With the year of the rabbit nearly amongst us, we're celebrating the colour red this Chinese New Year and rounding up some of the best hikes to see some of Hong Kong's stunning winter foliage.
Let's hop right to it!
Kau Tam Tso
You will pass by this old hakka village of Kau Tam Tso, en-route to Tiu Tang Lung in Plover Cove Cove Country Park, and it is a less crowded spot to marvel at the red leaves of the sweet gum trees in Hong Kong - partly due to the level of difficulty to get to this spot. The entire trail from Wu Kau Tang Road and back, is approximately 10km and requires 4-5 hours of hiking, meaning that you can enjoy these beautiful trees and its surrounding scenery as nature intended!
Kap Lung Forest Trail
The red cotton flowers that bloom during winter, light up forests with their thick, stunning, fiery, buds. Although these trees can be found scattered across Hong Kong, the remote Kap Lung forest is a beautiful backdrop to thoroughly enjoy these pretty petals.
The neighbouring Farm Milk Co. is also a lovely, dog-friendly pit stop where you can enjoy light bites and their fresh dairy produce. Visit the resident herd of goats at the farm and enjoy their signature steamed ginger-milk-egg pudding.
Lau Shui Heung Reservoir
The beautiful rows of paperbark and cypress trees along the shore of Lau Shui Heung Reservoir turn into beautiful shades of red during the autumn and winter months, making this a popular walk come winter time. The neighbouring circular walk around Hok Tau Reservoir is nearby and can be added on for a more substantial walk through the thick luscious forest. Just be sure to visit Lau Shui Heung Reservoir at the start of the winter season as the foliage can be a bit sparse by the end of January.
Tai Po Kau
Tai Po Kau is a 440-hectare nature reserve, home to a variety of flora and fauna. Tai Po Kau is another one of those walks to really immerse yourself in the thick, luscious Hong Kong forest, however, in the autumn and winter months, their sweet gum trees turn a lovely shade of red. You can choose one of four trails to explore the country park, depending on how long you are willing to hike through the forest, and although these trees aren't as prominent as they would be in other locales, no matter which route you choose, you will not be disappointed.
Last, but definitely not least, are the sweet gum woods in Yuen Long, which attract hoards of nature lovers during the winter months when the foliage burst into red and auburn colours. It is one of the best and most easily accessible viewing points in Hong Kong to admire these red leaves, meaning it can get crowded on weekends and public holidays. If you would like to get a glimpse of these pretty leaves, it would be best to get there early or on a weekday, between December and February, to really enjoy the plumage in all its glory. The path is mostly paved, and well connected, and is also enjoyed by mountain bikers. If you're in the mood to explore, the Thousand Island Reservoir Viewing point is also nearby, for more breath-taking views.