Given the famous hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, one doesn’t necessarily expect many outdoors adventures when visiting. However, that is far from being the case. Hong Kong isn’t a singular place; it’s actually made up of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and over 200 offshore islands. Getting out and enjoying nature is one of the great secrets locals have tried to keep to themselves, but visitors like me have discovered the incredible beauty of Hong Kong away from the central business district. In fact, this spring Hong Kong Tourism is highlighting , including , , , and , designed to bring locals and visitors alike closer to nature. That natural experience is key, I think, for any visitor to Hong Kong, as I learned on my first visit to the city. I spent a day on Lantau Island, a popular and easy day trip and a great place to spend some time enjoying a little peace and quiet.
After visiting the island’s famous, and enormous, Buddha, I decided to go for a walk. The forest buzzed with life as butterflies flitted about and not a modern sound could be heard. I also realized why the island is so popular amongst locals; to escape from urbanity for an afternoon is a special treat. Set in the rolling hills, the sea within sight, the Wisdom Path accentuates this feeling of retreat and reflection. The Path traces a series of 38 wooden stakes containing verses from the centuries-old Heart Sutra; one of the world’s best-known prayers revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike. Arranged in the shape of an infinity symbol, I didn’t have to be able to read the Chinese characters to understand their importance, reflected on the faces of other visitors around me. No one spoke a word as they completed the circuit, taking the messages to heart and leaving more spiritually complete than when they arrived.
The area is also famous for the ancient fishing village of Tai O, where little has changed over the years. I arrived on the day of the yearly Dragon Boat Races, a festive and important event that was reflected in the bright flags flapping in the wind, each spurring on a favorite team. Even without the holiday, I quickly understood the appeal of the village. Sitting on stilts above the water, huts, shops and homes balance precariously while in the narrow alleys stands selling everything from freshly caught squid to trinkets of all shapes and sizes were on display.
I learned a lot that day, but the most important lesson was just how much Hong Kong has to offer. Yes, the city is home to some of the world’s best hotels and if you love to eat, there’s no better place in the world. However, there’s more to Hong Kong than highrises and dim sum, including amazing outdoor adventures.
This spring, Hong Kong Tourism is highlighting five unique hiking tours, , , , and , that allow visitors the opportunity to get up close to some lesser-known natural treasures. Whether it’s visiting Lantau like I did, or delving deeper by exploring the area’s volcanic past or enjoying the coastline by boat, these are spectacular opportunities that are not to be missed.
To learn more about these hikes and how you can join one, please be sure to visit detailing the incredible adventures available through June.
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