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Jao Tsung-I Academy
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikicommons/KEUNGTAILD Yuk

Hidden gardens and green spaces in Hong Kong

Green spots to escape the urban jungle

By Jenny Leung
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Hong Kong is awash with amazing secret islandshiking trails, and even stunning waterfalls, but they're not always the most convenient places to get to. Luckily, there are urban green spaces in the city. From extensive lawns by the water to small oases tucked away in commercial districts, find out about the best spots to get away for a breather.

RECOMMENDED: Want to fit in some quality time with a furry friend? Head to these dog parks in Hong Kong for a grand time. 

The best urban green spaces in Hong Kong

Ching Chung Koon
Ching Chung Koon
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Toby Oxborrow-Mr Wabu

Ching Chung Koon

Attractions Tuen Mun

A serene oasis located in Tuen Mun, this Taoist temple is surrounded by bonsai trees, an intricate rock garden, pagodas, pavilions, as well as fish ponds, making it one of the most peaceful spots in town. The temple houses the remains of many of its former community members, but one of the highlight features of Ching Chung Koon is the lanterns gifted by Beijing’s Forbidden City. Don’t miss the popular annual bonsai festival, which is usually held during April or May, to view spectacular and artistically shaped trees.  

Wing1990hk
Wing1990hk
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikicommons/Wing1990hk

Sha Tin Park

Things to do Sha Tin

While Sha Tin Park isn't exactly hidden, its massive eight-hectare space means that you'll always be able to find a spot away from the crowds. There are more than 400 species of native and exotic plants, creating a tropical oasis for those looking to find some peace from the modern world. You can take a gentle stroll along Shing Mun River, but it can get quite busy during the weekends. For somewhere tranquil, head to the North Gate or Western Hills inside the park where you'll be greeted by beautiful ponds, traditional Chinese-style garden pavilions, a mini waterfall, and plenty of greenery.

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Penfold Park
Penfold Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikicommons/WiNG

Penfold Park

Things to do Sha Tin

Located inside the Sha Tin Racecourse and managed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, this beautiful green park is open to the public on non-race days. Penfold Park covers more than 20 acres and features luscious green lawns and man-made lakes that have become home to many of our city’s wild migratory waterbirds such as egrets. Your pets can freely roam around, paddle around the lakes and race other dogs in the area – you know, like the horses. 

Nature Discovery Park
Nature Discovery Park
Photograph: Courtesy K11 Musea/Nature Discovery Park

Nature Discovery Park

Things to do Walks and tours Tsim Sha Tsui

Spanning 2,000 sq ft, the Nature Discovery Park is a hidden green haven perched on the 8th floor of the brand new cultural retail shopping centre K11 Musea. Home to a rare and tropical range of biodiversity, as well as an aquarium, the park even has guided tours that allow visitors to immerse themselves in art and nature. Giving everyone a chance to experience nature first hand in workshops such as Urban Farming Experience, ‘Farm-to-Face’ beauty product making, mindful meditation, and a certificate course in German floral design, the natural discovery park makes for a perfect green getaway for all city dwellers.

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Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

Kowloon Walled City Park

Attractions Kowloon City

Once the most densely populated place in Hong Kong, the Kowloon Walled City was a labyrinth of illegally-constructed buildings and a breeding ground for various kinds of criminal activities. Hence its nickname, the 'City of Darkness'. The city was eventually torn down in the 1900s and reopened as a Jiangnan garden-style park boasting impressive water features and traditional gardens, with remnants of its dark and exciting history preserved inside the park.

Taikoo Park
Taikoo Park
Photograph: Annette Chan

Taikoo Park

Things to do Taikoo Shing

Just a stone’s throw away from the Instagram-famous Monster Building is this serene little park. The public park spans 185,000 sq ft and is dotted with sculptures, benches and water features, a haven to escape Quarry Bay’s busy main streets. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot during your lunch break or a cure for office cabin fever, Taikoo Park is your answer. 

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Jao Tsung-I Academy
Jao Tsung-I Academy
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikicommons/Mk2010

Jao Tsung-I Academy

Sport and fitness Cheung Sha Wan

Nestled amongst the leafy hillside of Lai Chi Kok, the Jao Tsung-I Academy is a tranquil historic compound built in honour of professor Jao Tsung-I, a renowned scholar of Chinese culture. The academy was one of the first revitalisation projects that the government took on, turning what was formerly a customs station in the late 19th century, an accommodation for Chinese labourers in early 20th century, and eventually a psychiatric rehabilitation centre, into the museum and heritage lodge it is today. 

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Park_shutterstock_03032020
Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Park_shutterstock_03032020
Photograph: Shutterstock

Kai Tak Runway Park

Things to do Kowloon City

Since ceasing operations in 1998 as the Hong Kong International Airport, the former Kai Tak site has been repurposed as a terminal for luxury cruise ships. As part of the transformation, a considerable section of the old runway has been turned into a sprawling lawn with unbeatable views of Victoria Harbour. The park is relatively quiet, but if you’re looking for a hidden oasis, head up to the flat roof of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to find a 23,000 sq m lawn and viewing platform.

Prefer to burn some calories while you’re out?

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