When you mention Hong Kong, a picture of metropolitan city will turn up instantly. Contrast to the stereotype, 40% of Hong Kong area consists of protected country parks. Welcoming the winter season this year, Wego is going to show you 5 natural wonders of Hong Kong that you never knew existed. Even better, winter is the best time to explore Hong Kong’s nature. During winter, Hong Kong’s weather is cool, less humid, with only little rain. These beautiful places don’t require a long journey from the city center, thanks to the integrated and efficient public transportation.
Hong Kong Wetland Park and Tsim Bei Tsui
Indulge yourself in ecological wonder when visiting Hong Kong Wetland Park and Tsim Bei Tsui. To reach Hong Kong Wetland Park, take MTR to Tin Shui Wa Station and continue with LRT to Tin Sau Station.
Inside the park, you will find Wetland Interactive World which made up of five exhibitions galleries, projection room, souvenir shop, dining room, indoor play area and resource center. The modern and aesthetic building also provides visitors a close view of water birds, fish, other wildlife, and also showcasing the importance of ecological balance. Hong Kong Wetland Park also hosts birdwatching event during November-March. If you are interested, check out www.wetlandpark.gov.hk for more info about the guided birdwatching tour.
Next to the Wetland Park, lies the beautiful mangrove and mudflat of Tsim Bei Tsui. From Hong Kong Wetland Park, take LRT 705 to MTR Station Tin Shui Wai, and continue with green minibus 35 to Tsim Bei Tsui. Alternatively, you can also take taxi straight to the destination. During winter, black-faced spoonbills and northern pintails ducks are commonly seen in Tsim Bei Tsui. To enhance your experience, bring your binoculars and enjoy the view of birds living their peaceful life here.
Shing Mun Reservoir and Country Park
Want to experience Hong Kong nature with your family? Shing Mun Country Park is the perfect place for you. One of Hong Kong’s most beautiful hiking sites is easily accessed by MTR to Tsuen Wan Station. Take Exit B2, then hop on green minibus 82 from Shiu Wo Street to Shing Mun Reservoir. The lush paperback forest and the tranquil Shing Mun Reservoir will make the best of your hiking trip with family. This place is also famous as butterfly watching spot. Expect the majestic blue-spotted crows and glassy tiger butterflies dancing around you! The road along the reservoir is mostly flat, so it will be an easy trail for your little ones or the elders.
The reservoir also a home for native monkeys and if you’re planning on picnic, be careful (and mindful) by not disturbing or feed them. If you’re visiting with friends, you can also hike higer to Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong. During winter, join the locals on top of the mountain’s peak to take a glimpse of a rare frost phenomenon.
Wan Chai Gap Road
Aside for its popularity as the busiest commercial center in Hong Kong Island, Wan Chai is also famous for the heritage buildings. The healthiest way to explore Wan Chai’s historical side is through Wan Chai Gap Road. Hop on MTR to Wan Chai Station and take Exit A3, continue with tram, and get off at O’Brien Road.
The first interesting place you will pass is Lee Tung Avenue or Wedding Card Street. This place has been the hub for wedding invitation workshop for generations. Next is the Blue House, a traditional tong lau building that is listed as a heritage site. Continue your journey to Bowen Road and walk to the hillside of northern Hong Kong. The path will lead you to Lover’s Rock in Happy Valley. Some believe that this is a blessed place for a couple, so it’s always pretty packed with locals who pray for happy marriage and fertility. Whether you need extra help for your romance or not, the view is totally worth a visit.
Wan Chai Gap Road is ideal for you who has limited time to explore Hong Kong nature. You can finish the 3-kilometer walk within 1.5 hour only.
The next Hong Kong’s natural wonders that is best visited during winter is Dragon’s Back. This destination is very ideal for your first hiking trip in Hong Kong. It has moderate difficulty and take 4-5 hours.
Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan and hop on a bus no. 9 to To Tai Wan to begin your hiking journey. It only takes 30 minutes to reach the first stop which overlooking the Shek O Beach. But don’t settle until you keep hiking through the spinal ridge of Dragon’s Back to Shek O Peak at 284 meters high! At this point, more phenomenal sight will take your breath away as the Shek O Beach and Big Wave Bay lies before your eyes. Tips: Dragon’s Back is beautiful during sunrise and sunset.
Tai Mei Tuk
Do you know that you can have a comfortable cycling trip along Hong Kong coast? Go to Shing Mun River in Sha Tin where you can rent a bike (starting from HKD55 per day). Starting from Sha Tin, get on the traffic-free road that will take you to Tai Mei Tuk. The 18-kilometer cycling route would not feel heavy because your journey will have a beautiful mix of nature and modernity.
One of the joys of cycling is you can stop anywhere to take picture. On your way to Tai Mei Tuk, you will pass Shing Mun River, Hong Kong Science Park and Pak Shek Kok Promenade before reaching the final destination: Tai Mei Tuk. Over there, the pretty lake view near Plover Cove reservoir will be the highlight of your cycling trip.
Hiking and Cycling Tips in Hong Kong During Winter:
- Check weather forecast before you go.
- Wear beanie, parka, windbreaker around this time of the year.
- Dress in subdued colours especially when you go to Hong Kong Wetland Park (since you don’t want to bother the wildlife animal).
- Bring a thermos flask to keep your drink hot to keep yourself warm after a freezing climb.
- Wear rubber sole boots since your hiking track can be slippery.
- Pack some hot packs. You can easily find one in convenient store or supermarket.
- Wear or bring your thermal wear or blanket.
- When you go cycling, the fog will most likely covered the road, make sure to keep your track on the side and go slowly.
- During the cycling trip, obey the traffic light signals, traffic signs and road marking.
- Do not hesitate to stop or take a break while hiking or cycling.
- In case of emergency, contact 112 or 999.
Not many places can offer the natural wonders as well as the cosmopolitan comfort like Hong Kong. Make sure you plan the best of 2018 year-end vacation with family and friends in Hong Kong. Visit Hong Kong Tourism Board official site www.discoverhongkong.com for more info.
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