HONG KONG is known as a place to shop and taste Michelin-quality cuisine. But, make no mistake that Hong Kong also has great natural attractions for relaxing or adventuring.

The following are recommendations for natural tourist destinations that can be enjoyed by tourists planning to vacation in Hong Kong, according to the official broadcast of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Hiking tours
As a top destination for hikers, many trails in Hong Kong cater not only to hikers of varying skill levels, but also to nature lovers looking for ways to fully immerse themselves into Hong Kong’s natural beauty.

Beginners can try the ascent of the Lau Shui Heung Reservoir, taking tourists to the famous “horizon mirror” on Instagram.

Meanwhile, mid-level climbers can try the Tai Tam Reservoir hike, which takes climbers from Quarry Bay north of Hong Kong Island to the beautiful beaches of southern Repulse Bay by passing through a group of Tai Tam reservoirs.

Experienced climbers can also challenge themselves with the Wilson Trail, stretching from Stanley Gap, on Hong Kong Island all the way to Nam Chung in the New Territories.

Indonesian climber and Hong Kong Superfan Ida Serena Purwati recommends High Junk Peak as one of her favorite trails.

Hikers can choose between easy trails or relaxing trails, both offering stunning views along the way and relaxing on the beautiful Clear Water Bay Beach after a hike as a reward.

Experience stand-up paddling
Three Fathoms Cove (located right in the seaside villages of Yung Shue O and Sham Chung) is the perfect location to vacation and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With views of the hills and turquoise waters, stand-up paddling is the perfect activity to try while exploring Hong Kong’s rich biodiversity.

Surrounded by mangroves and fish farms that have a variety of species, paddle paddling towards Yung Shue O, tourists will be spoiled for Hong Kong’s diverse marine life, and will probably find rare butterflies there as the village is also known as a butterfly habitat.

Follow the 60km super bike track
For those who don’t mind sweating, Hong Kong offers a variety of cycling routes for beginners to the experienced. Cycle through Hong Kong’s wetlands, parks and mountains on the new 60km Super Bike Track, which connects Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan in the New Territories.

Don’t forget to stop by and take a breath of the sea air around Cheung Chau, a favorite island of tourists and locals alike. Indulge your eyes with the atmosphere of ancient villages on the promenade, Instagrammable cafes, and modern places.

Splitting the waves and wakesurfing
For travelers who prefer the sensation of riding waves to touching the clouds, wakesurfing is definitely a fun option to try while in Hong Kong.

A popular activity among locals, wakesurfing is the perfect activity to enjoy the warmth of Hong Kong.

Filipino model and Hong Kong Superfan Jeanine Tsoi shared the story of how she would rather spend her weekends outside the city, and often went surfing at Sai Kung from summer to mid-autumn with her friends.

Jeanine recounted that she also wanted to climb more mountains, and tried wakesurfing in other areas besides Sai Kung while she was in Hong Kong to study for a Masters.

Home to a former fishing village, Sai Kung Town offers visitors a variety of water sports from diving to kayaking, making it a top destination in summer. Surf along the coast of Sai Kung Peninsula while enjoying the breeze and refreshing beach water.

Kayaking through 55 million years of history and volcanic rock formations
Often referred to as the unique Geopark in the City because it is only an hour away from the center of the crowd, the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark has no shortage of interesting geographical attractions. These include volcanic hexagonal rock columns, sedimentary rock formations formed more than 55 million years ago, as well as mangrove and coral communities, all scattered in the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region that make up the geopark.

These geoparks are unique not only in their various natural attractions but also in how they allow visitors to experience the natural beauty of Hong Kong.

Instead of a regular walking tour, a popular and more fun way to explore the park is to kayak. Visitors can admire rocks and sea caves up close, and even through uninhabited islands by kayaking.

Explore Hakka culture in a former salt-producing village from the 1990s
A former salt-producing village abandoned in the 1990s, the Yim Tin Tsai salt field was developed by Hakka residents who came to the small town of Sai Kung. In 2015, historic salt fields were restored for demonstration purposes and earned a UNESCO Asia-Pacific for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Years later, visitors can get a glimpse of the Hakka customs, heritage, and folklore of the Hakka settlers who migrated more than 300 years ago.

Take a walk on peng Chau Island
A relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the small island of Peng Chau offers visitors a variety of festive art spaces, aesthetically pleasing cafes, and quaint little shops full of unique trinkets and souvenirs.

A trading center during the Qing dynasty, Peng Chau was home to many factories and small businesses on the island, making it a great choice for those who want to visit a place rich in history.

The island is also home to many Instagramable places, including old factories, beaches, and temples that showcase a unique personality.

Visit stunning villages and islands from Hong Kong’s longest pieR
Once a closed border town, Sha Tau Kok is gradually reopening with its docks in June 2022. Built in the 1960s, the pier is the longest in the city and can take visitors to Lai Chi Wo, Kat O, and Ap Chau among other islands. The pier is located at the easternmost point of Hong Kong, close enough to catch a glimpse of Shenzhen across the border.

Lai Chi Wo is the oldest, largest, and well-preserved rural settlement near the northeastern coast of the New Territories. Tourists can immerse themselves in the greenery of mangroves and large fung shui forests that surround the 300-year-old Hakka village.

Another island that can be visited is Kat O, a former fishing village that houses the Kat O Tin Hau temple built during the Qing dynasty in honor of Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea and protector of sailors and fishermen, or Ap Chau, which is famous for its spectacular, Instagramable rock formations including those shaped like duck heads.

As Hong Kong prepares to welcome international tourists back, it is poised to showcase more of its natural wonders and diversity. [antarannews/photo special]