The iconic representation of Hong Kong is its skyline, with hundreds of high-rise buildings in one of the world’s largest financial centers. Not far away, you can now find tremendous contrast in the peaceful Hong Kong Wetland Park.
The park was created by Hong Kong leaders in 2006 to address multiple regional needs. As an ecological mitigation area, it provides preserved green spaces to compensate for nearby commercial and residential development. Responsible wetlands management allows the opportunity to promote the area as an ecotourism site, a welcome respite for residents and tourists. If you are a bit overwhelmed by noise and crowding in the concentrated city center, visit these wetlands in New Territories for a relaxing and very educational escape.
The 250-acre (60-hectare) park has greenery, waterways and winding boardwalks, all in the shadows of Tin Shui Wai’s high-rises. Workers monitor plant and animal life regularly to track species in the park and determine how healthy the environment is. Look and listen for more than 240 bird species, many of them water birds. In other species categories, try to spot 9 amphibians, 28 reptiles, 52 dragonflies, 157 butterflies, and numerous fish, mammals and water plants. One special resident is Pui Pui, a saltwater crocodile, often seen sunning just at the water’s edge.
The 2.5-acre (10,000-square-meter) indoor Visitor Centre has five galleries, a 200-seat theater, Swamp Adventure children’s play area, souvenir shop and café. Visit the indoor viewing gallery to use telescope, CCTV and bird identification guides to help you identify species. Braille guides are available as are audio guides in Cantonese, Putonghua, English, Japanese and Korean. The entire site has been thoughtfully designed for barrier-free access.
The park is open daily except Tuesdays. Plan to spend four or more hours to explore indoor and outdoor areas. Dress appropriately for hot sun and the presence of mosquitoes.
Hong Kong Wetland Park is in Tin Shui Wai in New Territories. Although there is a small amount of paid parking, management requests that visitors use public transportation. Take the bus or LRT to Tin Sau Station or Wetland Park Station.