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golden pavilion at nan lian garden
Photograph: ShutterstockNan Lian Garden

The best Chinese-style gardens in Hong Kong

Soothe yourself as you walk through these parks

Cherry Chan
Written by Cherry Chan
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Hong Kong's fast-paced lifestyle hardly gives people the time to unwind and take a breather. While we might not have the time to take a whole day off and relax, going for a walk with a scenic atmosphere is a quick fix to take your mind off all that’s leaving you stressed. In particular, going for a walk in a Chinese-style garden will transport you to an entirely different environment and provide the tranquillity that you deserve. Typically consisting of traditional architectural structures like pavilions and moon gates, halls and pathways connected by winding trails and ponds, and lush greenery enclosed within walls, Chinese-style gardens are built to impress and serve as an escape from the outside world. We’ve combed through the city to find the best Chinese gardens that will leave you feeling relaxed after a casual stroll. 

RECOMMENDED: If a walk isn’t enough for you, check out our list of the best spas in the city

  • Attractions
  • Kowloon City

Originally a Chinese military fort, the Kowloon Walled City was once a densely packed and lawless territory within Hong Kong. After its destruction in the 90s, the city has since been designed into a Jingnan garden reminiscent of the early Qing dynasty. Divided into eight sections that blend into each other, the park houses a chess garden and several pavilions. Aside from the park, visit the indoor and outdoor exhibition halls inside the Yamen – a declared monument and one of the main attractions at the Kowloon Walled City Park – where you can learn about the history of the Walled City through photo galleries and interactive exhibitions. You can also find remnants of the Walled City like granite pavings and plaques at the old south gate.

  • Things to do
  • Tsuen Wan

Staying true to Tsuen Wan’s unique blend of old villages scattered in between high-rise buildings, Jockey Club Tak Wah Park is a Chinese garden located right in the heart of Tsuen Wan’s business district. Developed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, this park was built on the former grounds of Hoi Pa Hakka village, and contains some of the village’s original buildings. A pond full of koi and turtles can be found at the centre of the park, which can be seen from the surrounding paths or from one of the few pavilions that cut into the pond.

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  • Things to do
  • Lai Chi Kok

With how large Lai Chi Kok Park is, it only seems fitting that there would be a Chinese garden in the midst of the park grounds. As its name suggests, the garden is modelled following the Lingnan style – one of the major garden styles following Sichuanese and Jingnan that divides a garden into a combination of multiple courtyard, and uses elements like towers, bridges, and corridors. Lingnan Garden has plenty of winding paths that divide the courtyard and features ten scenic spots that naturally flow into each other. Rejuvenate by taking a walk on the pebble stone footpath, and immerse yourself in the park’s serene environment. 

  • Things to do
  • Wong Tai Sin

As part of Chi Lin Nunnery’s large temple complex, Nan Lian Garden is a secluded Tang dynasty-style garden in Diamond Hill. Despite its location underneath the nearby highways, the luscious greenery within Nan Lian Garden will take you away from the commotion of the city. The centrepiece of the garden grounds is the golden pavilion sitting in the middle of the lotus pond, head here and take in the tranquil and calming atmosphere. Offering an experience unlike anywhere else in the city, Nan Lian Garden is the ideal retreat for a little peace and quiet. 

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  • Things to do
  • Sheung Wan

Similar to Kowloon Walled City Park, this park has historical value too. It used to be the site of Possession Point – the location where the Royal Navy arrived in Hong Kong – and Tai Tat Tei, a flea market once filled with hawkers and stalls. Nestled in between residential buildings and found on the slope of Hollywood Road, this park is surrounded by traditional Chinese architecture such as a gateway with bright red pillars and green tiles, moon gates, a pagoda surrounded by an artificial pond. It even has a children’s playground inside. Even within the hustle and bustle of Sheung Wan, you can find solitude by stepping into this quaint park.

  • Things to do
  • Hung Hom

Hutchison Park may be one of the smaller venues on our list, but like the saying goes, good things come in small packages. Located in Hung Hom’s residential area, this park is complete with rock gardens, ponds, and a tai chi area. It also features plenty of rest areas underneath large, shady trees, making it the perfect spot for some much-needed unwinding.

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