Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hong Kong Botanical & Zoological Garden - 香港動植物公園

Location: Albany Road, Mid Levels, Hong Kong

Being the most historical garden in Hong Kong, the Botanical Garden accompanies the growth of many Hong Kongers, including myself. Almost every Hong Kong people had their footprints here. When I was young, my mother took us here almost everyday after dinner.

The Hong Kong Botanical Garden is believed to have the best geographical location, in terms of Chinese astrology. At a very prestigious area of central Hong Kong, surrounded by state-of-the-art commercial and residential buildings in Central, its main entrance is just opposite to the former Governor’s House. From the colonial days, you can find a statue of KG VI, the father of current QE II.

Hong Kong Botanical & Zoological Garden
The central fountain here is a previous-generation landmark of Hong Kong. Almost every Kong Kong people had taken photos here. The pinales tree next to the fountain is one of the oldest trees in Hong Kong – see photo below.

The main garden is mainly botanical together with birds while the junior garden is zoological, both connected by a short subway. All the animals here are my friends especially the ring-tail monkeys.

Travel Information
Transportation: MTR Admiralty Station. Change to bus 12A to MacDonnell Road. Enter the Park via footbridge over Garden Road.

Opening Hours:
Fountain Terrace Garden 6am - 10 pm
Green House/ Education and Exhibition Centre 9am - 4:30 pm

Other Areas 6am - 7pm

Admission: Free

Hong Kong Travel Blog - Hong Kong Botanical & Zoological Garden

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hong Kong Park - 香港公園

Location: Mid Level, Hong Kong

I am going to introduce a couple or parks in the urban area. Hong Kong Park, located at mid levels Central, Hong Kong, is very easy to access. As it is nearby Central and Pacific Place, many people come here to do their scenic lunch either at the restaurant or with their own lunch boxes.

The park features a very beautiful lake with fishes, turtles and flowers, with a backdrop of Hong Kong’s state-of-the-art commercial buildings in Admiralty and Central. You can just walk over to the Cheung Kong Center or the Landmark to continue your way exploring Central Hong Kong.

Bird Watching
Unlike bird watching in the wild, you can do it in the aviary here. With hundreds of beautiful birds, including rare breeds, you must enjoy your tour here. Free guided tour is available every Wednesday. Gather at the Conservatory at 8am. The tour is around two hours. Just walk in without pre registration.
Conservatory – Green House
The Conservatory showcases seasonal flowers is connected to a tropical garden. This is one of the must-visit places whenever I come. See my photo album below.

Museum of Tea Ware
Nearby the main entrance is the Tea Museum, specializing in the collection, study and display of tea wares. If you are interested in the art of Chinese tea, you can buy some tea related souveniors here. A Tea House serving Chinese vegetarian food is just next door. Workforce around this area always come to enjoy a relax lunch with Chinese tea and light music.
Travel Information
Transportation: MTR Admiralty Station. Exit to One Pacific Place. Continue your way by escalator up to Island Shangri-La level. Hong Kong Park is just opposite.
Opening Hours: 06:00 – 23:00 (Park), 09:00 – 17:00 (Aviary, Conservatory)

Photo Album – Hong Kong Park Hong Kong Travel Blog - Hong Kong Park

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lions Nature Education Centre - 獅子會自然教育中心

Location: Sai Kung, Kowloon

The Lions Nature Education Centre showcases the very best of Sai Kung's natural charms. Opened in 1991 as a joint venture between the then Agriculture and Fisheries Department and the Lions Club of Hong Kong and Macau to help promote environmental protection.

The centre features a little of almost everything rural to be found in Hong Kong and is a popular destination for school and club outings.

The centre also has a number of permanent indoor exhibitions. Three are devoted to Hong Kong's fishing and farming industry and protected natural areas. The Shell House contains an impressive collection of shells, many of which are no longer to be found in Hong Kong waters.

Sunday morning visitors can pick up homegrown organic produce sold in a mini market on the grounds. Any day of the week one can drop by the centre's cafe, which is run by employees with hearing disabilities, and enjoy a stunning panorama over the countryside up to Pyramid Hill and Ma On Shan.

Travel Information
Transportation: MTR Diamond Hill Station, change to bus 92, get off at Pak Kong Station. The Centre is just opposite.
Admission: Free
Opening Hour: 09:30 - 17:00 / Exhibition Halls: 09:30 - 16:30 (Close on Tuseday)
Closed on Tuesdays and the first two days of the Chinese New Year.
Suggested time of visit: Two hours

Photo Album
For myself, I find the Shells and Agricultural Plantation most interesting and spend most of time there. Many the vegetables, I have only seen them on dining tables, but never in a field. Here they are - see my photo album.

Hong Kong Travel Blog - Lions Nature Education Centre

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ma Wan Park 馬彎公園

Location: Park Island (Ma Wan Island)

Opened in 2007, Ma Wan Park has attracted plenty of local and overseas visitors.

