Sick of the same old boozy weekend brunches? Why not give your weekend a refresher and head out to Hong Kong’s beaches and parks for some al fresco picnic fun… There’s nothing like getting in touch with Hong Kong’s natural side to help you unwind after a week of working in the hustle and bustle of the city. So whether you’re packing your picnic basket with champagne and strawberries or stuffing some tin foil wrapped sandwiches into a backpack, it’s time to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather while it lasts! Here are our top picnic spots in Hong Kong to give you some inspiration…
HONG KONG ISLAND
This new park is part of the Tamar Development Project which will is a large, public space that includes not just a park but also an amphitheatre and a cool, social enterprise café called iBakery. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re seriously missing out! The space is huge with lush green grass (a rare find in HK!) and the super convenient location makes it so easy to get to. Simply hop on the Star Ferry if you’re coming from Kowloon or walk over from Central! The landscaped gardens and modern water features make this one of the best new parks in HK, so grab your picnic blanket and get out there… the perfect place for some evening drinks with friends.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Sai Ying Pun
After spending a lot of time (early in the morning, too!) at this park for a certain Bikini Fit programme, Sassy Editor Lauren can safely say that this is one place you want to try out for a picnic destination. If you’re not lifting weights on the waterfront (!), stroll along and take in the fresh sea breeze before you find yourself a relaxing little spot on the green grass under the statue of Mr. Sun Yat Sen himself. The facilities are top-notch and the location is super convenient for Soho/Central residents. We love!
Where: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Eastern Street North, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
How to get there: Take exit D from Sheung Wan MTR then it’s a short walk westwards along Connaught Road West to the entrance.
Victoria Park, Causeway Bay
The biggest park on Hong Kong Island rules them all, being easily accessible by public transport, having ample picnic blanket space, clean bathrooms and 19 hectares of space! After lunch, there are football pitches, basketball courts, a swimming complex and tennis courts to explore.
Where: Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
How to get there: Take exit E at Causeway Bay MTR station, then it’s a 5 minute walk along Great George Street (where there is also a handy Wellcome to stock up).
Victoria Peak Garden, The Peak
Another Victoria! Head to the roof of Hong Kong to enjoy an al fresco lunch at Victoria Peak Gardens. Miles away (in atmosphere, not distance), from the tourist hustle of the Peak Galleria, this pretty spot is perfect for enjoying some peace and quiet, and is a favourite of our That Girl, Lara Jefferies.
Where: 40 Mount Austin Road, The Peak, Hong Kong
How to get there: The gardens are a 15-20 minute walk, or a 5 minute drive from the Peak Galleria; just head on up Mount Austin Road.
Quarry Bay Promenade, Quarry Bay
Stroll along this lovely promenade and enjoy being by the sea! The wooden flooring makes you feel like you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and there are plenty of little benches along the way where you can sit down and enjoy a bite to eat. We love the sense of community and the greenery that lines the promenade… you’ll feel a world away from the chaos of Central or Causeway Bay. Step up your cultural game with a quick visit to the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery and take in the view of the harbour from the top of the boat! This is also one of our favourite HK running spots.
Where: Hoi Yu Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
How to get there: Take the MTR to either Sai Wan Ho, Tai Koo or Quarry Bay. Take exit E from Tai Koo MTR Station and walk through City Plaza – this should only take about 10 minutes. It’s exit A from Sai Wan Ho MTR Station or a quick, 5 minute walk from Quarry Bay MTR Station, exit A.
This gorgeous little spot is a favourite for junk stop offs and offers a secluded getaway from city living. Located to the east of Stanley, Turtle Cove is another secret Southside haven that’s perfect for a more private picnic. With changing rooms, toilets, showers, barbecue pits and even a soft drinks kiosk, you’ll be able to take a dip in the ocean for the ultimate beach picnic fun.
Where: Turtle Cove Beach, Tai Tam Road, Stanley, Hong Kong
How to get there: If you’re not junking over, take the bus (number 14!) from Sai Wan Ho MTR Station, exit A and get off just after the Tai Tam Reservoir. Look out for the stairs that go down to the beach!
Tai Tam Country Park BBQ Pits
Make the most of the great outdoors by picnicking at Tai Tam Country Park, one of Southside’s most pleasant locations. A short stroll downhill from Parkview, to the left down a small paved lane overhanging with trees (conveniently located opposite some well-tended bathrooms) is a huge open space with numerous agreeably-spaced BBQ pits and bench seating. There is plenty of room to make yourself comfortable, and even throw a ball around. Best of all, there is a Fusion at Parkview so you can pick up your entire picnic before heading into the park.
Where: Tai Tam Country Park, Hong Kong
How to get there: Taxi is by far the easiest option here, as buses (numbers 6 and 61) stop right at the bottom of the hill on Wong Nai Chung Gap Road, leaving you to hike all the way up!
Morse Park is a great spot for a little nature with your nourishment. There is an area of tropical palms and an arboretum that’s perfect for a post-meal meander and don’t forget to check out the picturesque butterfly garden too.
Where: Morse Park, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
How to get there: MTR to Wong Tai Sin Station (exit D), then head along Tung Tau Tsuen Road for around 10 minutes.
Lion Rock Park
In the shadow of the famous Lion Rock are some gorgeous gardens shaded by huge trees, making for a fab spot for a little al fresco dining. There are BBQ pits for those that like their meals hot, and plenty of picnic tables and benches available. Stock up on provisions at Taste in Festival Walk, then walk off lunch on the hiking trail!
