I decided to go to the outskirts of Hong Kong, Tin Shui Wai to visit the Wetland Park because it looked like an interesting place to visit.
To get to the park you can take the metro to Kowloon Tong Station before switching to the overground trains to Hung Hom. Then you can take the tram and if you get off at Tin Sau Station instead of Wetland Park you can walk through the subway to avoid the blazing sun on the hotter summer days apparently.
Or, if you don't mind a slightly longer trip like us and have mobile data, you can use an app like Moovit to find a bus route with fewer interchanges - it's just much better at finding bus routes than Google Maps. I ended up taking the 265B bus from Mong Kok and got off at Tin Chak Shopping Centre for something to eat before heading there.
There is catering at the park itself too so you might want to find a bus that stops closer if you don't want to drop into some familiar fast food place for food.
Either way, it took about 15 minutes for us to walk to the park from the shopping centre.
The ticket office is quite a distance away from the actual park entrance...
With some ducks to greet you, lol.
After getting tickets, you can find a big path leading to the actual entrance. Some nice statues here.
Again, I chose a weekday to come here so it was fairly quiet apart from the odd school trip group passing through.
There's a stamp rally card you can pick up and while there aren't any rewards for completing it like in Japan, it could make a good souvenir.
The main building's interior is just filled with big glass walls for you to gaze out at the wetland wildlife.
Once you go through the building the first thing end up seeing is Pui Pui, the crocodile the park imported and have been raising.
Never seen a live crocodile before and it was very impressive in-the-flesh.
The park's structures were very well designed. Even the toilets blended in here...
Once you start walking further in, you have these well-built wooden platforms to walk on through the park. It's quite an experience without barriers around them.
The familiar skyscraping apartment blocks remind you you're still in the "concrete jungle" of Hong Kong but also kind of reminded me of Japan where, you'll be surprised to find spots that were free from urban noise even though they were right next to busy roads.
The park is pretty much a place for learning about wetland wildlife.
December isn't exactly the best time to come here if you want to see plants at their best. Despite the warmer temperatures in the mid 20Cs, most of the tropical plants aren't in bloom at this time.
But there's still the odd interesting plant to see like this Coral Plant.
Not the best time to go visit its butterfly section either ^^;
There are also multi-floor bird watching houses dotted around the park...
As you head to the top, you get clearer views around you as the walls become glass panes. You can actually see the buildings along Shenzhen, the city just at the border between Hong Kong and China from here.
As you walk, you'll have to pay close attention to catch other signs of wildlife other than birds.
And I really don't know what these were... They looked like bee hives ^^;
It doesn't take that long to circle round the park.
On the way out we spotted these "Fake Pineapples (Pandanus Kaida)".
Frankly, I think they should put some effort into the ticket designs if they plan on attracting more tourists here... ^^;
If you want to find a quiet little spot to enjoy the natural side of Hong Kong, then the Wetland Park might be worth a visit.