[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.145) - Hong Kong (China) : The city of nature


(WorldKings.org) With more than 250 islands, 24 country parks, six marine parks and a marine reserve, Hong Kong offers a treasure trove of natural wonders to explore and a feast for the senses. But for urban diversity researcher and National Geographic Explorer Astrid Alex Andersson, one of the greatest things about the city is that wildlife flourishes even in the heart of the concrete jungle.

 “The yellow-crested cockatoo, which is a critically endangered species from Indonesia, originally came to Hong Kong [many years ago] via the wildlife trade,” says Andersson of the distinctive white birds that can frequently be glimpsed soaring above the city’s CBD. “The population that we have here now is one of the largest remaining in the world.”

Andersson highlights the area in and around Hong Kong Park in Central as one of the best places to see the cockatoos – not just in Hong Kong but in the entire world – with up to 100 of them congregating there at certain times of the year.

“Everyone always thinks of Hong Kong as this massive metropolitan, urbanized landscape, but about 40% of the territory is protected country parks, which have a lot of very diverse wildlife in them, everything from critically endangered pangolins to many different species of birds and a plethora of insects and amphibians and reptiles.”

Among her personal favorite areas to visit is Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve near Tai Po, where visitors can see up to 200 species of butterfly, including over 130 that are seldom seen in Hong Kong.

Andersson also recommends the jungle-set hiking trails around Hok Tau Reservoir in Pat Sin Leng Country Park and, for a taste of Hong Kong’s freshest produce, Au Law Organic Farm near Yuen Long, where visitors can sample delicious, naturally cultivated vegetables and honey.

Ultimately, says Andersson, Hong Kong is a great example of how humans can coexist in harmony with nature, and this is something that everyone who lives in or visits the city should help to treasure.

According to nationalgeographic.com

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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