Even in the world's largest cities, finding that peaceful little spot out in nature should be a breeze. In a place like Hong Kong, the lush green spaces have become as much a part of the city's identity as its glittering skyline or vast harbour.
So whether it's a quick respite after a long day of shopping, an afternoon picnic with family or friends or a quiet interlude with a beloved sweetheart, there's an idyllic slice of nature to be found around every corner in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park takes full advantage of its beautiful natural surroundings. It may just be a coincidence that the famed Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry is nearby, but the handsome design elements for which this park is so well known, can make a romantic out of anyone. Lovely gardens, a large fountain and placid ponds grace the wide footpaths, creating an elegant, yet relaxing outdoor setting. Once the site of the 19th century Victoria Barracks, the stately 1846 Flagstaff House now holds the Museum of Teaware. Other park attractions include an aviary and a greenhouse.
Located just north of the Star Ferry Pier and steps away from Harbour City in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, Kowloon Park offers a true respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. The stately promenade above Nathan Road features 24 figurine statues in recognition of famous local comic characters while the tree line walks and aviary ponds highlight the local flora and fauna. Get some exercise at the Kowloon Park Swimming Pool and Sports Centre or visit the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre for some enlightening exhibits on the history of Hong Kong and its architecture.
Undoubtedly one of Hong Kong's biggest attractions, "The Peak" is located on the top of Hong Kong Island's highest mountain where some of the most spectacular views of the city and Victoria Harbour can be enjoyed. Accessed by the historic Peak Tram, the summit features a variety of cafés and restaurants along with an impressive viewing platform. Nearby, the 3.5km Peak Circle Walk winds through lush mountain wilderness, revealing beautiful island views along the way.
Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park
One of four protected marine parks, Hoi Ha Wan is situated along a pristine bay on the northern coast of Sai Kung Peninsula. Far from the populated urban landscape, this remote, country setting provides many recreational options, including hiking, swimming, kayaking and even scuba diving. To protect the marine life and fragile underwater coral, fishing and trawling are prohibited.
Hong Kong Wetland Park
Anyone with an interest in wetlands, birdlife and native flora will appreciate the diversity of Hong Kong Wetland Park. Located in the northern regions of Hong Kong, the vital ecosystem that makes up the marine and wildlife park sanctuary can be enjoyed along specially placed footpaths where a vast cross section of the plant, bird and marine life can be observed. For its isolated location, the park is easily accessible by light rail.