Hong Kong is such a fantastic city to visit but there are times when you just want to escape the hustle and bustle. Let me take you on a walk around the wetland park situated in the new territories. The journey is quite an experience in itself; I took four different modes of transport getting there and back. The MTR and the local monorail on my outward journey and on my return I went via bus and then jumped on a tram for my final leg. On arrival you’ll probably be as surprised as I was to be surrounded by high rise flats, but it’s not long before all that gets left behind as you enter the tranquillity of the wetland park.
The site covers over 60 hectares and you can spend hours going back and forth along the well thought out paths or the mangrove board-walks, seeing all the different flora and fauna that is on offer here.
One of the first things that took my breath away was the water lilies. A variety of colours, some just ready to burst open. Here, if you’re patient, you might be lucky to catch one of the beautiful displays from the numerous dragonflies. They fly at such phenomenal speed that I was unable to do them the justice they deserve with my amateur camera work. However I did see an Asian Amberwing dragonfly later in the day just perched aloft a stick, absolutely stock still.
The board-walks cover vast areas of shallow water and I saw quite a few fish darting after each other stirring up the silt as the disappeared. At the end of one of these board-walks you’re suddenly in amongst a wooded area and you can hear all these different sounds from various birds and all sorts of insects; so hard to spot with the untrained eye. It certainly piques your senses.
There are plenty of viewing platforms and hides for bird spotting. I only managed to see a Heron while stopping briefly at one of these. Like so many things in life it is all down to timing. I did see a red-whiskered babul (Pycnonotus jocosus) which was a first for me and I was completely blown away by its beauty. It was an extremely hot day, about 32c, and you could see the bird doing it’s very best to keep cool.
There was one walk way that takes you over a little wooden bridge and earlier in the day I’d seen someone taking photos; so as not to disturb him I made a mental note to go back there. I wasn’t disappointed, there was an abundance of tiny crabs and mudskippers scurry around the mud, popping up out of nowhere. This would have been so easy to have missed as all too often I believe that we walk along looking straight ahead and not always at the mud or ground we’re walking over.
There are some very good facilities and learning zones for both children and adults, giving a great insight into the wetlands and the importance of conservation. There’s even a maze for a little light hearted fun with the youngsters. It’s only on a mini scale so there’s no fear of you losing anyone. A great day out for all the family