Where: Lion Rock Park, Chuk Yuen Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
How to get there: Take minibuses 72 or 73 from Festival Walk at Kowloon Tong MTR and get off at Chuk Yuen Road just after Lung Cheung Road. The park entrance is about 50 metres uphill from the bus stop.
Kwun Tong Promenade
Looking for some sea-side picnic-ing that’s not on the island? Kwun Tong Promenade is a great alternative, stretching over 7,340 square metres. Look out for the unique, special tower landmark which lights up at night, giving the place an enchanting atmosphere. A picnic at night? Grab some glow-sticks and we’re there.
Where: Southeastern end of the Kwun Tong Public Cargo Working Area, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
How to get there: It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Kwun Tong MTR Station or Ngau Tau Kok MTR Station, although we’d simply take the ferry from Sai Wan Ho or North Point… who doesn’t love an impromptu ferry ride?!
NEW TERRITORIES AND OUTLYING ISLANDS
Situated within Plover Cove Country Park in the Northeastern New Territories, this idyllic spot makes quite a change from the Hong Kong norm. The waterfalls feeding Bride’s Pool are at their best after heavy rainfall, when this is a really picturesque place for a picnic lunch followed by an easy, half-hour long stroll along the nature trail (beware the harmless but huge woodland spiders overhead!).
Where: Bride’s Pool, Plover Cove Country Park, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong
How to get there: Head to Tai Po MTR station, exit A3, then catch bus 275R to the start of the trail. Note that buses only run this route on Sundays and Public Holidays so plan ahead!
Clear Water Bay Second Beach
Clear Water Bay’s Second Beach is scenic, has great facilities including picnic tables, and a snack kiosk that rents umbrellas so you don’t frazzle. It also has showers, toilets, and a lifeguard on site if you fancy a post-prandial dip – the water quality is generally considered quite good too, which is a nice change!
Where: Clear Water Bay Second Beach, Tai Au Mun Road, Clear Water Bay, New Territories, Hong Kong
How to get there: Take the MTR to Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill, and then jump on bus 91 to Clear Water Bay Second Beach.
Lo So Shing Beach
While Lamma is known for its seafood restaurants, the scenic Lo So Shing Beach is the perfect spot for a picnic. Set in a small cove, banked by a thick fence of foliage, it feels like a hidden slice of peace and quiet. Even at the height of summer the weekends aren’t terribly crowded, and on weekdays you’ll probably have the place to yourself. While BBQ supplies can be found at the various small stores on Lamma, we recommend bringing your own food.
Where: Lo So Shing Beach, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
How to get there: Take the ferry from Central pier 4 to Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma, then it’s a leisurely 40 minute walk.
Ma On Shan Park
Ma On Shan Park sits on the waterfront at Tolo Harbour and has a lovely view of the surrounding mountains. There’s a large lawn that’s just crying out for a picnic blanket, an adventure maze and an attractive Mediterranean-style Plaza area. There’s also a display detailing Ma On Shan’s mining past, which gives an interesting insight into the area and its development.
Where: On Chun Street, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
How to get there: The easiest way is to take the MTR to Ma On Shan Station (exit A) and then walk around 10 minutes to the park.
PICNIC TIPS AND TRICKS
- Choose the perfect spot for you! Take a look at the list above and choose somewhere that’s convenient for you and your picnic-partners to get to. When you’re carrying food and drink you want to be able to reach your spot easily and without any extra hassle…
- Look for a space with a bit of shade – we all know how hot it can get in HK so make sure you stay cool and hydrated too!
- If you don’t have a beautiful picnic hamper, make sure you bring sturdy tupperware to so you don’t get any leaks (we’d also recommend zip-locking/foiling any potential leak-ables!). Why not try using mason jars for salads, which keep them fresh and also make your picnic layout look extra cute?
- Don’t forget cool bags or an ice box if you want to keep things cold! Try this Sassy tried and tested life hack: Wrap your drinks in wet tissue or towels before popping them into the freezer. After only 10 minutes they’ll come out ice cold, and if you keep them in the tissue/towel they’ll still be quite cool when you get to your picnic destination.
- Don’t forget a picnic blanket! You don’t want pesky ants crawling all over you while you’re trying to eat, and make sure it’s big enough for you, your friends and your food (of course!). We love this Duxford Blanket from Jack Wills, luxuriously soft and available right here in the ‘Kong at their Causeway Bay store.
- Bring some portable speakers and your iPod for added ambience.
- Remember to be environmentally friendly! Using real plates or tupperware means you can reuse them – much better than creating extra waste with plastic or paper plates.
- Don’t forget the bubbly to make this a really special day out… a picnic is a great alternative for having drinks with the girls if you’re sick of the usual Soho haunts. See our guide to drinking on a budget here!
- Can’t be bothered to buy your food and put it all together? Take care of all your feasting needs in one fail swoop and get someone else to do it for you! Monsieur CHATTÉ‘s new L’Apero Bag is ideal for grabbing with it’s homemade pate, olives, saucisson, baguette, bottle of wine and more for only $398. Invisible Kitchen also provide a huge selection in their epic, 7-course picnic hamper for $250 each (and bonus – you get to keep the basket afterwards!) which is delicious… trust us, we’ve tried and tested! And if you’re looking for something new, Bricklane are launching their brand new picnic baskets soon. With three different baskets (the ‘Baron’, ‘Earl’ and ‘Duke’), you get to choose something that will suit your price range and taste… they have everything from prawn salad and half a roast chicken, to black truffle mayo fries and foie gras terrine, and of course there’s some wine thrown in too! You can also loan a picnic basket, blanket, glassware and cutlery from them (with a fully refundable deposit of $500)… sorted.
Happy munching girls!
With special thanks to Kate F!