Hong Kong, like New York is a bustling island of concrete. Also, much like Manhattan, Hong Kong has built its own version of "Central Park". Kowloon Park is an oasis in the middle of the bustling metropolis.
Once upon a time, it was a British military base, but now the park
offers over 13 hectares (33 acres) of greenery, sculpture, swimming pools and quiet gardens and
buildings. There's even a large piazza for concerts gracing the park.
Visitors to Hong Kong could easily spend a weekend vacation in Kowloon
and still not see it all.
For those who want to do their relaxing in an active way, the park provides several
athletic facilities. For younger kids there are two playgrounds with
supplied equipment and the bruise-proof floor helps parents' minds rest
easy. Kids will love The
Discovery Playground, reconstructed from some
of the old British fort components, including cannon.
Older "kids" of all ages can enjoy soccer, handball or take a ride
along one of the many bike paths. The Sports Centre
events and anyone can have a game of squash or basketball.
For those who like their physical activity a little more serene there
are still dozens of choices. A simple walk down the lane among the
greenery is an option in many parts of the park. Birdwatching is an
often enjoyed activity along the way. Bird Lake hosts a
species and the aviary holds nearly forty local waterfowl types.
Tai Chi is
a common activity in Kowloon Park, often with advanced
masters leading a group of regulars and drop-ins from the local stock
exchange who want to relieve a little stress. Guests are welcome to
For purely mental exercise there are numerous tables in Banyan Court
with chess games always in progress. Visitors can watch quietly or test
their skill against one of the elder experts who frequent the park.
Just walking along to see the sights is a pleasant combination of
physical and mental exercise. The many sculpture in Sculpture Park
provide a mini-outdoor museum. The multi-colored bird sculpture
spiraling around the fountain is a particular favorite of the locals.
One of the more unusual offerings is the large totem pole, a
Any of the Chinese gardens will delight fans of botanical gardens.
Woven throughout the park, they offer a variety of local plant and
flower species. Set off among them are several ponds, including the
delightful turtle pond holding several who happily while away the day
in the cool shade and clear water.
If you feel like emulating the turtles, there's a public swimming pool
in Kowloon Park that's open to locals and tourists alike. A swim is
often a good way to get information about Hong Kong that isn't in the
tour guides from a friendly resident.
But visitors don't need to feel pressured to do anything. Just sitting
in one of the many quiet nooks, reading or merely soaking in the
surroundings is a commonly enjoyed pastime in Kowloon Park.