Hidden gems of Hong Kong
Long stretches of white sand. Rugged mountain tops. Rare colourful birds. Not usually what comes to mind when you think of Hong Kong. But that’s exactly what the island serves up. You just have to dig a little further.
A seaside town
Located in the Eastern part of the new territories is Sai Kung: the “Back Garden of Hong Kong.” This quaint and vibrant fishing village is just an hour away from the city on public transport. Known for its lively floating fish market, which offers the most succulent seafood your eyes and your stomach could imagine. Here you’ll also discover sublime hiking trails which meander through parks and showcase sweeping beachside views. Lastly, you can head to the volcanic rock district in UNESCO Global Geopark or get to know the local way of life and its Hakka culture by hanging out with the local fishermen and women.
Sun drenched beaches
Our pick- Repulse Bay. Ok so the name doesn’t translate well in English. But this crescent shaped bay is frequently listed as the most beautiful beach in Hong Kong. Rise early and take a sunrise stroll along the sand. Settle into the morning with the sounds of the ocean lapping against the shore and then spend the day soaking up the rays and a book.
A bird lover’s paradise
Mai Po Nature Reserve. A must for bird watchers. And nature lovers alike. A diverse ecosystem of mudflats, wetlands, ponds and mangroves with an array of bird species. In fact, 70% of Hong Kong’s bird species can be found fluttering around Mai Po. This is a sacred place, so you can’t just walk in. Before you go, you’ll need to obtain a permit online, or if you join a walking tour group they’ll help organise this for you. Our tip: go during winter to experience the incredible sight of thousands of birds migrating to the wetlands.
A short ferry ride away from Central Hong Kong is Cheung Chau Island.
It’s literally a breath of fresh air with no cars in sight. Explore by foot or by bike around the entirety of the island in just a day. There’s a myriad of routes to take over lush hilltops and along stretching coastlines. For those looking for a cultural hit, there’s the largest temple on Hong Kong Island, Pak Tai Temple. Built in 1783 to honour the God of the Sea. It’s one of the most well-preserved temples in Hong Kong and still maintains many of the vibrant colours. The island’s mix of history and nature leave you feeling both nostalgic and adventurous.
So, if it’s your first time in Hong Kong, or if you’ve been many times before, consider venturing off the beaten track with the award winning travel card that lets you pay in the local currency, from your everyday bank account.