Pic credit score – Cat Wong, Ampersand Studio
The International World Metropolis, Hong Kong could also be identified for being one of the crucial densely populated cities on the earth, cocooned in a thicket of gleaming skyscrapers. What would possibly come as a shock to many is that amidst this bustling metropolis, legendary for its world class delicacies and a vibrant nightlife, lies an infinite inexperienced paradise containing wildlife that prospers within the coronary heart of this concrete jungle, ready to be explored.
40% of Hong Kong’s whole land space is reserved for nation parks and that coupled with the pure panorama means, the wild facet of Hong Kong wins palms down in sq. miles as in comparison with its brick and mortar. Two Nationwide Geographic explorers Astrid Alex Andersson, a resident of Hong Kong since she was two, and Jonathan Cybulski who’s pursuing his doctorate in Marine Biology record down their favorite outside jaunts.
34-year-old Andersson is at present pursuing her PhD on the wildlife commerce and an launched city inhabitants of yellow-crested cockatoos on the College of Hong Kong. She has been immersing herself within the pure facet of Hong Kong from the age of two, when her mother and father relocated from Sweden, and has since been exploring the pure areas surrounding her. In line with her, Hong Kong is residence to a plethora of fascinating bugs, flowers and vegetation; and following are a few of her go to locations for a dose of Hong Kong freshness:
Mai Po Nature Reserve
The internationally acclaimed marshlands of the Mai Po Nature Reserve are probably the greatest locations to identify a lot of Hong Kong’s greater than 550 species of birds. For greater than three many years, the 5 major habitats in Mai Po Nature Reserve and the encompassing space particularly, gei wai, freshwater ponds, inter-tidal mudflats, mangroves and reedbeds have been a haven for tens of 1000’s of migratory waterbirds every year, in flip setting a major instance of conservation success for regional wetlands.
Hong Kong Park in Central
Andersson highlights the world in and round Hong Kong Park as probably the greatest locations to see the critically endangered Yellow-Crested Cockatoos – not simply in Hong Kong however in your complete world – with over a 100 of them congregating there at sure occasions of the yr.
Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve
Located within the valley behind the 300-year-old Hakka village of Fung Yuen sprawls the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, a protected web site that’s residence to greater than 200 species of butterflies, together with the gorgeous Widespread Birdwing and White Dragontail varieties. Together with the butterflies, you may additionally spot some uncommon breeds of terns. In case you go to the reserve on the final Sunday of every month, you could be part of the Butterfly Competition to make the most of a collection of exhibitions and guided excursions.
Au Regulation Natural Farm close to Yuen Lengthy
Astrid suggests, for a style of Hong Kong’s freshest produce, head to the Au Regulation Farm. Right here guests can pattern scrumptious, naturally cultivated greens and honey. “It truly is heart-warming to know that these sorts of locations persist, the place persons are nonetheless farming natural native greens, or they’re holding bees and so they’re making their very own honey. That’s a facet of Hong Kong that I do not suppose many individuals even know exists,” she says.
Andersson additionally recommends the jungle-set mountain climbing trails round Hok Tau Reservoir in Pat Sin Leng Nation Park
US-born, Hong Kong-based, historic ecologist and Nationwide Geographic Explorer Jonathan Cybulski is a part of the coral biogeochemistry laboratory on the College of Hong Kong, the place he’s pursuing his PhD. 31-year-old Cybulski makes a speciality of finding out coral ecosystems.
It’s Hong Kong’s mixture of the pure and the man-made, the agricultural and the city, that has left the most important impression on Cybulski and these are a number of locations he says you need to have in your bucket record whenever you go to Hong Kong:
Sai Kung Peninsula
Do you know that Hong Kong has extra coral species than your complete Caribbean mixed! Additionally dubbed the ‘again backyard of Hong Kong’, Jon has found charming fishing villages, mountain climbing trails, sweeping views, beautiful seashores and quite a few picturesque islands only a stone’s throw from the town at Sai Kung.
The locations Cybulski recommends to see the very best range and the very best coral cowl in Hong Kong are across the outlying islands between Mirs Bay and Port Shelter within the territory’s northeast, together with Tung Ping Chau, Crescent Island, Bluff Island and Sharp island, and within the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, a big protected space close to Sai Kung that’s residence to coral and plenty of different sorts of sea life.
Hong Kong UNESCO International Geopark
The waters surrounding Hong Kong UNESCO International Geopark are wealthy with sea life. Stretching from the well-known Ninepin islands within the south to Tung Ping Chau within the north, the Geopark serves as a putting reminder of the territory’s geological previous, when 85% of Hong Kong’s land was fashioned by tremendous volcano eruptions between 140 to 165 million years in the past, creating an abundance of rocky outcrops and intricately textured islands which might be each visually beautiful and geologically fascinating. Each path underfoot and every eye-catching formation has its distinctive historical past, providing tactile connections to a volcanic previous.
“All of the islands are volcanic, so that they’re very, very steep, however they’re vegetated nearly proper to the sting, so you’ve got this skinny band of orangey rock after which vegetation then blue water,” explains Cybulski. Significantly putting are the “total islands product of what appear to be chiselled octagonal columns” that have been created when the magma cooled. Such formations are uncommon sufficient globally, however the reality they’re composed of rhyolite reasonably than basalt, in addition to the dimensions on which they happen, make Hong Kong’s variations completely distinctive.
‘Ghost Island’ of Yim Tin Tsai
The ‘Ghost Island’ of Yim Tin Tsai. Positioned a 15-minute ferry journey from Sai Kung City, the island is legendary for its eerie deserted village, its lush mangroves and the saltpans that give it its identify (‘Little Salt Pan’ in Cantonese), and which garnered an Award of Distinction on the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2015.
With such a various array of points of interest, each pure and cultural, for Cybulski there may be nowhere on the earth – fairly like Sai Kung.
There isn’t any doubt that with greater than 250 islands, 24 nation parks, six marine parks and a marine reserve, Hong Kong has much more to it than neon lights, glass and concrete. It presents a treasure trove of pure wonders which might be a feast for the senses begging to be explored.
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