With the popular image of Hong Kong being one of a bustling metropolis forested with skyscrapers, visitors to the city would be pleasantly surprised to discover the green side of Hong Kong. About 40 percent of Hong Kong is designated as country parks and special areas, where people enjoy this lesser-known side of the city, exploring the hiking trails, wetland areas, beaches and extraordinary biodiversity.
There are 24 country parks and 22 special areas dedicated to conservation and recreation in Hong Kong. More than 11 million people go hiking, picnicking, barbecuing and camping in the parks each year. With five marine parks and one marine reserve to protect and conserve local rich marine resources, you can find more than 1,000 species of fish and 84 species of stony corals.
A great number of scenic hiking trails meander through the parks, offering a great escape from busy city life. The longest of them, the MacLehose Trail, spanning 100 kilometers across mountains, valleys and beaches in the New Territories, was included in National Geographic’s “World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails.”
The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, covering eight stunning sites, shows how the planet was formed over hundreds of millions of years. This natural geological gallery features spectacular landforms and rock formations shaped by tectonic upheavals, waves and weathering.
The 61-hectare Hong Kong Wetland Park in the New Territories is a recreated wetland habitat for water birds and other wildlife. Also home to many varieties of butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, fish, crabs and mudskippers, this world-class eco-park features a number of Hong Kong’s flora and fauna in a natural setting.
And because Hong Kong is such a compact and efficient city, the countryside can be explored during the day and there is still plenty of time to shop at high-end department stores and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants in the evening.
This text was provided by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo).