Aug 17, 2018

5 Best Day-Trip Excursion Sites around Hong Kong for the New Arrivals

 

Hong Kong is known worldwide as a large, crowded, bustling city, with tall skyscrapers, great street food and a whole lot more of urban excitement. Hong Kong is, however, way more than the city: it’s a whole plethora of over 100 islands, comprising beaches, villages, wildlife, colonial buildings and so much more. 

 

When it comes to excursions, if you live in Hong Kong, you’re spoilt for choice!

 

i) Lantau Island

 

Lantau Island tai O

 

The largest island in Hong Kong, Lantau has it all, from historical monasteries to theme parks to hiking trails and more. Some of the key sites to see are The Giant Buddha, Tai O Fishing Village (and market), the Wisdom Path, Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping Cable Car, a visit to DisneyLand and of course, an incredible boat ride through the beautiful stilt houses of Tai O.

 

Tai O offers a lot more than meets the eye. Apart from the famous market, there’s a historic and cultural showroom, a Mangrove Forest, and - if you're lucky - you may catch the rare pink dolphin on your ride through the Tai O waterside!

 

Reaching Lantau is fairly easy. MTR, buses, ferries and taxis all take you to the Ngong Ping plateau.

 

ii) Sai Kung District

 

Sai Kung Sunset

 

Sai Kung is called “Hong Kong’s back garden” for a very good reason: its hiking trails, islands, and incredible beaches. Sai Kung is a great location and a favourite of many because it’s more remote and secluded than other potential day-trip destinations.

 

Tap Mun, which lies at the north of Sai Kung and has lush green meadows and pristine, clear water, is well-loved among the locals. It’s a great place to avoid the hustle and bustle of daily city life and also an opportunity to get some fresh air.

 

iii) Shenzhen

 

Shenzhen

 

This isn't a ‘getaway’ as such… unless you’re in need of a getaway to a shopping paradise! Shenzhen is China’s manufacturing mecca and a huge source of its economic power today. It’s located just across the border from the New Territories. Shenzhen is a great place to bargain for all sorts of items - and not just electronics! Reaching isn’t difficult either, as it’s just an hour from Hong Kong by MTR. 

 

It should be noted that if you’re not a citizen, a Chinese Visa is necessary. While European nationals are normally able to get 5-day visas at the border for HK $150, US citizens cannot expect the same. Group tours and operators can make your trip to Shenzhen easier and cheaper.

 

iv) Mai Po Nature Reserve

 

Mai Po Nature Reserve

(Courtesy: hong-kong-traveller.com)

 

Mai Po Reserve is managed in a joint effort by WWF Hong Kong and the HK government, in an aim to preserve and conserve nature. The area is restricted to visitors with permits alone.

 

While there aren’t too many facilities here, a quiet walk through the Reserve gives you an incredible atmosphere. You get to see plenty of birds, making it an incredible trip. Plan a visit by joining a nature guide and requesting a permit online.

 

It’s important to plan in advance, however, as the number of spots on these tours is limited. There are various tours for various durations organized at Mai Po, ranging from $120 to $220. Get all the information you need here.

 

v) Cheung Chau

 

Cheung Chau

 

While the Cheung Chau Islands are mainly famous for the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival (celebrated this year in May), they’re great to visit at any time of the year. Plan a relaxed, easy day-trip with walks through the town’s winding alleys, coastal hikes with incredible views and visits to several Tin Hau temples. Don’t miss the famous Pak Tai Temple.

 

Looking back, even ‘spoilt for choice’ seems an understatement! Whether you’re into the hills, beaches, modernity, rural peace or seascapes, there’s something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get planning!

 

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