The large part of Hong Kong that is often overlooked by travellers is the nearby New Territories. Rich in history, culture and teeming with nature, it’s a whole other world waiting to be explored.
New Territories is one of the three main regions in Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. There, you can go dolphin spotting in Tai O, feast on seafood in Sai Kung, similarly hike the many scenic trails, and more.
Home to the outlying islands, mountainous terrains, ancient walled villages, beautiful countryside, untouched nature in Sai Kung – deemed as Hong Kong’s backyard – and so much more, it’s perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of the city!
Indeed, get that travel planner ready and start jotting down these activities for your next trip to Hong Kong.
1. Hike through untouched nature
Located in Sai Kung is arguably one of Hong Kong’s most underrated attractions — the Hong Kong Global Geopark. One of the ways to fully experience the beauty of this place it to embark on the Sai Kung Peninsula Hike.
As you trek across the rugged mountains of the Geopark, you will also discover untouched beaches and the famous hidden cliff jumping location. Make sure you plunge into the cool water to complete your ‘off the beaten track’ adventure!
2. Kayak around the islands of Sai Kung
Instead of embarking on a hike, you could also experience the beauty of Hong Kong Global Geopark from the crystal waters of Sai Kung. Join the kayak tour as you paddle around the islands and coastline of this tropical paradise.
In addition, professional guides will train you, ensuring that you’re getting the best kayak experience. Your adventure then continues with a snorkel in the clear waters of the Geopark. It’s also affectionately known as the Okinawa of Hong Kong.
3. Put your loose pants on for a seafood feast
When in Sai Kung, it’s a sin to not indulge in at least a meal of seafood! Coming highly recommended by the Michelin Food Guide (7 years consecutively to be exact!), Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant is the top choice in the area. With a wide variety of fresh seafood prepared by some of the best chefs, you won’t be disappointed.
4. Catch a glimpse of the opulent pink dolphins
Watch in awe at the beautiful and elegant Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in this half day tour. With a 97% sightseeing record, you can see the dolphins all year round! You’ll also be part of responsible ecotourism, by joining a tour that prioritizes in minimizing the disturbance of the dolphins’ habitat.
The white dolphins are also referred to as pink dolphins sometimes, because of how they appear! Being able to catch glimpses of the dolphins in their natural habitat is quite the magical experience.
5. Visit walled villages of yesteryear at Ping Shan
On a 1.6km heritage trail in Ping Shan, you will find historic buildings belonging to the Tang Clan. In fact, they’re the first of the Five Clans and original settlers of that area. Throughout the three villages along the trail, there are temples, residences, study halls and also ancestral halls.
The main highlights of the Ping Shan Heritage Trail include centuries-old ancestral halls, the 200-year-old walled village of Sheung Cheung Wai, Hong Kong’s oldest remaining pagoda – the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda, and more!
6. Hunt for hidden waterfalls at Plover Cove
Uncover the beautiful landscapes of Plover Cove Reservoir as you hike and cycle in one of the most pristine parts of Hong Kong. Along the way, you will discover secret waterfalls and lush forests, perfect solace from the concrete jungle. Do remember enough water, especially during warmer months – hydration is key!
7. Meet Pui Pui the crocodile in Hong Kong Wetland Park
Get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the region at Hong Kong Wetland Park – an outstanding ecotourism park in Tin Shui Wai. In this ecological park, you can find a diverse cast of wildlife from amphibians and reptiles to birds, butterflies, fishes and more.
The park has two areas, an indoor visitor center, the Wetland Interactive World, and an outdoor area, the Wetland Reserve. In the visitor center, you can find 3D cinema, a theatre, galleries, and a play area.
The 60-hectare outdoor reserve, on the other hand, is a recreation of the wildlife’s wetland habitats. With features like Wildside Walk, Stream Walk, Mangrove Boardwalk and more, you can get up close and personal with the animals. Make sure you stop over to say hi to Pui Pui, the crocodile!
8. Experience the best urban hike in Asia
Recently awarded Asia’s best urban hike by Time Magazine, Dragon’s Back is a classic trail that boasts a great view of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets. After the hike, head to the white sands of Tai Long Bay for a cooling swim or simply relax on the beach.
From mountain ridges to secluded forests and white sandy beach, no wonder Dragon’s Back is one of the most picturesque hikes in Hong Kong. Do remember to wear appropriate shoes as the trail can get rocky!
9. Take in the best panoramic views of Lantau Island
Step into the glass-bottomed crystal cabin of Ngong Ping 360 for the most spectacular views of the area from the most unique perspective! The 25-minute cable car ride boasts scenes over Lantau Island, the airport, the seascape and Ngong Ping Village.
Also home to the Po Lin Monastery, the Tian Tan Buddha, and giant wooden steles of Wisdom Path – Ngong Ping Village has lots for you to discover.
10. Get your camera ready for the Eco Photography Tour
Capture the sights of lush vegetation and wilderness through your lens as you hike the guided trail through Tai Lam Country Park’s unique landscapes. With a professional photographer guide alongside you, you’ll gain useful photography tips as well as insights on Hong Kong’s natural environment.
The breathtaking sights of Tai Lam Country Park are not to be taken granted for. Only decades ago, it was a barren wasteland. After afforestation efforts and against adversities like poor soil and frequent wildfires, lush vegetation that you see now slowly emerged!Book cheap flights to Hong Kong