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Surprise! 5 ways Hong Kong's Great Outdoors wows

We love surprises! Well, the good ones anyway, like surprise parties and prize wins and unexpected cheques in the mail. And finding out that Hong Kong has a huge outdoor scene that we did not know about! We present five ways Hong Kong will surprise you with its Great Outdoors

We love surprises! Well, the good ones anyway, like surprise parties and prize wins and unexpected cheques in the mail. And finding out that Hong Kong has a huge outdoor scene that we did not know about! We present five ways Hong Kong will surprise you with its Great Outdoors

Check out our dynamic map and explore Hong Kong’s mirror-like reservoirs, vibrant island communities, biodiverse coastal waters and exhilarating activities waiting to revitalise you.


Kickback in laidback Cheung Chau 

Cheung Chau enjoys the best of old-world charm and trendy attractions breathing new life into the island’s laid-back vibe
Cheung Chau enjoys the best of old-world charm and trendy attractions breathing new life into the island’s laid-back vibe

You may be surprised to learn that Hong Kong has gorgeous yellow-sand beaches to kick back on your Hong Kong vacay. Like, excuse us, but how have we not thought to add an extra couple of days for some R&R on our previous Hong Kong stopovers? Doh! Especially in Cheung Chau, where the perfect blend of old and contemporary makes for an idyllic break. 

Aside from lazing on Cheung Chau’s Tung Wan or Kwun Yam Wan’s lovely beaches, you can tap into your adventurous side by windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and kayaking! For a short-but-steep hike, walk to the North Lookout Pavilion for panoramic views, too.  

Cheung Chau’s crescent-shaped stretch of beach called Tung Wan. The island’s water quality is good and on a clear day you can see southern Hong Kong Island.
Cheung Chau’s crescent-shaped stretch of beach called Tung Wan. The island’s water quality is good and on a clear day you can see southern Hong Kong Island.

Energy expended, the cute cafes and hip beach bars help you bring your heart rate back down in the best way possible. The vibes on Cheung Chau make you feel like you’ve found a new island paradise – like Bali or Koh Samui. There are even homemade crafts, artisanal goods, and yummy street food found on San Hing and Pak She Streets. Chill vibes all around!  

Sail to Ung Kong & Ninepin Islands  

Ung Kong Group and Ninepin Group, featuring globally rare hexagonal rock columns lie within the Geopark’s Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region in Hong Kong’s southeastern waters, and they are not to be missed.
Ung Kong Group and Ninepin Group, featuring globally rare hexagonal rock columns lie within the Geopark’s Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region in Hong Kong’s southeastern waters, and they are not to be missed.

How does a half-day boat trip through Hong Kong’s UNESCO Global Geopark sound? Surprising, right?  

Found in the Sai Kung Peninsula, this impressive natural wonder comprises hexagonal rock columns said to be up to 55 million years old! The geopark has a diverse landscape, including mangroves, white-sand beaches, coral communities, fungshui woods, and a host of historical relics that reveal the area’s rich heritage.  

Ung Kong and Ninepin Islands are best explored by boat as it weaves you through the highlights of this surprising area. Stops include the uninhabited Ninepin Islands – where Big Cannon Rock rises dramatically amid the basalt columns – High Island Tin Hau Temple, and the jaw-dropping triangular sea stack at Po Pin Chau.  

Savour stunning volcanic rock formations in the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark of Ung Kong and Ninepin Groups of islands
Savour stunning volcanic rock formations in the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark of Ung Kong and Ninepin Groups of islands

This impressive day out feels far removed from the typical Hong Kong you imagine, in the most surprising and elevating way possible!  

Step back in time at Kau Sai Fisher Village 

At Kau Sai Chau, discover the fishing hamlet that time ‘forgot’, while abounding in marine lives and scenic beauty at sheltered floating farm​
At Kau Sai Chau, discover the fishing hamlet that time ‘forgot’, while abounding in marine lives and scenic beauty at sheltered floating farm​

Hong Kong does modern exceptionally well – like the impressive buildings, trendy shops, and hip eateries – but that doesn’t mean the city forgets its roots. When you visit Kau Sai Fisher Village, you step back in time to a picturesque fishing hamlet where simpler times still remain.  

