Are you tired of being grounded and are hankering for a change of scenery? Not all skyscrapers and concrete jungle, Hong Kong is surprisingly made up of three-quarters emerald hills, endless beaches and green lands.
Pristine rock pools, exotic caves, a slew of Chinese Banyan trees and stunning volcanic rock formations – these spots serve some serious holiday vibes. Take a trip to believe what you read.
Lin Ma Hang caves
Located close to the border of Hong Kong and Shenzen, the abandoned lead mine was not accessible to the public until 2016. That precisely explains why it has only recently gained Instagram attention! A nature lover’s secret gem, history buffs should definitely explore this blast from the past.
How to get there: The most convenient way to reach the mines is to drive till the parking pot at the bottom of the hill. This way you skip the strenous hike on the winding roads of Robin’s Nest.
Pineapple Mountain (Po Lo Shan)
Ever dreamt about taking a trip to the Grand Canyon? Though that fantasy may be far from reach right now, perhaps a visit to Tuen Mun’s Pineapple Hill, also known as Po Lo Shan, could be a close runner up! Witness beautiful sweeping views of the natural rock formations of this small mountain, dearly named after the city’s iconic pineapple bun because of its rare and yellowish cracked geological rock formations that resemble the surface of the sweet bun.
How to get here: Located between Leung King Estate and Shan King Estate within the Tuen Mun district of the New Territories– start at Leung King Bus Terminus. Make your way through the residential estate passing the Leung King Plaza on your left until you arrive at a road where there’s a small opening on the right. This path leads up to Pineapple hill.
Po Pin Chau
Originally a cape from Fai Shan, this now iconic vertical stack island is part of a ridge that collapsed due to weathering. A short hike from the East Dam of the High Island Reservoir takes you to this geological wonder which is a part of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network. Take pictures at the grand swathe of interlocking basalt columns here, and surely fire up your Instagram!
How to get there: Now the start and end point of this path are different, it is recommended to hike on foot. Begin at the Sai Kung Village, cab it to the East Dam and follow the rocky path down towards the end. Turn left from the fence and utility building, and keep trekking uphill whilst you soak in the mind-blowing beauty of Po Pin Chau.
Port Island (Chek Chau)
It’s literally named red island after the iron-rich, sedimentary rock that forms the island. Stunning, lone and barren – this piece of beauty is surrounded by nothing other than sea and mountains. It’s a real gem of a getaway in the Sai Kung peninsula and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1979.
How to get there: Just a stone throw’s away from the main town, it can be explored in under an hour. Travellers will have to venture by private boat, there is no ferry service to this secluded island.
Shing Mun Reservoir
This discreetly tucked away piece of rural Hong Kong is an immersive experience for nature lovers. It stretches through a green forest of towering trees, goes past a few picnic spots towards the northern point of the reservoir. Here lies a stream, which paints a breathtaking landscape of the Chinese banyan trees peppered only by a riot of notorious monkeys.
How to get there: If you’re driving, make your way to the New Territories within the Tusen Wan district. Follow the GPS to Shing Mun Country Park and alight at the bottom of Pineapple Dam. From here, you can follow the paved path through the green forest of towering trees. The hike on the Pineapple Dam nature trail takes about two hours before reaching the stream, but the trip is worth the scenic sights.
Sharp Island’s Wang Chau
A short ferry from Sai Kung is the magnificent Sharp Island. Looking for a rock pool to dive in but trying to avoid the weekend crowds? Head to Wang Chau – one of the four key Ung Kong Islands in Sai Kung. It’s the smallest among them but don’t let its scale fool you! Not only does it boast of being part of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark; it’s home to two gorgeous beaches, Hap Mun Bay and Kiu Tsui Beach, volcanic rock formations dating back 140 million years, picturesque caves and rock pools. Go here for the ‘gram!
How to get here: Take your sloop out for a sail or rent a yacht to Wang Chau Island in southeast Sai Kung.
Cape D’Aguilar, otherwise known as Hok Tsui, is a cape in the south of Shek O and D’Aguilar Peak on the southeastern side of Hong Kong Island. It is one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets but is no stranger to photography enthusiasts! They trek the rocky shorelines and caves of the location to capture the magical sunsets and the transition of the night’s sky into a star-strewn canvas. It makes for an awe-inspiring stargazing hotspot. Take the budding science enthusiasts in your clan out here and have fun spotting constellations in the sky! They will not be disappointed.
How to get here: Drive from Shek O towards Dragon’s Back, take a left at Cape D’Aguilar Road. Make a stop at the Cape D’Aguilar radio station. On foot you can make your way towards the iconic century-old Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse for picturesque views of the sea and sky.