Right in the middle of the well known bustling tourist shopping district along Nathan Road is Kowloon Park. Compared to the busy, crowded, noisy traffic and crowds, Kowloon Park is a peaceful place of tranquility, set on 33 acres of tree lined walks, ponds and bird exhibits.
Opened in 1970 the park was a former British army barracks. When the British left the decision was made to convert the grounds into a park and sports ground, right in the middle of one of the busiest shopping streets in the world.
It is walled off, which gives it some protection from the noise and smog, but also hides its presence to a degree. Many tourists are surprised to find such a large park opposite Nathan Road, as it is not immediately obvious.
I often find myself staying nearby on a stopover, and I find it a good start to the day to get up early and walk through the city to Kowloon Park.
Because they stay open so late, most of the shops don’t open until 10-11am, so visiting the park in the morning when everything else is shut works well.
There are many different aspects to the park, including beautiful tree lined walks, a variety of interesting pagodas and many little ponds and lakes.
As there is not a lot of spare space in Hong Kong, you will find a wide cross section of locals in the park taking advantage of the wide open area, practicing tai chi, yoga, martial arts and the usual joggers and walkers. The park is also home to a large swimming complex, which can see up to 2000 swimmers every day.
By far my favourite areas are the bird pond and aviary. The bird pond features a small flock of both Greater and Lesser Flamingos, which are amazing to watch interacting in the middle of busy Kowloon.
The aviary contains a captivating selection of large tropical birds including Hornbills, which look similar to Toucans.
If you have some time to spare and want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city for an hour or so, Kowloon Park is a great option.
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