Hong Kong’s best parks
Originally used as a maritime defence station in the 15th century, the semi-lawless space later became a slum of poorly built high-rises and a breeding ground for various kinds of criminal activity. The city was torn down in the late 1980s and reopened as a Jiangnan garden-style park boasting impressive water features and traditional gardens.
Easily missed off of the Morning Trail, the Victoria Peak Garden is small but perfectly formed. The space was previously used as a summer residence for the Governor of Hong Kong but the building has since been demolished to make way for this park full of lush trees, perfectly manicured bushes and, believe it or not, real green grass.
If you can ignore the camera shutters snapping endlessly around you then this is a wondefully calm and tranquil place. A wander through the rock-lined paths takes you past a spectacular gilded pagoda, Koi pond and watermill as traditional Chinese music plays around you. Be sure to stop by the Song Cha Xie (Pine Teahouse) for a cup of fine Chinese brew.
Take a short trek from Happy Valley to Wong Nai Chung Road and you’ll find yourself in a reservoir-turned-park in the heart of the city. Take a pedalo out for a spin, or some bread crumbs to feed the carp.
As one of the city's newer parks, the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade features modern facilities for park-goers to enjoy the stunning Hong Kong Island skyline which provides a breathtaking backdrop to a leisurely walk. A slick timber boardwalk runs along the waterfront next to the cycling track, and although small and slightly tatty, a landscaped area with real grass means only one thing: summer picnics.
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 effective 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 skateboard arena and a roller-skating rink.