Hong Kong Park, perched over the skyscrapers of Central, is a green slice of peace and quiet in the mayhem of Hong Kong’s urban jungle and a great place to grab a breath of fresh air amongst its landscaped gardens. The park features an aviary, the Hong Kong Teaware Museum and a number of colonial buildings set amongst intricately designed gardens.
To call Hong Kong Park a park is somewhat of a misnomer, as there is absolutely nothing wild about the setting. Those expecting London’s Hyde Park or New York’s Central Park will be disappointed; Hong Kong Park is actually an impeccably groomed parade of trees, flowers, fountains and ponds but you won’t find a blade of grass to set up your picnic on.
The highlight of the park is the artificial lake, which incorporates a number of waterfalls and rockpools and is home to a colony of turtles that spend their days lounging around on the rocks. The park is also fenced in by Hong Kong’s forest of skyscrapers and the slopes of Victoria Peak, making for some great pictures. If you can make it to the park just after dawn, you’ll also find Hong Kong’s legion of Tai Chi followers stretching their limbs.
Elsewhere, the park is also home to the Edward Youde Aviary, a designer walkthrough facility that takes visitors up to the tree canopy via elevated walkways. The aviary features around 90 species of birds native to Asia.
Hong Kong Park was, up until 1979, the British Victoria Barracks and there are still a number of colonial buildings left over from its time in the military.
By far the finest is Flagstaff House, once the luxurious home for the British Commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong. The building now houses the Hong Kong Teaware Museum. The Museum has a fine collection of porcelain and tea related antiques but, more interestingly, also hosts tea tasting sessions. Even if you don’t fancy a cup of chai, this grandiose 19th century building with its wide verandas and cool columns is well worth a visit.
Also set in the park is the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, which utilises a suitably imperious looking former British barrack block.
How to Get to Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park is at 19 Cotton Tree Drive. It is best reached via the Admiralty MTR using Exit C1. You will walk through Pacific Place shopping mall to reach the park. The park is open from 6a.m. until 11p.m.