Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Hong Kong was the afternoon I spent at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden. Located outside the city in the New Territories area, the peace and quiet of this beautiful setting was a wonderful change from the hustle and noise of the metropolis.

For anyone who might want to visit, you'll need to take the light blue MTR line to Tai Po Market. (I was staying at Fo Tan, so it was pretty convenient.) From the Tai Po Market station, take exit 1A and go to the bus area (don't worry, it's clearly marked). Take bus 64K to Kadoorie Farm. 

The bus I was on did not announce the different stops, so you have to pay close attention, but it will be about a half-hour ride. This is how Kadoorie Farm looks from across the street. (It will be on your left as you drive up.) There is a sign, but it's a little beyond the main building, so you may not see it from the bus.

This is the view from the same spot as above, looking after the bus as it continues on its way. Note the hard-to-read Kadoorie Farm sign just to the left of the bus, by the cyclists. If you're close enough to read it, you've probably already missed the stop!

Kadoorie Farm was well worth it. I only had two hours to spend there, since I had a flight to catch that evening, but I managed to see most of what I would have wanted to anyway.

I spent most of my time walking around the grounds, enjoying the trees and flowers and a small stream. Apparently there was a longer hiking trail up to the top of a nearby slope (with a wonderful view), but I didn't see it and didn't have time anyway. If I ever go back, I'd like to do that hike.

I have no idea what this dragon thing was doing on its little platform in the trees!

This mountain boar is among dozens of animals (or maybe a couple hundred?) that call Kadoorie Farm home. Most were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

Hong Kong had just been experiencing a cold spell, so some animals were temporarily lodged in warmer quarters.

Informative (and sometimes interactive) displays accompanied most of the exhibits.

Indoor areas housed special exhibits of small reptiles and amphibians.

Several Chinese water dragons had a pretty comfy life there.

There was also a little building for fish and river-related displays.

Kadoorie Farm places great emphasis on ecology and protecting the environment.

Larger reptiles lived in outdoor enclosures. It was fun seeing some different species hanging out together!

There were several aviaries hosting a variety of birds, like this kite.

In a different enclosure, this cockatoo saw me walking by and came over to say hello (literally).

I could tell this mynah bird had also been somebody's pet. He was very friendly and wanted my attention!

I really enjoyed the insect display. It was quite educational (and not too creepy!).

I don't recall actually seeing any butterflies (it may have been too cold for them), but this display board was interesting.

There were several little deer in an enclosure there. They didn't want to stand still and pose for pictures, though!

I enjoyed the areas where guests could just walk through and see animals in a (sort of) natural habitat, as opposed to behind bars or glass.

They had a scenic pond habitat that housed a number of varieties of small wildlife.

I think the little waterfall was manmade, but it was still pretty!

Some animals at Kadoorie Farm were gifts from other countries.

These flamingoes, for example, were sent over from the Bahamas.

Kadoorie has its own little cafe on the premises.

Everything on the menu is vegetarian and fairly healthy (but tasty)! Prices are reasonable, too.

I heard the red rice with veggies in curry sauce (option B below) was really good. I had eaten a late breakfast and wasn't hungry enough for a full meal, though.

I ended up ordering the mushroom soup with garlic toast and a cup of hot citron tea. Tasty and satisfying on a chilly day!

All in all, my afternoon at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden was time very well spent. It would make a great school field trip (for any grade) or family outing. Young kids would love it (and I saw plenty of them having a great time there), but as an adult, I loved it too. With admission costing only 30 Hong Kong Dollars (with discounts for kids, the elderly, and groups), it was more than worth it.
Highly recommended for everyone!

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