Lonely Planet review
Designed to look anything but natural, Hong Kong Park is one of the most unusual parks in the world, emphasising artificial creations such as its fountain plaza, conservatory, waterfall, indoor games hall, playground, t’ai chi garden, viewing tower, museum and arts centre. For all its artifice, the eight-hectare park is beautiful in its own weird way and, with a wall of skyscrapers on one side and mountains on the other, makes for some dramatic photographs.
The best feature of the park is the delightful Edward Youde Aviary , named after a former Hong Kong governor (1982–86) and China scholar. Home to more than 600 birds representing some 90 different species, it’s nothing like a conventional aviary and more like a bit of rainforest planted in the middle of the city. Visitors walk along a wooden bridge suspended some 10m above the ground and at eye level with tree branches, where most of the birds are to be found. The Forsgate Conservatory on the slope overlooking the park is the largest in Southeast Asia.
At the park’s northernmost tip is the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware . Built in 1846 as the home of the commander of the British forces, it is the oldest colonial building in Hong Kong still standing in its original spot. The museum, a branch of the Hong Kong Museum of Art , houses a collection of antique Chinese tea ware: bowls, teaspoons, brewing trays, sniffing cups (used particularly for enjoying the fragrance of the finest oolong from Taiwan) and, of course, teapots made of porcelain or purple clay from Yixing. The ground-floor cafe is a great place to recharge over a pot of fine tea.
The KS Lo Gallery , in a building southeast of the museum, contains rare Chinese ceramics and stone seals collected by the gallery’s eponymous benefactor.
On the eastern edge of the park, the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre , housed in the Cassels Block of the former Victoria Barracks, supports local sculptors, printmakers and potters, and stages exhibitions.
Hong Kong Park is an easy walk from either Central or the Admiralty MTR station.