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The best places in Hong Kong for fresh air

Escape the humidity and pollution of the urban jungle at these spots

By Time Out Hong Kong |
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Bamboo Tunnel
Tai Po’s Bamboo Tunnel

Hong Kong’s urban jungle fills us with joy – there are many amazing things to do and plenty of quirky activities too – but sometimes we just need to get away from it all and catch a breath of fresh air. Sadly, being situated at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta – the largest urban area in the world in both size and population – means there’s a lot of pollution that comes our way. But even when the sky is hazy, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas with good air quality in our territory. Don’t believe us? Let us show you where. By Olivia Maitre

Humidity levels provided by weather.com. Air quality levels provided by breezometer.com.

Best places in Hong Kong for fresh air

Hoi Ha Wan
Photo: Wikipedia

Hoi Ha Wan

Hoi Ha Wan is an area well known for its rich marine biodiversity. The area hosts a significant 60 different types of coral and 120 species of coral fish. The crystal-clear water is wondrous. If you’re keen to be active, you can either paddle your way through the bay on a kayak or go below with a snorkel and a mask.

Estimated humidity: 76 percent
Air Quality Index: 2/11

How to get there: Take the MTR to Diamond Hill, Exit C2. Then get on bus 92 or 96R to Sai Kung Town. Once there, change to green minibus 7 to Hoi Ha Tsuen. Walk from there to the Marine Park.

Bamboo Tunnel

Bamboo Tunnel

Our city’s answer to Kyoto’s Bamboo Forest, immerse yourself in a detoxifying bamboo tunnel while visiting Yin Ngam, a pleasant little village outside Tai Po. The most spectacular aspect of this hidden area lies in the cool fresh air generated by the bamboo’s slightly bent tips. Even better, just 20 minutes hike away is Hong Kong’s highest waterfall – the perfect place to clear your mind.

Estimated humidity: 76 percent
Air Quality Index: 2/11

How to get there: Take the MTR to Tai Po Market Station. Then take minibus 64K to Yuen Tun Ha Village. Start your hike from there. 

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Tsing Ma Bridge

Ma Wan

Less than a kilometre wide, Ma Wan is home to a beautiful beach, a historic fishing village and the infamous Noah’s Ark amusement park. Few vehicles are allowed on Ma Wan, which means you can enjoy significantly lower carbon emissions than in many parts of the city. At night, with its view of the colourful Tsing Ma Bridge, it’s a splendid place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Estimated humidity: 66 percent
Air Quality Index: 
3/11

How to get there: Take the MTR to Tsing Yi Station. From there, take the NR330 bus towards Park Island. Stop at Kei Wai Primary School and walk for a minute.

Cape D’Aguilar

Cape D’Aguilar

Down at the southern tip of Shek O you can find Hong Kong’s oldest lighthouse, the Hok Tsui Beacon, a monument dating back to 1875. Cape D’Aguilar is also notable for being the only marine reserve in Hong Kong. Here, you can enjoy the wind off the South China Sea, breath-taking views and some spectacular caves.

Estimated humidity: 76 percent
Air Quality Index: 4/11

How to get there: Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan. Take Exit A1 or A3 for the Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. From there, take bus 9 heading towards Shek O. Alight at the bus station near Cape D’Aguilar Road.

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River Red Gums, Nam Sang Wai

Nam Sang Wai

Nam Sang Wai isn’t the easiest place to get to, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Situated north of Yuen Long, the area is a scenic, romantic wetland area home to mangroves and many migratory birds. Wander tranquilly beneath the eucalyptus trees before stopping for a spot of birdwatching.

Estimated humidity: 67 percent
Air Quality Index: 4/11

How to get there: Take the MTR to Yuen Long. Take Exit G2 and at Sun Yuen Long Centre Bus Stop, hop on bus 76K heading towards Hung Mo Kiu. Walk along Nam Sang Wai Road to reach the starting point. 

Chung Hom Kok Fort

Chung Hom Kok Fort

A preserved war relic definitely worth visiting. Built in 1930, the dome-shaped fort sits snuggly within Chung Hom Kok Park’s dense vegetation. High above the sea, the former military outpost has breath-taking views of the Southside – a perfect quiet spot among Hong Kong’s flora and fauna, with plenty of sea breeze to help you feel refreshed.

Estimated humidity: 70 percent
Air Quality Index: 
5/11

How to get there: From Chung Hom Kok Road, walk 15 minutes from the roundabout. The exact address is 128 Chung Hom Kok Road, next to Cheshire Home. 

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Fan Lau

Fan Lau

Located at Lantau’s western end, Fan Lau is only accessible by boat or on foot. The area encompasses an almost forgotten village that's home to only a handful of inhabitants. On this tiny peninsula hides a stone circle and a fort – a Declared Monument – originally built in 1729 to protect the channel from pirates. A time tunnel in Lantau, this is a refreshing spot, with significantly lower humidity than the city, for all daring explorers out there.

Estimated humidity: 66 percent

Air Quality Index: 4/11

How to get there: From Tung Chung, hop on bus 11 or 23 and get off at Shek Pik. Walk along Kau Ling Chung Catchwater for an hour to reach the Fan Lau Tung Wan trail entrance.

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