These are certainly unusual times in Hong Kong, with social distancing remaining of utmost importance in light of the continued spread of the coronavirus. While it is prudent to stay indoors as much as possible, it is worth noting that our city boasts some pretty awesome nature spots, from stellar camping sites to beautiful beaches. If you're desperately in need of some fresh air whilst keeping a sensible distance from people, or merely looking for inspiration for an afternoon stroll when the time's right, the following list of parks might be right up your alley.
RECOMMENDED: Looking for a place to hike instead? Then check out our list of the 14 best hiking trails in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s best parks
Victoria Peak Garden is small but offers extensive views of western and southern Hong Kong Island, perfect for catching a breath of fresh air at altitude. It can be easily accessed via Mount Austin Road, which winds through the garden. This space was previously used as a summer residence providing expansive views for the Governor of Hong Kong, but the building has since been demolished to make way for this park for the public to enjoy, full of lush trees, perfectly manicured bushes, and real green grass.
An urban park in the heart of Admiralty, its 'perpetual green' concept seeks to provide a verdant open space in which visitors can stroll and relax in the heart of the concrete jungle. Park facilities include a landscaped garden and views of the Hong Kong observation wheel and the iconic IFC tower. The expansive open space promises to provide a grassy, airy place that you can escape to whether it be day or night, and links onto the waterfront promenade on the way to Central pier. Tamar Park is meditation and yoga friendly too, so it's a great spot for all those yogis out there. Access is easy – simply exit from Admiralty MTR station exit A, and walk along the footbridge.
Take a short, uphill trek from Happy Valley to Wong Nai Chung Road, get your steps in for the day, then find yourself in a reservoir-turned-park. This place feels like the middle of nowhere, but in fact is only just out of the urban sprawl. Up here, it’s ideal for a morning or afternoon stroll to catch some fresh air, a cool breeze and of course sunshine if you’re lucky. Take a moment to listen to the birds chirping, and forget about life’s troubles for the time being. For those who fancy a hike, it also doubles as the starting point for some great hiking trails towards Stanley with a birdseye view of Repulse Bay en route.
This massive eight-hectare space has just about everything. There is a huge main plaza, a beautiful garden surrounding a tranquil pond, a tree-lined palm path and several children’s playgrounds. The scented garden is also a treat for the lungs, and the park houses more than 400 species of native and exotic plants for your enjoyment. Go on a gentle stroll along the breezy Shing Mun River for a romantic evening date or a joyful family day. This park is really a tropical oasis for finding some peace from the modern world. A short seven-minute walk from Sha Tin MTR station, bike rental is also available to enjoy Sha Tin park on wheels.
This Jiangnan garden-style park boasts impressive water features and traditional gardens that are perfect for a breath of fresh air and stunning picture-worthy spaces. Originally used as a garrison fort since the 16th century, the space later transformed into a walled city with a labyrinth of illegally-constructed buildings and dank, dark alleyways and became a haven for various kinds of criminal activity. The city was torn down in the late 1980s and reopened as a park to give visitors a chance to appreciate its nature and beauty while contemplating its dark and exciting history.
A favourite place for many who seek a distraction from the bustle and worries of life. This is a wonderfully calm and tranquil garden that is impeccably maintained and designed in true Tang dynasty style. A wander through the rock-lined paths takes you past a spectacular gilded pagoda, water mill and koi pond, as you listen to the peaceful trickling of water. Admission is free, deeply refreshing, and provides visual pleasure from every angle. Visit Nan Lian garden by taking exit C2 from Diamond Hill MTR station.
At Tsing Yi Park you’ll notice a touch of Europe. There are pebbled walking trails, palm and prunus gardens, and a lookout pavilion that allows you to explore, breathe and stretch your legs. However, the real jewel of the park is the ornamental lake adorned with a waterfall. Sit by the lake, watch the tortoises swim and listen to the birds hum and sing. The peach blossoms and lotuses are simply too pretty to miss. The park is within walking distance from Tsing Yi MTR station.
As one of the city’s continually expanding areas, the West Kowloon Cultural District is a waterfront peninsula offering stunning views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline. Its art park is the green heart of it all, perfect for cycling, jogging, or a leisurely walk to watch the sunset (or sunrise, for those inclined). A slick timber boardwalk runs along the waterfront next to the cycling track, and this section of the promenade gives a taste of the future; an extended track that promises to extend all along the harbourside. What better way to enjoy the scent of the fragrant harbour than from here?
This multi-level park offers what most don’t – a seamless mix of sporting facilities and relaxation areas. On the lower level lies a small yet serene Lingnan-style garden with an impressive pond in the centre featuring a waterfall and fountain. Climb the stairs up to flyover level to reach sporting grounds which stretch as far as the eye can see. Here you’ll find tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, a skatepark, jogging trails and more. A great place either to unwind with a walk or let off some steam with the active sports and utilise its extensive facilities. The park can be reached from exit B of Mei Foo Station.
One of the region’s most well-known parks, this 80,000 sqm green space showcases the city’s innovative use of urban space. with a traditional tai chi garden, aviary, and beautiful water features, the park has a little bit of something for everyone. Get there from Admiralty Station, exit C1.
As the largest park on Hong Kong Island, Victoria Park epitomises the multi-purpose mindset and economic use of space common to Hong Kong. The park’s football fields, when not being used for the city’s annual celebrations, are also one of the main attractions here. A short walk into the park proper reveals a fish pond, jogging track, roller-skating rink, radio-controlled-boat-racing pond, swimming pool and tennis courts, among many other facilities. The park is located in between Causeway Bay and Tin Hau stations.