As you may have gathered, Hong Kong can be very crowded. But there is definitely peace and quiet to be had, if you’re willing to look. On this trip (and in the past), we’ve sought out locations of peace and solitude. Here’s what we’ve found.
My cousin mentioned to me that he had visited Discovery Bay with his wife and son on one of his off days during the break. We needed to find some space so we decided to pay it a visit. We grabbed a ferry from the Central Piers (Pier 3) and took a short twenty-five minute ride to Discovery Bay.
It turns out Discovery Bay is home to a ton of expats. It’s also very beautiful and very empty. There are restaurants, a nice beach, and some paths to walk. You can’t actually go too far unless you’re a resident. Doesn’t sound too great?
Maybe not, but when you are surrounded by thousands of people all the time in Hong Kong, Discovery Bay feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s obviously it’s own little world – people speak English by default, tons of obviously rich foreigners – but it’s still tough not to enjoy it despite it not feeling like “authentic” Hong Kong.
M had a great time at Discovery Bay. She got her first taste of walking on the beach and seawater. I think anyone who has kids has experienced this – kid hates sand, kid starts getting used to sand, kid starts enjoying sand, kid really enjoys dipping toes in water. We had a great time.
There was also a nice playground on the beach with a huge slide that I may or may not have pushed M down. She enjoyed it. 🙂 But we mostly just spent our day walking around, enjoying the sunshine and space. There are also a few shops to browse if you’re tired of the outdoors.
Just a short walk from our hotel was Kowloon Park. To be honest, Kowloon Park can be kind of crowded, but it’s still a nice green space in a busy city. It’s also huge. There are nice things like ponds with flamingos and the like, and it’s a nice place to walk without bumping into people every two seconds.
But our real discovery was something called the Harbour View Observation Deck. We found it just by wandering and wandering since M was asleep in the stroller again.
The sun was setting and the deck boasted some incredible views of the harbor at dusk. It also was super quiet, there were barely any people there. Basically it was a peaceful little corner where you could enjoy the skyline of Hong Kong without a crush of people like at the Avenue of Stars. It was near some of the cruise ship terminals so the view wasn’t totally unobstructed, but it was still well worth a visit.
One drawback to Kowloon Park is the only elevator access is at the north end (near Jordan instead of TST). We carried M’s stroller all the way up three flights of stairs to get up there. Something to bear in mind if you’re thinking of visiting.
Hong Kong Wetland Park
A little caveat for this one. We visited this in the Summer of 2010 in the searing heat, so it could have been quiet because of that. But it’s pretty far out and you need to take the light rail so I think it’s probably never super crowded. Not like TST at least.
Anyway, the ecological park is just a large botanical garden, complete with ponds, flowers, and a lot of wildlife. It’s beautiful and a really relaxing place to walk – a tiny slice of nature. Really all of the New Territories are much less crowded than the city and worth the exploration.
When I lived in Hong Kong, my dad used to make us go hike around reservoirs all around the New Territories. There are a lot of places where you can get out and enjoy nature – don’t feel like you just need to be confined to the city.
Riding the Waves
I’ve already written about how much we enjoyed the Star Ferry. One more note if you’re trying to get away from the crowds – grab a ferry to somewhere, anywhere, during the middle of the day – and you should be able to find the peace and quiet you might be seeking.
Hong Kong is a beautiful harbor city, so getting out on the water is great way to enjoy it while avoiding the crowds.
Sometimes Hong Kong’s crowds can get overwhelming. If you’re looking for some space, feel free to try out one of these options. Every time we manage to find space like this in Hong Kong it just makes us enjoy the city even more. Enjoy stepping off the beaten path!
Other Posts in this Series