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 top 20 Hong Kong websites – which “either have high online traffic [not this one!] or content that is engrossing, amusing, daring or that simply makes life easier” – 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’.David Wilson, South China Morning Post magazine
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).
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 below 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.”Brian Stonehouse
“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.”
“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.”Amanda
“First of all I would like to mention that I really like your website! As a foreigner and a tourist soon, I found a wealth of information on the non-shopping side of Hong Kong. Most of the information cannot be found in the Lonely planets.”Ferry Spaan
even though I live already several years in HK and I love hiking (the tougher and more rugged the better) I just found your marvellous websiteChris Rommel
Your site rocks!JN; SF,CA
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.Anh-Thi Le
Martin, great map great site…!Markus Shaw
Congratulations … I like very much your website !Jerome
Thanks for the amazing information provided in your website.Margie
Just had to say – what a great site. I’m travelling to HK in Oct for some photography and wanted to find out something about the walks and quiter places. This has really inspired me.
Great website and great photos too!Vilma Pegg
You website is great useful with nice pictures and useful information. I think you are doing Hong Kong people a good service to remind us the wonderful treasure nature has betow upon us so that we will our countryside from contamination and land developers.Jimmy Choi
Love reading your site.Rosie Taylor
I’m an editor at The List magazine and I’m just putting together a piece about great chill-out spots in Hong Kong. I’m recommending your website as a resource – I’m a fan!Jane Steer
I just wanted to e-mail and say how much I enjoy your website. I guess I fell in love with Hong Kong the first time I went, around 5 years ago. Now I go each year.
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.David
Nice website! I was browsing to find out some information about the dragon’s back hike and I actually found out much more.Magali Vendrame
you have done a great job on your web to share the outdoor activity news to city people in HK indeed.Carol Lee
You have a great website! Very informative and nice and easy on the eye!Gary Toshack
I just wanted to say thanks for all the information on your site. I notice that the site has changed since my last visit. I think I could spend weeks exploring Hong Kong. Despite the weather the North East New Territories Island Hopping Tour was awesome. I decided to leave the waterfalls and some of the other islands and beaches to another visit. I didn’t make it to Cape d’Aguilar, not knowing how far it would be from the parking space from where you can look down upon the quarry. Instead I went to Shek O, which was wonderful. I hope you like the photos on my site, http://www.ivarhagendoorn.com. I will be posting more in the upcoming weeks. Thanx and Regards, Ivar.Ivar Hagendoorn
Thanks for this great site. Our party of four middle aged adults is planning to spend 3 weeks in HK in November 2007. We want to explore as much as possible and experience more than what the tourist brochures offer. Your sight is a great help in planning our itinery and is full of practical information. Many people are asking what are we going to do for 21 days in HK – after exploring your site we reply it won’t be long enough!Jo Marshall
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!Philip Forsyth
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.Sandra
Your HK outdoors site is amazing, a hive of activity and you clearly have a passion for the wild and a strong ethos to maintain it by encouraging people’s love for the outdoors…
I see you are a photographer. My website is www.kateeshelby.com although I mainly photograph Africa…Hong Kong is very new to me!Kate Eshelby
Great Photos! I lived in HK from 1992 to 1997 and will be returing at the end of this month for business. During my last stay the air in Central was thick with paticulates from diesel buses and Taxis. On weekends I had to escape to the limited open spaces that were available on the other islands. In thinking about my return I was anticipating and expecting that many of the open spaces would be gone, especially with the connection to Lan Tau and the opening of the new airport. Your photos makes it appear that once neglected open spaces are some what preserved, they have ‘modernized’. In all it’s wonderful to see that not all Hong Kongers are only interested money and staus.Ken
I lived in HK for 40 years and have been in UK 9 years now, visited HK for the first time since I left this summer. Just want to say that since I came across your site I have visited it often to view photos etc and feel a little closer to where I feel is home. Thank you for a wonderful site!!Anne Ferrett
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.
Much appreciative!Judy Mok
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.Nelly
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.Wiebe