The best places to find calm amidst the chaos
Situated in the shadow of the Legislative Council, Tamar Park is a rare beast: a large expanse of greenery open to all in the busy heart of the city. When the weather’s right, there’s nothing more relaxing than finding a quiet spot in the park’s 17,000sq m of space, rolling out a yoga mat – or picnic blanket, if that’s more your speed – and chilling out.
IFC may be best known to international audiences as that building Batman jumped on to in The Dark Knight but Hongkongers know it’s also got one of the best public rooftops in the city. Landscaped greenery? Check. Harbour views? Check. Absolutely no obligation to spend any money? Check. Throw in plenty of room to sit, eat and meditate – and you’ve got yourself a high-rise winner.
Did you know there’s a beautiful public garden just a few paces away from the hustle and bustle of Central? Nestled behind the skyscrapers of Queen’s Road Central and not too far from the madding crowd, Cheung Kong Park is a welcome oasis from the streets below with its winding stone paths, bubbling water cascades and lush foliage.
Venture past the iconic Blue House and trendy bars of Stone Nullah Lane in hectic Wan Chai and you’ll find one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples. Built in 1863, Pak Tai Temple is a sight to behold with its ornate decorations, 400-year-old statue of Pak Tai and ancient banyan tree. Whether you’re Taoist or not, there’s something incredibly spiritual about spending a calm-inducing half an hour here observing the customs of worshippers (or maybe that’s the incense talking...).
Causeway Bay conjures up many images (buzzy restaurants, cat cafés and terrifying weekend crowds for starters) but peacefulness generally isn’t one of them. Go outside the main shopping drag, however, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the quietest places in Hong Kong: the Central Library. It’s one of our favourite spots to settle down in with its near-meditative silence – good book in hand or not. No Candy Crush noise pollution here.
A quiet neighbourhood park tucked away in Tai Ping Shan, Blake Garden boats some requisite greenery and benches. This relatively quiet garden also has a selection of hard courts for those who prefer to blow off steam through sports. A perfect spot for some solitude within walking distance of Sheung Wan’s popular cafés and booming street art scene.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Instagram-famous Montane Mansion – also known as ‘Monster Building’, with its five old mansions creating a bustling walled city – is this serene little Quarry Bay park, formerly known as Via Fiori, at the end of the One Island East complex. Dotted with sculptures, benches and water features, it’s a quiet haven away from Quarry Bay’s busy main streets. The perfect place to gather your thoughts and bask in the sun.