When you live in a city for a certain amount of time, you easily stop expecting to be surprised by it. My curious nature, along with a passion for photography, had me visiting parts of Hong Kong that many locals had not yet seen within months of our arrival. Finally, the limited space Hong Kong SAR has to offer slowly dulled my expectations of discovering new and different places.
Yesterday however I was in for a little surprise when I decided to kill two birds with one stone: walk off some of the previous day’s Christmas dinner and take my daughter for a walk someplace new. As a child I used to love studying maps and the big atlas my parents had on hand. Google maps and Earth have allowed me to take this interest to new levels, and I often use them for inspiration when I am on the lookout for a new destination to uncover. In Hong Kong I particularly like to seek out green patches hidden amongst the towering buildings and along the waterfront. This is in fact how Baby ChattyBrain and I ended up having a lovely afternoon strolling along the Hong Kong harbour waterfront in Quarry Bay Park.
The park is divided into three phases with phases two and three dedicated to football fields, tennis and basketball courts. Phase one is the best one if you are looking for a place to go for a nice family walk, let the children run around safely, or go jogging. It is divided into two sections as the Island Easter Corridor runs right through it. Getting from one side to the other however is quite easy as there is a bridge with a stroller friendly ramp.
Although it is not a very well known park, especially amongst the expat community, this park definitely deserves a visit and offers a number of surprises – some hidden and some not.
The one that is definitely not hiding is the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery. Entrance to this 500-tonne boat-museum, opened in 2007, is free and makes the visit to this park a fun and informative experience for adults as well as children.
The park also has a few interesting features such as the three sets of artistically designed furniture which were commissioned to the Hong Kong Arts Centre by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and are scattered throughout the park and promenade.
Overall what the park does best is offer a little oasis away from cars and tall buildings with an open view of the harbour and a nice breeze, which will surely be much appreciated in the summer months. There is a refreshment booth but it was closed yesterday, so I imagine it opens seasonally. Cityplaza shopping centre is just a few minutes away so makes a nice pre or post park destination.
Getting to Quarry Bay Park:
BUS: Get off a the Tai Koo Wan Road stop for bus lines 110, 720 and 720A (updated Dec 2012)
MTR: take the Island line to Tai Koo Station and walk from there. The shopping centre Cityplaza is between the MTR station and the park, so look out for exits to the mall for easy access.
CAR: you can either park in the Cityplaza shopping mall car park or the handy car park on Tai Koo Wan Road. I like this option better because it avoids the hassle of going through the mall and it’s a great “destination” to put into your satellite navigator or smartphone map if you are using one. There is also an entrance to the park (C2) almost directly opposite.
Park official website, click here.