Think of Hong Kong and you probably think of an over-populated urban metropolis. Well, you ain’t wrong. But HK has more to offer than what you might expect.
1 – TWO THIRDS OF HONG KONG IS COUNTRYSIDE
Yep. Only 35% of this insane country is actually home to human beings. The rest is countryside! Country parks cover 440 of the 1092 square metres of Hong Kong – and as countryside goes, it’s pretty awesome. Beaches, islands, mountains, hiking trails – you name it, it’s here.
2 – IT HAS INCREDIBLE BEACHES
Stand on Tai Long Wan or Ham Tin beaches in Sai Kung Country Park and you would be forgiven for thinking that you were in Thailand. Fine golden sand, warm, clear water, coconuts available from little shacks on the beach – and spitting distance from one the world’s most insane cities. Pretty cool right?
3 – IT’S HOME TO SOME OF THE BEST HIKING IN ASIA
Get in a cab in Hong Kong’s CBD and 20 minutes later you can be hiking along a mountainous trail with not a spec of civilisation in view. Hong Kong’s hiking trails are fantastic. Well organised, safe, good for a range of abilities, and with some seriously stunning views as well.
4 – IT’S MADE UP OF OVER 200 ISLANDS
Hong Kong itself is an island, and the airport is on another (Lantau), but there are lots of others that are ripe for exploration. Lamma Island is a hippy outcrop, home to artists and authors, Cheng Chau is home to some great kayaking (and a lot of French people!), Peng Chau is a tiny bubble of old Hong Kong culture, Tap Mun (also known as Grass Island) is home to feral cows. Many islands in HK are accessible and affordable to get to – and they are all so different to the Hong Kong you might expect.
5 – IT EVEN HAS SOME GREAT CYCLING
Usually, horrendously over-populated Asian cities and cycling don’t go hand-in-hand. And don’t get me wrong, you wouldn’t get me on a bike in central Hong Kong even if you paid me. But venture further afield, and check out some great cycle trails and mountain bike trails. The cycle from Tai Po to Tai Mei Tuk in the new territories is a great day trip, and there are many cycle rental shops that make it easy. Lantau Island (where the airport is) is home to many mountain bike trails and rental shops too (Mui Wo is a good place to start).
If you have any insights about the wonderful city of Hong Kong, make a comment below!