po toi
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The best places to visit for fresh air in Hong Kong

Escape the urban jungle and breathe it all in

Jenny Leung
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As much as we love being in the city, let's face it, the air quality here is not the best. Thankfully, there are still plenty of places in Hong Kong where you can catch a breath of fresh air. From country parks to secluded islands, here are some of our favourite places to visit when we need some of that fresh oxygen.

RECOMMENDED: Escape the city's hectic pace at these hidden peaceful places in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's best places for fresh air

  • Things to do
  • Islands District

A popular destination for nature lovers, Po Toi is a serene and scenic island inhabited by people who don't have a running water supply and no official electricity – which means fresh air is guaranteed. Walk along the Po Toi Country Trail, which loops over the south of the island in a figure-of-eight, and take in Po Toi's photogenic lighthouse as well as some dramatic and unusual rock formations. If you have time to spare, pay a visit to the small village down in Tai Wan and wander up to the Tin Hau temple that's scenically perched on a rock to the far left of the village. It'll give you fantastic views over the island and the surrounding ocean.

2. 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 that dates 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, breathtaking views, and some spectacular caves.

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  • Attractions
  • New Territories

Also known as Grass Island, Tap Mun sits in the sea off Sai Kung Country Park and is best known for its beautiful, rolling hills complete with wandering cows. Though there’s no official campsite, campers can pitch a tent at the grassy areas atop the southern headland of Tap Mun, which provide panoramic views of the island. Visit Tap Mun’s famous trio of temples and fuel up at the fisherman village’s main restaurant, Sun Hon Kee.

4. 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.

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5. Ma Wan

Ma Wan is home to a beautiful beach, a historic fishing village, and the Noah’s Ark amusement park. Few vehicles are allowed in 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.

6. 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.

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7. Chung Hom Kok Battery

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 offers sweeping 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.

8. Fan Lau

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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.

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9. Tai Mei Tuk

Surrounded by rolling green hills and vast open 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. Fair warning though, the Plover Cove Reservoir can, at times, get rather busy on the weekend, so it's best to head there during weekdays or early on in the day.

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