1. Hike where wild monkeys live
Imagine the look on your little ones’ faces when you tell them they’re about to hike with wild monkeys. The aptly named Monkey Hill, Kam Shan Country Park, accommodates approximately 90 per cent of the city’s macaque monkeys. You will be greeted by families of mischievous creatures hanging out everywhere, from road signs to the rooftops of pavilions. Set off on the easy 30-minute Kam Shan Family Walk Trail, which winds its way past lush trees, plants and reservoirs. Do exercise the necessary caution as always with wild animals.
2. Go island hopping
If you visit Sharp Island in Sai Kung (below) in the northeast part of Hong Kong, time it at low tide, when you can stroll along the sandy strip that connects the island to nearby Kiu Tau islet. You’ll also find various private boat operators along the Sai Kung Promenade; go island-hopping along the coast where you can see the spectacular hexagonal volcanic columns at High Island, sea caves, stacks and arches at Jin Island, and the breathtaking caldera at Po Pin Chau.
3. Cycle in the city’s backyard, Nam Sang Wai
Hire a bike for around US$30-50 a day from the rental shop near Exit A of Yuen Long MTR metro station. Follow the bike lane for 3.5km and you’ll arrive at the city’s backyard. Criss-crossed by two enchanting rivers, Nam Sang Wai is a great spot for cycling, with trails that lead you past large grass fields, ponds and woods. Pause for a picnic and some bird watching – many yellow-nib ducks and black-faced spoonbills can be seen here. Keen for more? Hop on the manually rowed wooden ferry for a lazy ride along the Shan Pui River. Don’t forget to take a family photo at the antique wooden bridge on the lake.
4. Dig for clams on Lantau Island
Roll up your sleeves and do some dirty work on a muddy beach in Shui Hau, Lantau Island – a perfect spot for clam digging when the tide is low. Clam digging tools can be rented from a small family-run store in the village, which is 10 minutes’ walk from the beach. The store owners will give you tips about the optimal size of clams to take – leave the small ones behind so the population can be sustained – and you can also ask them to cook the clams for you afterwards for a well-earned feast.
5. Fly kites and visit temples on lush Tap Mun
Lying in a meadow with cattle quietly grazing around you will surely make for a memorable moment. Tap Mun – nicknamed Grass Island because of its lush green hills – is a popular destination for picnicking, kite-flying and camping. If you have some energy to burn, embark on a two-hour-long circular walk of the island. Highlights include the fascinating Balanced Rock – two neatly stacked rectangular rocks reaching six metres high that looks like a Chinese character – the 400-year-old Tin Hau Temple and the Hilltop Pavilion with its sweeping sea views. There are plenty of traditional restaurants along the trail, so you can fuel up on dim sum mid-walk.
PHOTOS: DISCOVER HONG KONG
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.