeoning blogger, as well as professional photographers. Luckily, cherry blossom trees flower along our very own Tolo Harbour in the New Territories. Every year around March and April, head to Tai Po Waterfront Park and exalt in their beauty and fragrance.
Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate
The canals of Venice have long been a source of intrigue and inspiration, where the city and its people seem to float on water. In the northwestern coast of Lantau Island, a small fishing village propped up by stilts over water serves as a scenic adaptation of the Italian iteration. A popular spot for visitors and city dwellers who have grown weary of an urban environment, Tai O offers a welcome respite from daily living. You can also take a boat out to see the Chinese White Dolphins that call the waterways home.
Tai O, Lantau Island
Rock pools are a great way to cool down from an arduous trek, and Hong Kong has no shortage of hiking trails for every level. Sandwiched between the rocks in Sai Kung Rast Country Park are natural rock pools collecting water from a waterfall that runs through the mountain. Though not as photogenic as the heart-shaped one in Queenland’s Killarney Glen, Sheung Luk Stream is a great alternative that is accessible via a manageable hike from Sai Wan Pavilion in Sai Kung.
Sheung Luk Stream, Sai Kung East Country Park
Within the sprawling Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui is a flamboyance of flamingoes, amongst other waterfowl and sunbathing turtles. While our Bird Lake certainly isn’t the size of the great Lake Natron, which serves as a breeding ground for millions of these magnificent birds, our version does away with the caustic waters and has a much friendlier disposition.
Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
This Japanese restaurant by the harbour is modelled after the iconic Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Though the inner wet market has now moved to Toyosu, the bustling outer market with restaurants and food stalls is still very much in operation. Yamataka Seafood Market captures the spirit of a traditional Japanese food market, complete with live tuna cutting demonstrations.
2/F, Wan Chai Ferry Pier, Wan Chai | (+852) 39745609
The Kuang Si Falls is a must have on the itinerary of anyone visiting the mountainous Southeast Asian country. In our own backyard we have Ping Nam Stream, a series of waterfalls inside Pat Sin Leng Country Park in Nam Chung. The waters foam white and flow fast at Hula Skirt Falls, the first of many along the trail. The stream is a 35-minute hike away from Nam Chung, along Luk Keng Road.
Ping Nam Stream, Nam Chung Country Trail, Pat Sin Leng Country Park, New Territories
This traditional Hakka village established more than three centuries ago is home to more than just heritage; it is also home to a thriving mangrove forest. Reminiscent of the Sundarbans mangrove forests in lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers, visitors can observe the unique marine ecosystem while taking in the vestiges of Hakka culture.
Lai Chi Wo, Plover Cove Country Park, New Territories
In Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park is a series of misshapen rocks, named the Devil’s Garden. Dance in the devil’s playground in our own backyard and admire the unique rock formation jutting out of the ocean known as the Devil’s Fist in Wong Chuk Kok Tsui within the Plover Cove Country Park.
This landmark is made up of some of the oldest rocks in Hong Kong and hidden at the northern tip of the Tolo Channel. Hire a boat to and from the spot to see it for yourself, or take a six-hour hike back to Wu Kau Tang (烏蛟騰). Challenge yourself to do the full 28-kilometre round trip if you’re an experienced hiker, a journey which takes up to 12 hours.
Wong Chuk Kok Tsui, Plover Cove Country Park, Shuen Wan