10 Best Hong Kong Outdoor Activities: Out and About in the City

Hong Kong is a big city, for sure, but it's got a great outdoors that would appeal to adults and children alike. Four-tenths of Hong Kong is officially designated country park, few parts of the city aren't in sight of water, it's dotted with parks large and small, and the outlying islands are a world away from the concrete jungle.

One of Hong Kong's most famous attractions is the Star Ferry, which putters back and forth between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Besides being highly inexpensive, it's also one of the world'd great sightseeing trips. Nothing says "outdoors" like one of Hong Kong's street markets, such as Ladies Market. And then there's Hong Kong's brace of theme parks – Disney and Ocean Park. Of course, you don't have to head to a "destination" – simply wandering the streets and alleyways is an entertainment in itself, and the city is very safe, with hardly any street crime.

One thing to note: Hong Kong gets hot in summer time – take adequate drinking water if you are venturing out to one of the more remote country parks, and don't be shy about using an umbrella to ward off the sun. It's what the locals do on a regular basis.

Stanley Market
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

Stanley is possibly Hong Kong's best-known market. And with good reason. It's part of a community set by the sea, with plenty of restaurants and cafes so you can pause for refreshment. The goods on sale are fabulously varied, and the traders...  Read More

Photo courtesy of The Peninsula

There are four main tours with Heliservices, the only flightseeing operation in Hong Kong. The first flies around Hong Kong Island, concentrating on Victoria Harbour. The flight lasts approximately 15 minutes. Slightly longer, the Hong Kong...  Read More

Museum of Coastal Defence
Photo courtesy of Museum of Coastal Defence

This site dates back over a century, to when Lei Yue Mun Fort was a strategic part of Hong Kong's defenses. It was the scene of fierce fighting during the Japanese invasion on 1941, and later became a regular barracks. So its current role as a...  Read More

Wong Tai Sin Temple
Photo courtesy of Wong Tai Sin Temple

This well-known attraction was built in 1973 and is still one of the most active Buddhist temples in the city. The lush gardens, with their waterfalls, ponds and pavilions, inspire numerous photographs. Be sure to wander through the arcade,...  Read More

Happy Valley Racecourse
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

Surrounded by high-rises, this downtown racecourse is one of the greatest stadiums on earth to enjoy a sweaty, noisy and adrenaline-pumping horse race at night. Dating back to 1844, the 55,000-seat racecourse is one of the earliest public...  Read More

Sai Kung Country Park
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

The New Territories, once home to nothing but pastoral meadowlands, are quickly becoming industrialized and commercialized. However, this park remains a bastion of natural beauty. This unspoiled seaside area of parkland features hiking trails...  Read More

Hong Kong Disneyland
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Disneyland

Escape the city center for a family day trip to fantasy by the overly cute Disneyland Resort Line from Sunny Bay metro station. Currently the smallest of all Disneylands, the 240,000-square-meter park is compact and easily navigated (like...  Read More

Occupying three blocks of Tung Choi Street, this enclave of more than 100 stalls represents the epitome of Asia's market culture: a bit crowded, a lot noisy but totally stimulating. Rather than what its name suggests, the 1,000-meter-long market...  Read More

Ocean Park
Photo courtesy of Ocean Park

This massive wonderland is a combination of amusement park, aquarium and zoo. It has enough activity to keep everyone in the family busy for an entire day. Built around several hills near the South China Sea, the 780,000-square-meter park is...  Read More


Star Ferry is the loveliest attraction in Hong Kong. This 115-year-old service is one of these rare attractions that are hailed by both tourists and locals. Shuttling between Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon side, and Central and Wan Chai on Hong Kong...  Read More


Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for much of his life.