Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park is a small public city park on Hong Kong Island in Central. It is surrounded on one side by the skyscrapers and on the other side by Victoria Peak. But in the small 8 hectare (20 square acres) space between Cotton Tree Drive and Kennedy Road, the Hong Kong Provisional Urban Council and the Hong Kong Jockey Club opened this park in 1991. It is free and attracts a million visits a year. In the big garden is a pond that covers a former tennis court, waterfalls or rapids and several important facilities including a sports facility, a big aviary, museums, a plant conservatory and a children's playground. The park has won several awards including one from the United State Urban Services Department for its excellent design and facilities in the crowded urban area. The aviary is a walk through aviary. This means that you can walk on a walkway through the tree canopy so that you can see the birds flying around inside up close. The little Hong Kong Park has a lot of interesting attractions crammed into it and is a major highlight of a visit to Hong Kong Island.
There are both major and minor attractions in this city park. The major highlights are the Sports Centre, the aviary, and the conservatory that is a big green house for plants. But if you are interested in visual arts or tea or antique Chinese porcelain, you might think that the Visual Arts Center or the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware are the main attractions in the park. If you have children or a child, the Children's Playground may be your favorite place in the park. If you are interested in architecture, the well-preserved British military buildings that are at least 100 years old might be the most interesting feature. If you just want a place to get out of the bustle and relax, maybe the garden plaza will attract you. The park is an interesting place to go for a stroll. There are several gardens and lots of water.
The Edward Youde Aviary has about 600 or so birds flying around freely inside a wire mesh framework that has a surface area of about 3,000 square meters. The highest point of the aviary is 30 meters above the ground. In the aviary is a walkway where you can walk above the ground at tree level to see the birds. There are about 600 or so birds of about 90 species flapping around inside. The aviary also has smaller cages where you can see birds of other species up close, and other waterfowl species can be found in the pond area, so there are more than 100 bird species in the park. Some birds are predatory, so they are kept by themselves.
The Forsgate Conservatory measures about 1,400 square meters. It is climate controlled and is divided into three compartments called the Display Plant House, the Dry Plant House and the Humid Plant House. Visitors get to experience different simulated environmental conditions.
The Museum of Tea Ware is a division of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. There are nine display rooms. There is antique Chinese porcelain tea ware made in Yixing in Jiangsu Province. The museum helps people understand the history of both Chinese and British tea. Some good quality tea is available for buy.
The Squash Centre is the largest squash court facility in Hong Kong with 12 air-conditioned courts. Play is free. Each year, the Hong Kong Squash Open and many other international tournaments are held in this Center. There is a light refreshment restaurant that also provides catering services. 30 minutes of play costs about 3.50 USD.
The Children's Playground features 6 levels for kids to play in with a soft floor for safety and comfort. There is a closed circuit television security system. Olympic Square is an ancient Greek or Roman style open amphitheater that can seat about 900 people. Plays, concerts, sports and entertainment spectacles are put on there.
It is at 19 Cotton Tree Road in Central District of Hong Kong Island.
The area was once British military garrison buildings. So in the park area, you can see buildings built between 1842 and 1910. These buildings were renovated and now house the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, the Park Management Office, the Visual Arts Center and other small institutions. Building a city park in the area was an old idea, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Hong Kong government cooperated to build the park. The Hong Kong Jockey Club managed the development of the project and donated 170,000,000 HKD. Building the park cost about 400,000,000 HKD, and it was finished in 1991. Wong Tung & Partners Limited was the architectural firm employed for Hong Kong Park.
The renovated old British military buildings are impressive and look solidly built. The aviary is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, and the new construction and old buildings help to form an interesting architectural complex. Flowing water was used as a motif to tie the complex together. Some people say that all the water makes them feel refreshed.
- The Edward Youde Aviary is Hong Kong's biggest aviary and one of the biggest walk through aviaries in the world. In it, visitors walk on a platform above the trees and can see the birds flying around them up close. The aviary is a big structure that is 30 meters above the ground at the highest point. It features birds from the Malesia ecological region that is the large region stretching from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia to New Guinea.
- Forsgate Conservatory houses plants from different climate regions.
- Hong Kong Squash Center.
- Hong Kong Park Indoor Games Hall.
- A restaurant and places to get refreshments.
- Interesting and stately colonial British architecture.
- Watching the birds and walking through the conservatory that recreates plant ecological zones.
- Many good photographic opportunities. The British-built buildings make good shots.
- Enjoying the free garden plaza.
- Seeing the architecture.
- Eating at the restaurants or food kiosks. There are two small restaurants in the Squash Center and in the Museum of Tea Ware.
- Being refreshed by the waterfalls, ponds, streams, and fountains.
- Best Time to Visit: Hong Kong is still fairly warm and is drier in October and November.
- How To Go There: Exit C1 of the Admiralty MTR Station or Bus No. 3B, 12, 12A, 23, 23B, 40, or 103. The park can be easily reached by walking through Pacific Place and using the escalator.
- Facilities, Hours, and Fees
|Park (Outdoor Facilities)||6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.||Free|
|Sports Center||7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.|
|Squash Center||7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.||30 minutes of play for about 27 HKD.|
|Booking Office for Sports Facilities||7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.|
|Aviary||9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Free|
|Conservatory||9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Free|
|Park Restaurant||11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.|
|Squash Center's Light Refreshment Restaurant||11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Museum of Tea Ware||10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.||Free|
|Park Office:||(852) 2521 5041|
|Fax:||(852) 2537 1236|
Nearby is the Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens that is a free fairly large zoo and a collection of plants of about a thousand species; and above that is woods/jungle area with a road leading up to the top of Victoria Peak. It is one of the oldest zoos in the world. The area is open to the public, and the climb up is great exercise, and you see great views of Hong Kong
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