Tsing Ma Bridge
Ma Wan Park offers two advantages. For photographic fans who want to take a good landmark photo of Hong Kong, this is the place. From Park Island pier towards Ma Wan Park, you will pass by a beach where it is an ideal place to take photos of the Tsing Ma Bridge, which is an important gateway to Lantau Island where the Hong Kong International Airport is. It is also the world's seventh-longest span suspension bridge

Ma Wan Park is also an ideal place for treasure hunt. Pick up a questionnaire at the entrance, and you can start to explore the park and find answers to the questions. Undoubtedly it is also an ideal place outside the classroom for children's liberal learning. The park have invited heuristic experts in children activities to design activity courses for learning with fun in the classroom of nature, focusing on learning strands of “Self & Personal Development”, “Society and Culture”, “Science, Technology & Environment”.

Major Attractions
* Rainbow Wall
* Sweet Garden
* Windmill Station
* Adventure Journey
* Hilltop Lookout
* Heritage Centre
* Solar Tower
* Noah’s Ark

Travel Information
Admission: Free, however some activities would require a fee
Open Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 - Mon, Fri & Sat / 08:00 to 18:00 - rest of the week
Transportation: From Pier 2 in Central, take ferry (approximately 25 minutes) to Park Island, then walk to the park. HK$20 per trip.

Click photo for a larger view

Hong Kong Travel Blog - Ma Wan Park

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nan Lian Garden - 南蓮園池

Location: Next to Hollywood Plaza in Kowloon.

I don’t expect to find a park in Hong Kong resembling Tang Dynasty style. But I must admit it is a very beautiful garden. Though it was newly opened in November 2006, it has attracted a lot of travelers, including overseas visitors and photogenic fans. In deed the scenery here is extremely picturesque. No wonder people come with their professional cameras.

Trees, Stones, Flowers, Waterfall
In Nan Lian Garden, the beautiful landscape is combined with a good balance of water, trees and stones, all had their individual postures and style. You must admit that the gardener does a very good job.

Ponds and Fishes
In a typical Chinese garden, ponds with fishes are musts. You would find the kois here are giant size. In Chinese ‘koi’ carries the meaning of wealth and prosperity. Everybody loves to admire them. But mind you, no feeding here.

Exhibitions There are facilities for exhibitions and conferences here. The Chinese architecture miniatures exhibition is free. The other exhibition hall charge HK$20 for adults and HK$10 for children.

Restaurants, Tea Houses and Souvenior Shop
As Nan Lian Garden is managed by a Baddish organisation in Hong Kong, the food provided here is vegetarian. Served with religious music, why not calm down and enjoy a vegetarian meal and getto know about Chinese vegetarian food culture.

At the Tea House, you can also check out the Chinese tea culture. There are minimum charges at the Long Men Lou Restaurant: Lunch HK$85, Dinner HK$110, Tea Time HK$40. I noticed there was a long line waiting for seats around tea time. I think the food here isn’t bad at all.

I had never expected a world class souvenior shop here, but it does exit. It sells top quality Chinese artifacts and very professionally made items. I seldom recommend souvenior shops, but this one is an exception. Spend some time here, you must find something you like.

Travel Information
Opening hours: 7am – 9pm
Admission: Free
Transportation: MTR Diamond Hill Station, Exit C2, three minutes walk
Garden route: One way, you won’t miss any scenic point
Information map: Bilingual (English/Chinese)
Recommended travel time: 2 hours, excluding dinning time
Hong Kong Travel Blog - Parks & Gardens

Friday, April 3, 2009

Travel Hong Kong On An Open Top Bus

You might be familiar with the hop on, hop off open-top buses in London. They have recently landed in Hong Kong. I have noticed that this new sightseeing vehicle has become more and more popular.

The Red Tour – Hong Kong
• The Star FerryPeak

• Tramway
• Wan Chai and Expo Centre
• Victoria Harbour
• Central, Lan Kwai Fong and SOHO

The Blue Tour – Kowloon
As you travel through the streets of Kowloon, you will discover the hustle and bustle of everyday Hong Kong life and a variety of sights, sounds and smells. The Tour passes shops, restaurants, churches, monuments, parks and markets, and offers something unique both to the resident and visitor alike.

Night Tour
Tours depart every night from the Avenue of the Stars (adjacent to Starbucks) before the Symphony of Lights Show at 19:00 and again directly after the show at 20:30. The tour offers a recorded commentary in a choice of 8 languages.

Your Big Bus Ticket Includes
• Two tours for the price of one• 24 hour unlimited use• Free return ticket on
Peak Tram • Free upper deck return ticket on the Star Ferry • Night Tour Combo Option

Tour Prices
Price Night Tour Big Bus Tour Combo Tour

• Adults HK$ 200.00 ($26) HK$ 320.00 ($41) HK$ 420.00 ($54)
• Children HK$ 200.00 ($26) HK$ 200.00 ($26) HK$ 300.00 ($39)
• Family HK$ 600.00 ($77) HK$ 840.00 ($108) HK$ 1140.00 ($147)
Discounts available for fixed date tickets.

Family = 2 adults + 2 children
Combo Tour = Big Bus Tour + Night Tour

Day Tour
10:00 – 18:00

Night Tour
19:00 - 20:30

Hong Kong Travel Blog - Sightseeing