It might be hard to believe when you look at Hong Kong’s vibrant cityscape, but Hong Kong is still more than fifty percent country parkland. Hong Kong has some of the best natural country parks in Asia.
If you’re interested in getting off the footpaths and into the greenery, Hong Kong’s country parks offer forests and jungles, as well as sandy beaches and water falls. The hiking trails are very good with some country parks offering campgrounds where you can stay for free – which could be a uniqueand cost effective alternative to some of Hong Kong’s more expensive luxury hotels.
The are also four great hiking trails that go through the five parks that are mentioned ahead in this article – in order of distance: MacLehose (100 km), Wilson (78 km), Lantau (70 km), and Hong Kong (50 km) trails meander through these country parks.
Sai Kung East Country Park
Sai Kung East Country Park offers tranquil space to those who visit. Unusual rocky outcrops and waterfalls offer beautiful scenery and you’ll also find clean sandy beaches. This park is perhaps Hong Kong’s best for hiking and camping as well as other water sports like surfing. To get there take the MTR to Choi Hung and then a 1A Green Minibus to Sai Kung.
Lantau South Country Park
Lantau South Country Park has a nice public beach with facilities like bathrooms and a campground. It’s good for beach activities, as well as canoeing, surfing and swimming. It is Hong Kong’s biggest country park covering 22 square miles and you’ll find walking trails, jungles and even grasslands
This is Hong Kong’s biggest country park, and it extends across the southern half of Lantau Island that is the biggest island and it’s full of beautiful scenery including mountain peaks, big beaches, valleys and brooks.
Insider Tip – Catch a Hong Kong Sunrise
To experience a beautiful Hong Kong sunrise, people gather at Lantau Peak at dawn (which is 934 metres above sea level) on Lantau Trail Stage 3.
To get there take the MTR to Tung Chung station then Bus 3M to Pui O or any stop along the way.
Tai Tam Country Park
Tai Tam Country Park is in central and eastern Hong Kong Island. It features four water reservoirs used for Hong Kong’s drinking water supply. Visitors will also find dense woods and jungle, as well as some historical artifacts from World War II. Here you’ll find the Wilson Trail and the Hong Kong trail for hiking or if you just want to relax you can sit lakeside.
Insider Tip – Enjoy Great View of Victoria Harbour
For spectacular views of Victoria Harbour, climb to Stage 5 of the Hong Kong Trail at Jardine’s Lookout.
You can get here by taking Bus 6 or 36. Get off at any point in the park.
Tai Mo Shan Country Park
Tai Mo Shan Country Park is north of Kowloon. It has Hong Kong’s highest mountain and visitors often experience foggy picturesque waterfalls. There are high grasslands and views which stretch to the horizon. There’s even a small campsite big enough for four tents.
The MacLehose Trail Stage 7 winds eastwards through the big Shing Mun Country Park, while Stage 8 takes you further towards Tai Mo Shan Peak. The MacLehose trail should only be attempted by those who are in shape with strong legs.
To go to the park visitor center, you can Take Bus 51 (to Kam Tin) from the Tsuen Wan West Railway Station’s bus stops and get off at the Country Park stop.
Kong Kong Geo Park
Hong Kong Geo Park is at the Far East and north east of Hong Kong, close to the border with Mainland China. Visitors to this park will find unusual rock formations, secluded islands and remote hiking trails. You’ll get the opportunity explore small islands, beaches and caves. If you enjoy geology and nature then this could be a highlight of your trip to Hong Kong.
Most of the interesting sites are on islands, so you’ll need a boat to see them. Some exist along the coast of Sai Kung East Country Park and Plover Cove Country Park. So you can walk along the park trails directly to formations along the coast.
To get more information
The Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centers on Victoria Peak and at the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui has free pamphlets and maps that provide information about the various trails and country parks. They’ll help you plan your trip to these spectacular and unique Hong Kong country parks.