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Relaxation

Forest bathing: immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature in lush woodlands at Lung Fu Shan

Written by South China Morning Post (Morning Studio)

Lung Fu Shan Country Park — the smallest of the city’s 24 country parks, situated on the western slopes of The Peak on Hong Kong Island — offers a quick, relaxing ‘escape’ from hectic city life. This 47-hectare ‘oasis’ features tree-shrouded paved heritage trails, sprawling grassy picnic areas, and lush woodlands which are perfect for forest bathing — the Japanese practise of shinrin-yoku. It involves immersing yourself in the sights, scents and sounds of nature while walking unhurriedly along the secluded Pik Shan Path that connects to Lung Fung Shan Country Park. The park is also a very popular destination for those keen to enjoy a relaxing early-morning hike and families looking for a quick weekend getaway as they follow the clear trail signs to the grassy areas beside the old fort and wartime defences at Pinewood Battery, and further uphill to magnificent views across Victoria Harbour.

Refuel

Many refreshment kiosks and stalls offering treats including gelato can be found close to the Peak Tram Station on The Peak.

  • Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre

    After getting off the bus, keep walking along Kotewall Road to find the orange sign pointing you to a hidden gem — Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre. This charming Grade I historic, white colonial bungalow built in the 1890s — a favourite subject among Instagram enthusiasts — once served as the living quarters of the watchmen looking after the filter beds that maintained the quality of Pok Fu Lam Reservoir’s drinking water. It now provides a trove of absorbing information, including exhibitions, experiential guided tours and workshops, for people eager to learn about Lung Fu Shan’s ecosystem.

    Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre, which encourages the exploration of nature, is located at 50 Kotewall Road, Mid-Levels, and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays from 10:30am to 5:30pm, and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 2:30pm. There is free admission to its garden and exhibition centre, which focuses on the history, ecology, geology and stories of the Hong Kong people. For more details, go to the centre’s official website.

    Get me there
  • Pik Shan Path

    From the education centre, start your forest bathing experience by unwinding as you walk unhurriedly along the forest-shrouded paved pathway known as Pik Shan Path. Let your senses savour the feel, sights, smells and sounds of your surroundings. You will soon find yourself soothed by bursts of birdsong and the rhythmical buzzing sound of thousands of cicada insects in the trees overhead. Fluttering butterflies hover around while you stroll along and listen to the soothing, gentle burbling of the waters of Lung Fu Stream. You will soon be feeling relaxed and rejuvenated — and also be amazed at how fast your surroundings have transformed from a city street into this peaceful pathway flanked by a lustrous green forest. The woodland areas in Lung Fu Shan are home to many native trees including the stunning white-blossomed Hong Kong Gordonia (Polyspora axillaris), and wildlife including 115 species of birds such as the striking Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum). The pathway also passes a red-brick wall — once part of a now-defunct Water Supplies Department facility — where an ivy tree has established its roots.

    Find a quiet spot away from the crowd and tune in to your senses of sight and smell, while listening to the sounds of nature.

    Get me there
  • Lung Fu Shan

    As you come to a sign to Hatton Road and Pinewood Battery, the route becomes steeper. A ‘happy Buddha’ relief, formally part of a temple, on the slope greets you after you have climbed the steps to the foot of Lung Fu Shan. Follow the sign up to the Lung Fu Pavilion, the hill’s highest point to enjoy stunning views of Pok Fu Lam, the harbour and Lantau. This is a favoured spot among many Instagram enthusiasts.

    Get me there
  • Pinewood Battery

    The Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail leads to a vast area that is home to Pinewood Battery. This old sea-facing fort was built 307 metres above sea level in 1903, and commands excellent sea views. It was the highest of all coastal defence batteries in the city. Air-defence fortifications were added from the 1920s, which formed part of the city’s World War II defences. Heavily shelled by Japanese artillery and later evacuated, the original gun emplacement and shelters remain beside grass lawns, which are a peaceful and relaxing spot frequented by families with young children.

    Follow the ‘Dos & Don’ts for War Relic Visiting ’ while here. Some of the sites may have been abandoned for more than half a century; to prevent further damage and for the sake of safety, please do not venture into unstable tunnels and ruins. ​

    Get me there
  • Lugard Road

    If you leave Pinewood Battery area by taking Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail you will soon reach Hatton Road, the site of a picnic area, before a gradual ascent to Lugard Road. This narrow road, built between 1913 and 1914, is named after Sir Frederick Lugard, the 14th governor of Hong Kong. It forms part of the Peak Trail. At weekends, this relaxing 3.5 km route, dotted with evergreen India rubber trees, attracts many people, who come to enjoy superb day, sunset and night views of Victoria Harbour from 400 metres above sea level and, in the spring, see the city enveloped in mist.

    Get me there
  • The Peak Tram

    This is one of the city’s most recognisable and popular attractions, which first went into service in 1888. The steep 1.4 km-long journey — rising from 28 to 396 metres above sea level, with a gradient of 4 to 25.7 degrees — normally lasts about 10 minutes and offers passengers a range of spectacular views and photo opportunities. The single journey is the quickest way to travel between The Peak and the city. A substantial upgrade has been taking place since 2018. The sixth generation Peak Tram has been meticulously designed as a modern classic to preserve the heritage of previous generations, with new vehicles doubling passenger capacity and a renovated waiting area offering greater comfort in the works.

    The Peak Tram is temporarily suspended because of the Peak Tram Upgrade Project. But alternative public transport services are available to The Peak: bus 15 or X15 from Exchange Square (MTR Central Station Exit A / MTR Hong Kong Station Exit B1) or minibus 1 from Two ifc (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit F). For updates on its return to service and more information about the Peak Tram check the official website.

    Get me there
  • Dining Option
    Peak Galleria and The Peak Tower

    Peak Galleria and The Peak Tower offer a wide selection of restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes, with Asian and European offerings such as fresh oysters and steaks, pizzas and pasta, noodles and fast-food selections.

    Get me there

Transport

Getting to Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre:

Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre can be reached on foot from MTR Sai Ying Pun Station or MTR HKU Station.​ But a simpler way is to take bus 13 from City Hall, in Central, to University Lodge on Kotewall Road. This is an end-to-end bus route so you need not worry about missing the stop. When you alight, walk uphill beside the campus entrance of the University of Hong Kong and follow the orange signs to the education centre.

Leaving from The Peak:

After you end your journey at the Peak Galleria or The Peak Tower, you can make a dramatic descent while enjoying the breathtaking views and excitement of riding on the iconic Peak Tram to Central. Alternatively, you can take bus 15 or X15 or minibus 1 from the Peak Galleria to return to MTR Central and Hong Kong stations.

More Routes

Relaxation

Forest bathing: immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature in lush woodlands at Lung Fu Shan

Written by South China Morning Post (Morning Studio)

Lung Fu Shan Country Park — the smallest of the city’s 24 country parks, situated on the western slopes of The Peak on Hong Kong Island — offers a quick, relaxing ‘escape’ from hectic city life. This 47-hectare ‘oasis’ features tree-shrouded paved heritage trails, sprawling grassy picnic areas, and lush woodlands which are perfect for forest bathing — the Japanese practise of shinrin-yoku. It involves immersing yourself in the sights, scents and sounds of nature while walking unhurriedly along the secluded Pik Shan Path that connects to Lung Fung Shan Country Park. The park is also a very popular destination for those keen to enjoy a relaxing early-morning hike and families looking for a quick weekend getaway as they follow the clear trail signs to the grassy areas beside the old fort and wartime defences at Pinewood Battery, and further uphill to magnificent views across Victoria Harbour.

Refuel

Many refreshment kiosks and stalls offering treats including gelato can be found close to the Peak Tram Station on The Peak.

Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre

After getting off the bus, keep walking along Kotewall Road to find the orange sign pointing you to a hidden gem — Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre. This charming Grade I historic, white colonial bungalow built in the 1890s — a favourite subject among Instagram enthusiasts — once served as the living quarters of the watchmen looking after the filter beds that maintained the quality of Pok Fu Lam Reservoir’s drinking water. It now provides a trove of absorbing information, including exhibitions, experiential guided tours and workshops, for people eager to learn about Lung Fu Shan’s ecosystem.

See more...

Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre, which encourages the exploration of nature, is located at 50 Kotewall Road, Mid-Levels, and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays from 10:30am to 5:30pm, and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 2:30pm. There is free admission to its garden and exhibition centre, which focuses on the history, ecology, geology and stories of the Hong Kong people. For more details, go to the centre’s official website.