Kau Sai Chau is the largest island off the Sai Kung Peninsula and also in the UNESCO Global Geopark… and yet few people make it to this surprisingly serene fishing village on the island’s southern tip. To reach the sleepy village and its 2-storey seaside homes take a relaxing sampan trip.  

Besides getting a glimpse into the unchanged life of the dozen or so families that call Kau Sai home, you can also walk the herbal plant trail and discover how flowering plants were used as traditional medicine. The trail is near the 130-year-old UNESCO Hung Shing Temple, built to protect the local fisherfolk and sea traders.  

Go forest bathing at Lung Fu Shan  

Forest bathing guide Amanda Yik connects with nature in secluded Lung Fu Shan.
Forest bathing guide Amanda Yik connects with nature in secluded Lung Fu Shan.

It’s been no surprise to see an uptake in shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) activities over the past couple of years. What is surprising, however, is that you can easily go forest bathing in Hong Kong! It’s not all skyscrapers, y’know? In fact, 40% of the territory is green, thanks to its country parks and nature reserves!  

A fave spot to switch off from devices and plug into nature is at Lung Fu Shan, the smallest of Hong Kong’s 24 country parks. It’s not small, small, though: covering 47 hectares, the thick, lush woodland perfectly immerses you in the sights, sounds, and smells that soothe the soul. With 115 species of birds, countless butterflies, and the buzzy din of cicadas, there’s plenty to elevate your spirits, especially along the Pik Shan Path. 

Once you’ve recalibrated under the dense foliage, follow the signs to Lung Fu Pavilion for epic views of the harbour, Lantau, and Pok Fu Lam. Return to your hotel feeling lighter, brighter, and more connected to what’s important.  

Take an outdoor wellness journey around Instagrammable Lau Shui Heung. Fitness trainer Susana Tsang enjoys hiking outdoors frequently while discovering many of the stunning nature trails Hong Kong has to offer
Take an outdoor wellness journey around Instagrammable Lau Shui Heung Reservoir in Pat Sing Leng Country Park. Fitness trainer Susana Tsang enjoys hiking outdoors frequently while discovering many of the stunning nature trails Hong Kong has to offer

Pat Sing Leng Country Park is another popular spot for forest bathing, found in the northeast. The Lau Shui Heung Country Trail takes you to a striking reservoir.

Go Stargazing at Clearwater Bay Country Park 

Take scenic coastal trek in Clearwater Bay Country Park and bask under a galaxy of stars
Take scenic coastal trek in Clearwater Bay Country Park and bask under a galaxy of stars

You might have thought the only way to see stars in brightly lit Hong Kong would be on the Avenue of Stars (it’s like Hollywood’s Walk of Fame). However, head to Clearwater Bay Country Park and you can hike under the beautifully clear night skies for another surprising Hong Kong activity.  

Whether you’re looking to wish upon a shooting star, snap starry night sky pics, or sit under the Silver River (Hong Kong’s name for the Milky Way), the wide-open spaces of Tai Hung Tun –  sheltered from Kowloon’s lights by the mountains – offer tranquillity and a sense of being away from it all.  

Start pre-sunset by hiking the path from Lung Ha Wan Rock Carving to the summit of Tai Leng Tung, where views out to the Ninepin Islands impress. Pack a picnic to watch the sunset over High Junk Peak and the twinkling lights of galaxies far, far away come into focus.  

When you’ve had your night sky fill, continue to Tai Hang Tun (don’t forget to bring a torch), where buses or cabs will get you back to your hotel. 

The deets 

Start planning your surprising Hong Kong outdoor getaway now. For more inspiration visit Discover Hong Kong.  

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