As exciting as Hong Kong can be with all of its never-ending movement and frantic energy, it can get a bit tiring for those who require a bit of nature in their life to balance everything out. Hong Kong Park is the perfect oasis in the metropolis and is as defining to the city’s urban landscape, just as Central Park is to New York City for example. Costing just under $400 million dollars to complete, the park opened in May 1991 to an excited audience. Today, friends, families, and lovers all love to enjoy the winding pathways, shades of greenery, and chirping of birds found throughout the park’s 8 large acres on the compact Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Park is also a favorite for photographers since the stark contrast between the humble, vibrant flora and the city’s iconic skyscrapers just next to the property’s reaches.
The land on which Hong Kong Park is found was once the British Army’s Victoria Barracks. Despite the site now being a fine example of modern design alongside urban landscaping, its past is well recognized. The Hong Kong Visual Arts Center is currently housed in what was the Cassels Block for married British officers, the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry and the Office of the Park (a preferred spot for photos for newly or just married couples) was Rawlinson House and home of the British Deputy General, and the Education & Aviary Center was the Wavell House for additional married British officers, to name a few standing relics.
Perhaps the most famous former British construction in Hong Kong Park is Flagstaff House, former residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces, which is now the Flagship House Museum of Teaware; it is a popular place for locals and visitors to experience and try traditional tea in Hong Kong.
In a city of contrasts, Hong Kong Park is no exception to the rule. One of the main reasons to visit is to admire the urban planning which somehow allows the park its much needed tranquility and peacefulness. Overall, the best part of the park is that it is a simple place to retreat to for personal time, people watch, and wind down.
The low lying greenery with the tall city buildings in the background make for a unique visual contrast.
Some other highlights in the park to keep your eye out for are the viewing tower, aviary center with more than 600 birds of 90 species, waterfall, lake which is popular with ducks and fishes, conservatory, tai chi garden, fountains, amphitheater, clock tower, restaurant, children’s playground with 6 levels of play, and of course some snack stalls to get your fill of some tasty grub.
At least 1 hour is recommended for enjoying the park. The best way to access Hong Kong Park is to take the MTR metro to station Admiralty, then walking through the Pacific Place shopping center. It is one of the most premier commercial centers in the city with over 130 luxury stores over 4 levels; all levels above this are for businesses such as 3 5-star hotels, 3 office towers, and some of the most exclusive and expensive private apartments in the world.
The park is also in the very heart of the Central area of Hong Kong Island, the main area of Hong Kong’s finances and administration since recent history. Here you will have convenient access to the top international shops, restaurants, and nightlight. The same goes for the Wan Chai area just a short stop away by MTR metro.
Finally, it is an easy and convenient stop if you are also planning to go to Victoria Peak.