Hong Kong's unique environment makes for many recreational opportunities. With 40 per cent of the land devoted to country parks, and the territory's many beaches and islands, it is ideal for sports enthusiasts. And the climate is generally pleasant enough that outdoors pursuits are enjoyed year-round.
Hiking is by far the easiest recreational activity to choose in Hong Kong. Trails range from very easy, paved roads to strenuous, steep and rocky scrambles to the tops of rugged mountain peaks. There are vast nature reserves in the New Territories. Maps are available from the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and from outdoor outfitters, and a new book, Exploring Hong Kong's Countryside, by Edward Stokes, is available from the Hong Kong Tourist Association.
A day at the beach is another favourite Hong Kong pastime. Nestled in lovely coves, the beaches offer warm water for swimming or water sports, and plenty of sand for the sun-worshipper to stretch out on. Water quality levels are posted at the beach and in the newspapers. It is best to avoid the beach just after a rain when contamination increases.
Boating is also extremely popular, whether the craft is a jet-ski, sailboat or private yacht. A very pleasant weekend jaunt is the junk trip for a picnic and a swim to an outlying island.