Get me there
Pik Shan Path

From the education centre, start your forest bathing experience by unwinding as you walk unhurriedly along the forest-shrouded paved pathway known as Pik Shan Path. Let your senses savour the feel, sights, smells and sounds of your surroundings. You will soon find yourself soothed by bursts of birdsong and the rhythmical buzzing sound of thousands of cicada insects in the trees overhead. Fluttering butterflies hover around while you stroll along and listen to the soothing, gentle burbling of the waters of Lung Fu Stream. You will soon be feeling relaxed and rejuvenated — and also be amazed at how fast your surroundings have transformed from a city street into this peaceful pathway flanked by a lustrous green forest. The woodland areas in Lung Fu Shan are home to many native trees including the stunning white-blossomed Hong Kong Gordonia (Polyspora axillaris), and wildlife including 115 species of birds such as the striking Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum). The pathway also passes a red-brick wall — once part of a now-defunct Water Supplies Department facility — where an ivy tree has established its roots.

See more...

Find a quiet spot away from the crowd and tune in to your senses of sight and smell, while listening to the sounds of nature.

Get me there
Lung Fu Shan

As you come to a sign to Hatton Road and Pinewood Battery, the route becomes steeper. A ‘happy Buddha’ relief, formally part of a temple, on the slope greets you after you have climbed the steps to the foot of Lung Fu Shan. Follow the sign up to the Lung Fu Pavilion, the hill’s highest point to enjoy stunning views of Pok Fu Lam, the harbour and Lantau. This is a favoured spot among many Instagram enthusiasts.

See more...
Get me there
Pinewood Battery

The Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail leads to a vast area that is home to Pinewood Battery. This old sea-facing fort was built 307 metres above sea level in 1903, and commands excellent sea views. It was the highest of all coastal defence batteries in the city. Air-defence fortifications were added from the 1920s, which formed part of the city’s World War II defences. Heavily shelled by Japanese artillery and later evacuated, the original gun emplacement and shelters remain beside grass lawns, which are a peaceful and relaxing spot frequented by families with young children.

See more...

Follow the ‘Dos & Don’ts for War Relic Visiting ’ while here. Some of the sites may have been abandoned for more than half a century; to prevent further damage and for the sake of safety, please do not venture into unstable tunnels and ruins. ​

Get me there
Lugard Road

If you leave Pinewood Battery area by taking Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail you will soon reach Hatton Road, the site of a picnic area, before a gradual ascent to Lugard Road. This narrow road, built between 1913 and 1914, is named after Sir Frederick Lugard, the 14th governor of Hong Kong. It forms part of the Peak Trail. At weekends, this relaxing 3.5 km route, dotted with evergreen India rubber trees, attracts many people, who come to enjoy superb day, sunset and night views of Victoria Harbour from 400 metres above sea level and, in the spring, see the city enveloped in mist.

See more...
Get me there
The Peak Tram

This is one of the city’s most recognisable and popular attractions, which first went into service in 1888. The steep 1.4 km-long journey — rising from 28 to 396 metres above sea level, with a gradient of 4 to 25.7 degrees — normally lasts about 10 minutes and offers passengers a range of spectacular views and photo opportunities. The single journey is the quickest way to travel between The Peak and the city. A substantial upgrade has been taking place since 2018. The sixth generation Peak Tram has been meticulously designed as a modern classic to preserve the heritage of previous generations, with new vehicles doubling passenger capacity and a renovated waiting area offering greater comfort in the works.

See more...

The Peak Tram is temporarily suspended because of the Peak Tram Upgrade Project. But alternative public transport services are available to The Peak: bus 15 or X15 from Exchange Square (MTR Central Station Exit A / MTR Hong Kong Station Exit B1) or minibus 1 from Two ifc (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit F). For updates on its return to service and more information about the Peak Tram check the official website.

Get me there
Dining Option
Peak Galleria and The Peak Tower

Peak Galleria and The Peak Tower offer a wide selection of restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes, with Asian and European offerings such as fresh oysters and steaks, pizzas and pasta, noodles and fast-food selections.

See more...
Get me there

Transport

Getting to Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre:

Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre can be reached on foot from MTR Sai Ying Pun Station or MTR HKU Station.​ But a simpler way is to take bus 13 from City Hall, in Central, to University Lodge on Kotewall Road. This is an end-to-end bus route so you need not worry about missing the stop. When you alight, walk uphill beside the campus entrance of the University of Hong Kong and follow the orange signs to the education centre.

Leaving from The Peak:

After you end your journey at the Peak Galleria or The Peak Tower, you can make a dramatic descent while enjoying the breathtaking views and excitement of riding on the iconic Peak Tram to Central. Alternatively, you can take bus 15 or X15 or minibus 1 from the Peak Galleria to return to MTR Central and Hong Kong stations.

More Routes

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