Hong Kong is a futuristic metropolis bustling with life and progress. People often relate this city to trade, commerce and technologically advanced lifestyle. But there is a lot more to this fast paced city than just technology and modernism. Visitors are pleasantly surprised when they experience a culturally rich side of Hong Kong which believes in the conservation of heritage and leading an eco-friendly life. The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark stands as the finest example of Hong Kong’s affinity with nature and their attitude of conservation.
About UNESCO Global Geopark In Hong Kong
Nature lovers are always in for an exuberant treat at this spectacular national park. Having extreme geological significance, Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark was established and opened for public in 2009. Further in 2011, UNESCO recognised this region as a part of its Global Geoparks Networks.
The park is a single land entity spanning across more than 150 square kms and is highly significant due to its geoheritage. You will be startled with here are the tall and rigid hexagonal rock formations that are found in Sai Kung Volcanic region. Created over millions of years ago, these volcanic rocks are a result of continuous eruptions, pressure and tectonic activities. You can’t help but marvel at the shapes and sizes of these rocks! Then you have the enormous sedimentary rocks that stand witness to various geological periods of the region.
What makes this Geopark so special is is nature’s laboratory. You have it in front of your eyes how our Earth was twisted, twirled and tossed around to arrive as the shape that we are seeing now. Visiting such a site of immense scientific importance allows us to connect with nature instantaneously.
Things To Do At Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
1. Rare Volcanic Basalt Columns
If you are a rock buff, you would not miss the chance to get up close with a series of rare volcanic honeycomb shaped basalt columns at Hong Kong UNESCO global geopark. The park comprises the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region which showcase these beautiful giants and timeless formations, which were formed about 140 million years ago.
2. The MacLehose Trail
Go hiking! Ditch the shuttle bus and rather lets hike to East Dam, which falls along the opening section of the 100 kilometre long MacLehose Trail. It one of Hong Kong’s best hikes which just cannot be missed. Right from covering the East Dam to the area’s most beautiful beaches, Long Ke, the trail offers memorable countryside experiences to visitors.
3. Visit the Lai Chi Wo village
Lai Chi Wo village is a 400-year-old village can also be explored as apart of the Geopark tour. One of the oldest surviving lands in Hong Kong has got rice and vegetables burgeoning in formerly fallow fields, along with a new mini-museum to explore. Foodies can visit the open-air restaurant in the village square. Those who are keen on learning the delectable recipes can also attend the Hakka dumpling-making workshops which are organized every Sunday. The religious ones can pay a visit to the God of war temple.
How To Reach Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
The easiest way to cherish the marvellous and long basalt columns is taking the High Island tour. Besides hosting the beautiful hexagonal volcanic columns, the East Dam of High Island Reservoir is a wildly amazing sight. Exploring the place is totally worth your time! You can book your tour from the Volcano Discovery Center in Sai Kung town, Hong Kong’s popular holiday hotspot. From there, one can reach the East Dam in around 40 minutes. This is the only best place to witness those ingenious rock formations which make the landscape even more scenic and alluring.
It is quite easy to get to the Volcano Discovery Center. You can reach there via MTR Diamond Hill Station. Once the travelers reach the MTR Diamond Hill Station, Exit C2, and board the bus 92 to Sai Kung Bus Terminus, and then walk towards the centre.
The minibus for the East Dam tour departs from the Volcano Discovery Center and operates daily on weekends and public holidays. It is advisable to call them up beforehand to confirm the timings and frequency as these sometimes vary.
Guided boat tours have also been developed now which takes the curious visitors around the islands that comprise the park. These guided boat tours and ferries are playing a vital role in enhancing the recreational and educational values of the geoheritage. Being the most accessible of all, one can reach Sharp Island in just 15 minutes from the town of Sai Kung by regular small ferries and minibuses that function between Sai Kung and city center in Hong Kong.
With more than 40% of its land covered in green, Hong Kong is a ecologically rich destination. Also, make sure that you dedicate some time to have a rendezvous with earth’s history on your next trip to Hong Kong.
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