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Top 7 most popular Hong Kong natural attractions

A postcard you’ve sent of Hong Kong likely displays its skyscraper-studded skyline rising high above the harbour. But beyond its talen.id urban façade, Hong Kong is also home to giant green peaks and scraggly coastlines that make up a beautiful natural landscape. The Hong Kong Chronicles Institute, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving Hong Kong history through a series of books, gathered more than 530,000 votes – from residents and tourists – to come up with a list of the top 10 natural wonders in the territory. From reservoirs and peaks to nature reserves and beaches, here are Hong Kong’s most popular natural attractions.

1. ‭ ‬High Island Reservoir’s rock columns

Part of the Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark

, the hexagonal rock columns in the Sai Kung Peninsula are a result of a prehistoric volcanic eruption. A hiking trail brings you right next to the jutting rock faces and atop the nearby hill for a sweeping view of the cliffs sloping into the bay.

2. Tai O fishing village

This longstanding fishing village

sits on Lantau Island’s western coast. Houses on wooden stilts extend into the inlet, which feeds into the Pearl River Delta. Aside from Tai O’s human heritage, many of its flora and fauna are also unique, including native mangroves, mudskippers and the rare Chinese white dolphin.

3. Tai Lam Chung Reservoir

Also called “Thousand Islands Lake

”, this reservoir in Tuen Mun is dotted with hilly islands of various shapes, which used to be connected before the valley was flooded. Get to the perfect viewpoint after a 200m climb once you’re inside Tai Lam Country Park.

4. Tai Mo Shan’

s sea of clouds

Hong Kong’s highest peak

, 957 metres above sea level, is beloved for its panoramic sunrises and sunsets. And most frequently between winter and spring, clouds settle just below the peak to obscure the cityscape far below, creating a magical effect.

5. Sharp Island

Off Sai Kung’s coast, this narrow island

boasts beaches and clear water suitable for snorkelling. The island’s signature feature, the tombolo – a thin strip of rocks and sand – connects to the Kiu Tau islet and is walkable during low tide. Scattered there are fractured granite boulders, aptly named “Pineapple Bun Rocks”.

6. Shing Mun Reservoir’s paperbark trees

South of Tai Mo Shan, one of Shing Mun Country Park’s most picturesque spots is at the reservoir

, where reflections of pale paperbark trees at the water’s edge mirror the sky on clear days. When the water level is low, you can walk right up to the trees’ gnarled roots.

7. Ha Pak Nai

This Hong Kong wetland

extends from Lau Fau Shan, a village in Yuen Long, into Shenzhen Bay and is home to mangroves, migratory birds and horseshoe crabs among other marine life – perfect for bird watching. Come evening, the tide recedes to reveal a long stretch of mudflats illuminated by the sunset.

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