By The Nation Weekend
WITH AN eye to making the most of its natural attractions, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has joined with National Geographic to promote its 10th annual “Great Outdoors” campaign, featuring 13 of the city’s most stunning landscapes. The campaign will include an authoritative guidebook, “Your Guide to Hiking & Cycling in Hong Kong”, a photo gallery as well as collaborative content with insights from National Geographic photographers and trail experts.
Visitors to Hong Kong can now discover some of the SAR’s most picturesque nature trails through the contrasting lenses of the “One Place, Two Perspectives” narrative. The stories present Hong Kong as a jaw-dropping, breathtaking visual dichotomy with contrasting city views and verdant mountains, traditional villages with natural flora and fauna, and beautiful landscapes and seascapes.
The MacLehose Trail showcases sea caves, sea stacks and hexagonal rock columns. (Photo by Matthieu Paley)
“We are delighted to be working with National Geographic, which has a huge number of followers, who enjoy travelling and adventures,” says Anthony Lau, executive director of HKTB.
“In this fresh attempt to showcase Hong Kong’s natural beauty through stunning photography and inspiring stories by some of the world’s top photographers, we hope to encourage visitors to discover another side of cosmopolitan Hong Kong during the hiking season, which runs from November to March.”
“One Place, Two Perspectives” will be presented by a team, that includes French photographer Matthieu Paley, a contributing photographer to the respected magazine, whose assignments have taken him to far-flung corners of the globe. Paley has lived in Hong Kong for nine years and is intimately acquainted with the city’s natural landscapes. He will capture Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark’s majestic volcanic rock columns on land before diving into the park’s mesmerising aqua waters.
Hike on the country trail toward Shek Pik Reservoir to see the Big Buddha and Wisdom Path from a distance. (photo by Tugo Cheng)
National Geographic award-winning photographer and Hong Konger Tugo Cheng, whose background in architecture gives his work a unique aesthetic, will dish up an inside scoop on the beauty of Hong Kong’s natural landscape. He’ll be taking his camera to historical Sam A Village to explore the indigenous culture, and then onwards to the exotic plants and wildlife that thrive in Plover Cove Country Park.
Trail runner Wyan Chow Pui-yan, who was the first local female to win the Vibram Hong Kong 100 and who placed 17th in the Ultra Trail World Tour, will lead the team into Tai Mo Shan Country Park — and the city’s tallest mountain, at 900 meters above sea level. Chow and her godmother, who runs a popular kiosk in the park, will share their insights on hiking and trail-running along Tai Mo Shan, as well as their love for the magnificent sunset views the highest peak in Hong Kong offers.
“As a community of bold explorers with an insatiable curiosity, there’s nothing we like more than showing people new perspectives on the world around them,” says Con Apostolopoulos of National Geographic.
“Partnering with the tourist board is a fantastic opportunity to transform the way people think about Hong Kong; showing off its contrasting urban and rural beauty in a new light through the lens of talented photographers and explorers.”
IF YOU GO
Find out more about the Great Outdoors Hong Kong at /www.DiscoverHongKong.com/ eng/see-do/great-outdoors/index.jsp
An e-version of “Your Guide to Hiking & Cycling in Hong Kong” can be downloaded from the same website.
Tugo Cheng’s “Experience Nature and Culture in Plover Cove Country Park” can be viewed at https://youtu.be/MZq8NScpPTs.
Matthieu Paley’s “Hong Kong: Land and Sea” video is at https://youtu.be/eQ7C19pJ3-A