Travel Tips Where to Visit

Hidden gem parks in Hong Kong

You may not know that tucked in some corners of the city, Hong Kong has some nice parks for visit. Nope. They are not the widely publicized Hong Kong Park or Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island. I mean parks like Lai Chi Kok Park in kowloon.

Lai Chi Kok Park, compared to other parks in Hong Kong, is surprisingly huge. Dotted with pavilions, pools, bonsais, trees and flowers, rock formations and bridges in the style of classical Chinese garden, the park is charming. There are also children facilities and health facilities, such as paths of pointed pebbles where you are asked to take off your shoes to walk on for stimulating your blood circulation.

When I was there a week ago, the spring flowers were in their full bloom. The park was a joy to walk around.

hong kong park

lai chi kok park in hong kong

cherry blossoms in lai chi kok park

How to get there:

Mei Foo MTR Station of the Tsuen Wan Line (Red Line), exit D.

Travel Tips Where to Visit

Fly a kite, and see the sunset

Ever thought of doing something special in Hong Kong? How about kite flying in its countryside?

In Hong Kong, there is a place most famous for kite flying: Tai Au Mun (大坳門), or Clear Water Bay Country Park.

How to get there:

Take minibus 103M at the bus terminal of Tseung Kwun O MTR station, or minibus No. 16 at the bus terminal of Po Lin MTR station. Ask the driver to drop you off at the roundabout leading up to Clear Water Bay Country Park entrance. Or just tell the driver you want to go to Tai Au Mun, and he will know where to drop you off.

Once you get off the mini bus, you will walk for about 10 minutes before you arrive at the Country Park. There, you will find a shop that sells kites (HK$70 for a big kite made of cloth) and a signpost pointing to the kite-flying venue.

This is the venue for kite flying:

It is half surrounded by sea.

Clear Water Bay Country Park is also good for BBQ. So expect to find yourself walking past BBQ people and stoves before arriving at the site for kite flying.

Travel Tips Where to Visit

Tips for visiting Ocean Park

Ocean Park has become the No.1 theme park in Hong Kong, surpassing Disneyland, in terms of visitor number and popularity. But it also means that the Park may be too packed, spoiling the fun.

Here are some tips if you plan on visiting Ocean Park:

1. Avoid visiting the Park on weekends. You can be assured of a packed place with long queues everywhere with both locals and mainland visitors flocking to the Park during the weekend.

2. Everything is expensive in the Park – that particularly means the food and beverage sold inside the Park. Expect to pay a bottle of soft drink/water for HK$20, more than double the price outside the Park. So bring along some food and drink to save some money. There is a McDonald’s in the park, which sells no set meals, and at a higher price for each item of its food and drinks. Still it attracts the longest queue in the park because its food still comes at a lower price than other food stalls.

3. The “raging river” is fun and you shouldn’t miss out. But expect at least one-hour wait in the queue to ride on the water and get wet during the weekend.

4. The Park provides automatic digital shooting opportunities for many of the activities (such as taking cable car, and visiting the Reef Atoll) you participate and you get to preview them on exit and pay over HK$100 for a photo you like. I found it annoying that the staff alert you to the camera everywhere you go, but obviously some people like the service.

5. I observe that people enter the Ocean Theatre for daily shows of dolphins and sea lions well before the scheduled time to have a good seat (that means a seat in the shade in the summer). So get there early if you want a good seat too.

Travel Tips Where to Visit

Experience the charisma of greatest singer of mandarin songs

Want to experience a diva’s soothing mandarin songs while sipping coffee? Here’s the opportunity. The Teresa New Life Coffee Shop just opened in Hong Kong, which was timed to memorize the 56th anniversary of the birth of Teresa Teng. Teresa Teng’s songs had been extremely popular among Chinese-speaking population, which was captivated by her unique gentle beautiful singing voice.

Even before the opening up of mainland China, Diva Teng, from Taiwan, was a phenomenon there.  She is arguably the greatest singer of mandarin songs ever. I myself was once a fan of Diva Teng.

She died of a severe asthma attack in 1995.

Here’s Diva Teng’s one of the most famous songs – the moon represents my heart

The Coffee Shop, located at the MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui station, is decorated with memorabilia, and plays videos of Teng’s performance. It serves premium coffee and organic soy cakes from Taiwan. Teng’s CDs and souvenirs are also on sale in the shop.

Hiking Travel Tips

The most beautiful country trail in HK

I walked this country trail just a few days ago, only to be stunned by the beautiful scenery the trail has to offer.

A well kept secret about Hong Kong is that 70% of its land is country parks. The city is abundant in country trails leading to enchanting natural landscape. And though I am not a keen walker, I have walked quite a few trails over the years. But the most recent walk, along the Long Ha Wan (literally meant “lobster bay”) country trail, has impressed me most with its majestic beauty.

How to get there:

Take minibus 103M at the bus terminal of Tseung Kwun O MTR station, or minibus No. 16 at the bus terminal of Po Lin MTR station. Ask the driver to drop you off at the roundabout leading up to Clear Water Bay Country Park entrance.

It will be about 10 minute walk before you arrive at the entrance. At the left is a parking lot. Go through it and you will come to a steep road leading up to the mountain.  A map outlining the Long Ha Wan route is on display at the bottom of the road.

The climb will take 20-25 minutes. Once you reach the top, you will find yourself surrounded by seas and islands.

Going downhill is easy and pleasant. But once you reach the exit of the trail, you will need to walk at least half an hour to be back at the roundabout to catch a bus back to the city.

Duration: about 2.5 hours