Never crowded during the week, beautiful gardens, lots of birds, lots of monkeys and the world's most embarrassing reptile house
I like the Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Hong Kong - for the history of the place please refer to the above website link... but for me the only downside is that it is very hard to find and is very challenging to get to on foot given that it is half way up the Peak, so walking there from May - September is just horrible (uphill and very hot & humid) - even getting there by taxi is a pain as there are 4 entrances that I know of!
The best entrance is the main entrance as there is this wonderful gate.. this was the first time I had actually been through this entrance in all my time here!
There is a lot of ground to cover and note that it generally involves walking up steep inclines and lots of steps but the effort is worth it.. you can easily spend 4+ hours in here away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and yet you are just 10 minutes walk downhill from Central District.
There is no particular route to take, it is all a bit random but there are plenty of signposts pointing to the various attractions.
It does look lovely on a sunny day... this picture was taken during the early afternoon.. notice how empty the place is!
The Botanical Gardens says it all, it is heaven for plant life photographers and most specimens have signs identifying them
Bird watchers will have a ball but it is kind of hard to see many of the birds as the cages are set well back.. for me a much better experience is the aviary at Hong Kong Park which is basically 3 minutes downhill and over the road.
If you hang around the fountain you can get some great shots of some our famous buildings from an offbeat angle, it is hard to believe that you are just minutes from the city.
More for the bird enthusiasts - where there are caged birds you find lots of wild birds
King George VI - looking very regal. You have to walk up a gazillion steps to get up close and personal but it is worth it, there are so few colonial statues of royalty left in Hong Kong. Huzzah!
A lovely old pavilion and a great place to escape the sun and chill for 10 minutes
There are plenty of well positioned sign posts so it is hard to get lost.
Everybody loves the monkey section of the gardens, there are plenty of species to gawk at and imitate
A tropical jungle just minutes from the city
This was my first time to view this... a very old plant pot.
The wheelie bin truck, simply awesome - 2bhp and 0 - 60mph in 4 hours, 37 minutes and 6 seconds. This is on my Christmas wish list.
The management of the gardens should be ashamed of themselves, this is not a reptile house it is an embarrassment.
One giant snake and one tiny alligator does not make a reptile house, it is basically 5 steps from entrance to exit!... the snake is hidden behind a huge perspex window which is so scratched and dirty you can hardly see the snake.
This Zoological and Botanical Gardens is very well funded but they channel most of the funds into the primate section which is all well and good but not good enough.
Hong Kong has 14 species of poisonous snakes and many species of bugs / spiders and butterflies, how hard could it be to showcase these "local beasts" it would not be expensive to build such a facility.
Such a shame
This is where most of the gardens budget goes, primates that are NOT native to Hong Kong... I understand that these creatures are popular and fun to watch but I believe that that species native to Hong Kong should be showcased first and foremost, we have an abundance of snakes, spiders, bugs, butterflies and wild monkeys which in my opinion are much more interesting.
Anyway... rant over.. if you have time then you should visit the Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
I do personal walking tours around Hong Kong, I am on the streets every day and I have a somewhat interesting perspective of this wonderful city I have called my home for 37 years. My private walking tours are perfect for visitors who want a detailed overview of Hong Kong prior to exploring on their own and for people who are only here for a day or two who want to make the most of their limited time here.
Many clients book me for their first full day in Hong Kong, they get to see the best that Hong Kong has to offer + a crash course on our wonderful public transport system and then they go exploring for the rest of their stay armed with step by step instructions and recommendations from me....
...oh, and if you book a tour then you are booking a tour with me, I do not employ other guides.
Jamie's private walking tours - no ordinary experience