Travel Talk

Connecting with Nature in Hong Kong 

Hong Kong is a fascinating place and an autonomous zone in southern China. It’s a city with a strong pulse, energetic population, and fantastic. That said, when most people speak of Hong Kong, how many mention it as a place to get back to nature? The reality is that Hong Kong has lots of opportunities for visitors to connect with nature in a number of ways. What most don’t know is that Hong Kong actually has 200 offshore islands that you can even see as you land in the city. This spring actually, Hong Kong Tourism is featuring five special hikes that we’ll discuss in a moment.

When I visited Hong Kong on previous occasions I immersed myself in the urban sprawl and loved every second of it. I crisscrossed the city sampling sublime foods and seeing the sights. I didn’t spend nearly enough time exploring the city’s natural side and was surprised  on just how expansive it is as I flew back home. To help visitors experience the best of those natural wonders, there are a variety of hikes that tourists are welcome to join: Lai Chi Wo Hiking Tour, Geopark Hiking Tour, Geopark Boat Tour, Lantau South Heritage Hike and Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region. These natural escapes are a way for both locals and visitors to decompress and take a break from one of the world’s busiest cities.

Let’s talk about those five hikes for a moment…

Lai Chi Wo Hiking Tour
You’ll visit Lai Chi Wo which is a village that dates back 400 years and at one point was one of the most affluent villages in the Northeastern New Territories. The feng shui forest and many houses remain well preserved and on this hike you’ll visit the largest bed of Coastal Heritiera in Hong Kong.

Geopark Hiking Tour
If impressive rock formations formed over 140 million years by volcanic activity piques your interest, then pay attention. A natural geological gallery is a great way to describe the coastline at Sai Kung. On this tour you’ll see a natural tombolo at Sharp Island, an inland water dam wall at High Island Reservoir and of course some spectacular hexagonal columnar joints.

Geopark Boat Tour
Sai Kung has an incredible coastline with rugged scenery and the largest number of outlying islands in Hong Kong. The region’s rich geodiversity is the topic of this tour and no better way to fit it all in than by boat. Some of the highlights include sea stacks, sea caves, rare acidic hexagonal volcanic rock columns, tubular rock columns and rhyolite on Sharp Island.

Lantau South Heritage Hike
This tour goes in-depth on Lantau South’s agriculture, fishery and heritage. The tour takes you to Tai O Village, which has urbanized much slower than surrounding areas and has an abundance of eco-cultural sights. The area also features salt field relics, stilt houses and white dolphins which swim in the surrounding waters. To learn more about farming you’ll visit Yi O Village and see terraced rice paddies before moving to Shek Pic Reservoirs and Fanlau Forts.

Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region
There is evidence of volcanic activities in Hong Kong dating back 140 million years. In Sai Kung you will visit a caldera, which is the result of a volcanic eruption. Some of the many things you’ll see include interesting geological formations to explore aged rocks specimens, minerals, fossils and evidence of tidal influences. You’ll also get to cross a 250 metre long tombolo to reach Kiu Tau from Sharp Island.

These are five of the many hikes and activities available in Hong Kong, and a great experience to add to your must-do list this spring. To learn more about these five hikes, as well as the many other natural features in Hong Kong, please visit this website. It’s peculiar how so many people, myself included, have focused mostly on the urban aspects of the city when there’s so much more to experience.

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