Seven quiet places in Hong Kong
In a bid to bring Buddhism to the masses, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s massive Tsz Shan Monastery cost $1.5 billion and took 12 years to build. No expenses have been spared in making this monastery the formative religious compound of its kind. Though this is in no way a bad thing, the monastery is a gift to all, a means to promote Buddhism and to create a sanctuary for those who already practice it. The 500,000sq ft compound is both state-of-the-art yet reverentially traditional in its composition. Found in Tai Po’s Ting Tsz hills near Tai Mei Tuk, head there to experience Tsz Shan’s grandiose and Tang dynasty goodness. It’s free for the public to visit and, considering the sweeping majesty of it all, it's one of the most chill places in Hong Kong.
This tranquil public park looks like an illustration taken from a page of a Tang Dynasty artwork. Calm waters and rocks abound as you head towards the unmissable red Zi Wu Bridge and stunning gold Pavilion of Absolute Perfection. Just a short walk away from the garden sits the famous Chi Lin Nunnery and vegetarian restaurants, which are also worth a visit, too.
Head on a fairly low-impact hike starting from Wong Nai Chung reservoir and be rewarded with an incredible view of the lush grassy hills and the smooth, glass-like surface of the water. Providing unparalleled tranquility, the reservoir is also home to koi carp and turtles. Aside from the view, the hike itself makes for a relaxing jaunt.
The Sai Wan Swimming Shed is the only swimming shed in Hong Kong still open to the public. Carefully tucked away from the sprawl of nearby high-rise buildings, this gem offers a picturesque view of calm waves to help keep the ever-present demons at bay. Make a visit during sunset to take the tranquility to the next level.
An oasis in the middle of Hong Kong, Victoria Peak Garden is often overlooked as the Peak can be a tourist-ridden nightmare. But, the twisting paths that navigate around the lush lawns and pagodas are large enough that the garden makes for a lovely spot for relative solitude.
Siting off the coast of Sai Kung Country Park, Tap Mun is also known as Grass Island. It’s easy to see why – the 1.7sq km island is composed of rolling, grassy hillocks complete with wandering cows. Spend an afternoon here by taking a stroll along the paved 2km footpath that starts out at the fisherman’s village by the pier and ends up on the hilltop in the middle of the island. The path offers panoramic views and a refreshing breeze, even on the hottest day.
Surrounded by rolling green hills and vast open blue waters, Tai Mei Tuk is one of the most scenic areas in Hong Kong for outdoor barbecues and cycling. For those wanting to work up a sweat while simultaneously relaxing, cycle along the Plover Cove Reservoir and admire the majestic peaks of Pat Sin Leng. Alternatively, relax at one of the cafés by the shores and bask in the quietness in the idyllic seaside village.
Need more de-stressing?
Looking to step out of the concrete jungle? A calorie-burning hike with jaw-dropping views is just the cure. Hong Kong has no shortage of amazing scenic hiking trails a short distance from city centre, varying in difficulty and offering everything from amazing bird's eye views of our SAR to stunning sunsets.