Living and working in one of the most densely populated cities in the world can take its toll on you. I grew up in a small(ish) city of about 60,000 people in a country with essentially unlimited space. For the last nine months, I’ve been living in Hong Kong, which has a population of over seven million.
To put it into perspective, the population density of the province of Alberta is 5.69/km2 while the population density of Hong Kong is 6544/km2. That’s over 1000 times denser! Fortunately, Hong Kong has a lot more to offer than just a crowded metropolis.
These are my top three Hong Kong getaways:
The best part about living in Hong Kong is that you can live in the middle of the city but be at a beautiful beach within half an hour. If you grew up in northern Alberta like I did, you pretty much have to get on a plane to find beaches like they have here.
My favourite beaches in Hong Kong would have to be Big Wave Bay and Shek O. Big Way Bay is the most popular surfing spot in Hong Kong and although the waves can get pretty big, most are small enough for first-timers like myself. Shek O, just down the road, is another favourite spot due to the small beachside town with lots of shops and restaurants as well as the many BBQ spots along the beach.
Honourable mentions: Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay are a little closer to the city centre but offer less in terms of extra activities.
In a previous blog post I discussed the healthy benefits of being able to hike any time you want in Hong Kong. This is definitely true, but hiking here also affords you the opportunity to get out of the city and relax. While that sounds like an oxymoron, it really is quite refreshing to get out from the craziness of the city and head out the mountains and the jungle and breathe some fresh air—even if you do sweat a bit while doing it.
Clocking in around 2.5 hours, the Dragon’s Back hike is one of the most popular hikes in the city. Hitting the peak of the hike you get amazing views of the outlying islands and after trekking through Hong Kong’s jungle-like mountain forests you end up at the popular Big Wave Bay where you can relax with a drink on the beach or try your hand at surfing.
Honourable mention: Maclehose Stage 8 hike, a four to five hour hike in beautiful Sai Kung.
Hong Kong is actually made up of many islands but only a small few are actually inhabited. To get around, Hong Kong has an expert ferry transportation system that can get you from the main island, Hong Kong Island, to pretty much anywhere you want to go.
One of my favourite island destinations is Lamma Island. Only a 25-minute ferry from Hong Kong’s Central pier, Lamma offers hiking, beaches, and seaside restaurants. With no big brand-name stores and vehicles outlawed, the island features a much more relaxed pace of life in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the city. One of the best things to do is wander down the colourful, meandering streets of the tiny sea-front town of Yung Shue Wan, in search of crafts and eateries.
Honourable mention: Cheung Chau Island is a bit further away (a one-hour ferry ride) and is popular for wind surfing and has a famous pirate cave.Add this article to your reading list