About HK Outdoors
Hong Kong Outdoors was founded by writer, photographer and wildlife enthusiast Dr Martin Williams, to celebrate this many-splendoured place: as well as enjoying the city, you can discover rugged hills, hiking trails criss-crossing country parks, an internationally renowned wetland, waterfalls in secluded ravines, fine places to eat in gorgeous surroundings, islands set in the South China Sea...
The 8 June 2008 issue of South China Morning Post magazine ranked Hong Kong Outdoors among the 20 local websites.Writer David Wilson noted:
Describing the city as a 'many-splendoured place', this portal whisks the reader on a tour of heritage trails, waterfall pools and secluded ravines - without degenerating into a brochure. One feature describes Hong Kong Wetland Park as 'weird but not wonderful'.
I've lived in Hong Kong (mainly on Cheung Chau) since 1987, and have written numerous articles and books on the wild side of Hong Kong, covering activities from hiking to birding, and places from Fan Lau in the southwest to Tung Ping Chau in the far northeast of the territory. I began this site in spring 2004.
I started this website mainly because I believe "ecotourism" (in broad sense - and here including Hongkongers going to rural areas) can help safeguard some of our natural areas. I was impressed by, say, furore over planned developments at Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung some years ago - leading to stringent planning controls there, and the area remaining beautiful. Seemed to me important that many people knew and liked/loved this area, so protested when harm loomed.
Other areas, too, perhaps need "fans" to protest planned developments. And, if local people can earn some revenue through tourists - restaurants, hostels etc, maybe they will be supportive of measures to conserve and even enhance local environment.
So, a key goal of Hong Kong Outdoors is introducing some of our great places outside the city - both to overseas visitors, and to local people (many of whom seem to know rather little re rural HK, tho upsurge of interest since SARS "pushed" people outdoors I think).
Also, can give some news about and comment on various threats to environment.
For instance, I've been pretty active re govt's plans for major projects on Lantau - even gave a presentation in LegCo, as "Director, Hong Kong Outdoors" (I had solicited opinions from website members and visitors; included these in presentation).
Charles Frew of Asiatic Marine also contributes news and articles - chiefly on the marine environment; and the forums give you the chance to ask questions, post comments, and show off your photos.
Do you have questions or comments that aren't suited to the forums? Perhaps you'd like to link to the site; or even advertise. If so, please email us via the contact form or martin [at] hkoutdoors dot com.
Hong Kong Outdoors was among the Hong Kong winners of the Iglu Travel Awards 2011.
These blogs on Hong Kong do what no guidebook ever would. They show you the city from the inside out - its natty social structures, its backstreets and its buildings. But it's the insight that only a blog can bring that Iglu really cherish.
Feedback on the site includes:
"Superb website, well done."
"I came across your beautiful shots of HK while getting information about some outlying islands in this
country, and would need some advice from you as I'll be visiting HK next month."
- gave some advice, and wound up selling him a copy of my Hong Kong Pathfinder hiking guidebook(!)
"I just wanted to say thanks for setting up a website that shows the other side of HK!
I have lived here in HK for 5 years and have always been disappointed that the city side of here has been the main focus. When my visitors come I drag them around the New Territories, islands and back alleys if we are in town!
I hope more people jump on the band wagon with you and promote the best of HK."
"I love this site, well done."
Your site rocks!
I'm ecstatic when reading and looking through pictures in your article "Soko Islands saboteurs"! My family and I were refugees of the Tai A Chau dentention centre for 3 years, now living in the US... Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful experience. This seems to be the only reference I could find on the internet.
Martin, great map � great site...!
Congratulations ... I like very much your website !
Thanks for the amazing information provided in your website.
I`ll be there on the 26th of Nov for 7 weeks and was looking at some of the more rural areas to explore. I have done some walks, but was looking at places I hadn`t been to. Your website has offered me a huge archive of things to do, which I have printed out.
I do have a website with lots of Hong Kong photographs already, so looks like this year my galleries will be even bigger.
Thanks again for all the hard work you have put into your site, its very much appreciated.
Just want to comment on your wonderful and informative web site.
I've been hiking in HK for just over 4 years now, and it is good to read up on some of the hikes you have completed, many of which I have yet to try.
You can never be bored in this city with the amount of trails - on and off track!
I chanced on your site while looking for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival photos. What a great site you have and what beautiful photos of Hong Kong you have in your gallery. Thank you, thank you, for showing me the non-touristy commercialized shots of Hong Kong. Now I have something worthwhile to show my ABC's. Totally missing Hong Kong altogether again. I'll recommend your site at my blog definitely.
I see you are a photographer. My website is www.kateeshelby.com although I mainly photograph Africa...Hong Kong is very new to me!
I just want to thank you for all of your effort, hard work and the dedication to create such a fantastic web available for us in Hong Kong...in the world. The trails info, photos, and news are wonderful and very helpful.
Please keep up with the excellent work. PLEASE.
Your website is great. You have been there all the places? Incrediable. Although I am a HKese, I don't know we have so many such good places.
Researching the web for my next trip to Hong Kong I came over this website. I just want to say thank you for the beautiful photo's and all the ideas it gave me for outdoor trips.