Hong Kong

Just off the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong is made up of a number of islands. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are the largest territories and home to the majority of the population. Much of Hong Kong’s territory is hilly to mountainous; 40% of the remaining land area is reserved as country parks and nature reserves.

Although Hong Kong is a small, developed territory, one still finds wildlife, including snakes, lizards, frogs, butterflies and birds. At sea, Hong Kong’s waters are home to numerous species of coral, green turtles and the endangered Chinese white dolphin and finless porpoise.

Hong Kong’s waters were once abundant with marine life but today the marine environment is suffering from pollution, development and overfishing. Air pollution, mainly contributed by motor vehicles and power plants, is another serious problem that is affecting local wildlife and public health.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Mauri RAUTKARI
Kandelia candel, Mangrove tree, Mai Po Marshes, Hong Kong.
© WWF-Canon / Mauri RAUTKARI

Country Eco-tips

Energy and Water
  • Tap water in Hong Kong is drinkable and safe, although a number of people still prefer to boil their drinking water when it is taken from the tap. Bottled water is easily available.
  • One of Hong Kong’s key environmental goals is to increase the use of clean energy sources, such as from natural gas.
  • To reduce energy consumption, government buildings have to adjust their air-conditioners to 25.5°C in summer months.
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Recycling
  • There are a number of waste reduction programmes in Hong Kong: The Wastewi$e Label, for example, helps Hong Kong businesses and organizations adopt measures to reduce the amount of waste generated within their establishments or through the products and services they provide. http://www.hkaee.org.hk/english/application/files/waste_eng.pdf

  • Paper, aluminum cans and plastic bottles can be thrown out in 3-coloured waste separation bins throughout Hong Kong.
  • To encourage battery recycling, collection points are located in many stores and at railway stations.
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Transport
  • The MTR subway and train system is probably the most convenient way of getting around, reaching many parts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
  • Most trains in Hong Kong go across the border to Shenzhen. From there, one can pick up regular train service to other major cities in mainland China.
  • Buses, mostly double-deckers, and mini-buses have extensive routes.
  • Trams run in the northern part of Hong Kong Island.
  • Ferries cross the harbour between Hong Kong Central and Kowloon in just 8 minutes. There are also ferries that run between the main parts of Hong Kong to some of the outlying islands like Lantau Island, Cheung Chau, Peng Chau and Lamma Island.
  • Hydrofoil is the most common transportation to go to Macau, the former Portuguese colony, which takes only 1 hour.
  • Rickshaws are available for tourists wanting to see the city at a slower, less mechanized pace.
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Food
  • After several food safety crises, including bird flu, and high levels of pesticides found in vegetables, Hong Kong consumers are turning increasingly to organic foods. Numerous health food stores and vegetarian restaurants can be found throughout the territory - http://www.happycow.net/asia/china/hong_kong/index.html
  • Hong Kong is one of the major world markets for shark fin, demand for which is pushing many shark populations into major decline. To protect shark populations, avoid eating shark fin soup.
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Souvenirs
  • Although there are legal stockpiles of ivory in Hong Kong, they are for domestic use only, and illegal to export. All legally-sourced ivory products must have a CITES certificate.
  • Some Chinese medicines are manufactured in Hong Kong from endangered species, such as turtle, bear and musk deer. Their purchase should be avoided.
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Green Spots
  • Tai Mo Shan Country Park: Located in central New Territories, this park is home to Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong (957m). There are many hiking trails leading up to the top. The park borders Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve in the east and Shing Mun Country Park in the south.
  • Mai Po Natural Reserve: Managed by WWF-Hong Kong, the wetlands at Mai Po in the northwestern corner of Hong Kong are a birdwatcher’s paradise. In autumn and winter, thousands of migratory birds come to Mai Po, including 72% of the total of Hong Kong’s bird species.
  • Victoria Peak: For the best views of the Hong Kong skyline and the harbour, take the funicular to the top of Victoria Peak. Visitors can walk along one of the nature trails starting from The Peak Tower and relax among the lush green vegetation.
  • Hong Kong Park: In the middle of the Central section of the city, Hong Kong Park features 8 hectares of gardens, waterfalls, streams and ponds.
  • Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park: One of the first marine parks established in Hong Kong, Hoi Ha Wan - on the north coast of the Sai Kung peninsula - covers 260 hectares of pristine waters, mangrove forests and numerous corals.
  • Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park: Situated in open waters on the western side of Hong Kong, this marine park - covering an area of 1,200 hectares - is well known for its rich fisheries and an important habitat for the endangered Chinese white dolphin. Dolphin watching is a popular activity for visitors.
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Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the above information. However, WWF makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding errors or omissions and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use.
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