Dubbed the “Manhattan of the China Sea,” Hong Kong actually surprises with its unique cultural fusion between East and West – it was, after all, a British colony until 1984, when it returned to its deep Roots. Today, the financial capital and a booming tourist destination, the archipelago attracts first and foremost for its futuristic look.
And if you did otherwise – opt for Hong Kong, the natural wonder! Unthinkable? Think again.
The archipelago has several beautiful beaches, creeks, valleys and tropical jungles that are just waiting to be explored. Here are 10 places where you can commune with nature, away from horns and trams.
To better appreciate the absence of the Hong Kong skyscrapers, one must first grasp the extent. With its spectacular panorama of the bay, its wooded walks and its freshness more than welcome in the extreme humidity of South Asia, the Peak inevitably seduces.
It is possible to reach the summit in 10 minutes thanks to a single cable cableway, very effective, albeit slightly terrifying.
Tai Long Wan Coast
Only a few kilometers from Hong Kong, the deserted beaches of Tai Long Wan seem to belong to another world. Here, there are no roads or tracks – the only way to get there is by hiking.
The game will be worth the candle, however, when we know that several natural pools, waterfalls, surfing cafes and a holiday atmosphere await us there.
Po Lin Monastery
In the heart of the steep island of Lantau lies the monastery of Po Lin, where you can see miles of the imposing statue of the Great Buddha, 34 meters high.
A small shady café, away from the tourists, makes tea tea grows in a modest plantation a few meters below.
Hong Kong otherwise: from Cheung Chau to Stanley
Cheung Chau Island
This charming island – which is said to be a former pirates’ hideaway – boasts a truly entertaining little fishing port. With its ancient remnants, it is the most exquisite of the islands that surround Hong Kong.
There are also dozens of shops, temples and narrow streets, all more photogenic than the others. The dolce vita, Hong Kong version.
11 kilometers south of Hong Kong’s bustling center are the wild coast, eroded rocks and the rich underwater fauna of Cape Aguilar.
There is also a historic lighthouse offering a stunning view of the China Sea – one of the few in the country that survived the Second World War.
Pat Sin Range Valley
Hard to believe that you are only a few steps away (small exaggeration, about 30 minutes by bus) from the center of Hong Kong. The green mountains of Pat Sin represent eight summits, dedicated to eight gods of Chinese mythology.
The valley offers several hiking trails to the top of 639 meters, which will please both the lazy and the most motivated.
Once a peaceful fishing village, Stanley was the largest settlement on Hong Kong Island before the arrival of the British.
It now offers a quiet atmosphere, with little motorized traffic and several beaches where canoeing and sailing are possible. An excellent introduction to the colonial history of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong otherwise: diving and secret valleys
Hoi Ha Wan
With its creeks and rough bays, this 260-hectare (also known as Jone’s Cove) marine park located north of the Sai Kung Peninsula is a diving paradise.
It has an amazing underwater biodiversity, due to its isolated position.
Sha Lo Tung
If you accidentally forget that Hong Kong is technically in China, Sha Lo Tung will be happy to remind you.
With its dramatic landscapes reminiscent of central China, composed of secret valleys and rivers, the lush site serves as a backdrop to the ancestral villages and rice fields.
Marsh of Mai Po
Declared a wetland of international importance in 1995, Mai Po is one of China’s richest ornithological reserves.
It has hundreds of species of birds, but also otters, bats, some reptiles and a host of amphibians.
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