As you may have seen from our previous post, Ry had to work on his birthday, boo!
So I decided to treat him to a day-trip to the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG), as he’s a big fan of long nature trails and anywhere that promotes conservation and sustainable living.
As there are over 148 hectares to cover, we couldn’t see everything in one day, so we visited on both of our days off – just in case you were wondering why we’re wearing different outfits in this post!
Anyway, our first stop was obviously food. The Sun Garden Café serves delicious organic, vegetarian food at reasonable prices.
Ry ordered a juicy mushroom burger…
…along with a delicious cheese and mushroom toastie; while I went for a lovely Italian, vegetable soup and a super cheesy pizza!
All washed down with frothy mugs of fresh orange juice and buttery, almond cookies!
After lunch, our first stop was the Reptile Garden.
Here, we met a ‘Water Monitor,’ also known as the ‘Five-clawed Dragon’ in Chinese culture.
Unfortunately the species is believed to be extinct in the wild as they are hunted for bush meat and the leather trade, along with habitat loss. However wild sightings have recently been reported, suggesting a small population is now thriving in HK!
Check out this energetic little turtle!
Most of the animals at KFBG have either been confiscated from illegal traders by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department or rescued by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after being reported by the public.
Everything is very well sign-posted to ensure a better understanding of the threats to survival facing many of the plants and animals living here, along with what you can do to prevent their destruction.
Our next stop was a visit to the Pigsties; these 6 cuties were formally appointed as KFGB Education Ambassadors on 1 August 2013 to urge visitors to eat less meat!
We were even lucky enough to catch them slurping and munching away on their healthy lunch.
Here are some FUN FACTS about pigs! 😀
I caught a couple of wild boars having a nap…
In Chinese Culture, the deer symbolises immortality as it’s the companion of the God of Longevity, Shou Lao.
The deer also represents family bonding and respect, coming from the folktale of Zhou Yan Zi (a son posed as a deer to pass into a herd of deer to gather their milk to cure his sick father).
Finally, the deer also represents prosperity as the Chinese word for deer is pronounced in the same way as the word for the salary of a Chinese official.
One of the highlights for me was seeing the ADORABLE Chinese Leopard Cat – Hong Kong’s only species of native wildcat.
It is suspected that these kittens were smuggled to HK and destined for the illegal pet trade before being confiscated by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).
The Amphibian and Reptile House was also pretty rad.
The Chinese Water Dragon possesses a small round spot on the top of its head to help sense changes in light intensity. Furthermore its tail is used for balance, as well as serving as an oar when it swims and as a whip-like weapon to fight off rivals!
Snakes shed their skins regularly to allow for growth in size and to remove parasites and damage on old skin. This is done by rubbing against rough surfaces like rocks; the skin is often shed in one continuous piece!
As KFBG is situated on the Northern slopes of Hong Kong’s highest mountain, Tai Mo Shan, it’s one of the few places in HK where you can go to enjoy nature without any high rises in sight!
Our next stop was the aviary!
This little fella was rather photogenic 😉
This is a Fischer’s Lovebird, native to Africa.
Despite its name, lovebirds can be very aggressive towards each other, especially during the nesting season.
All of the birds here were abandoned pets or rescued animals. It was also noted that many attempts to release the birds were carried out when deemed appropriate, however most of them came back every time!
Ryan absolutely loved all the nature trails!
There were so many beautiful flowers and interesting little creatures all around!
However there were also some terrifying sights (well, just for me as I find caterpillars really creepy; this was actually one of Ryan’s highlights…)
I was genuinely petrified that they were going to jump all over Ryan as he went so up close to take this…
So, moving on…making sure not to ram into any wild boars!
We decided to trek up to the summit of Kwun Yum Shan, near the highest point of KFBG.
The peak is named after Kwun Yum, the Goddess of Love and Compassion; it is a place for quiet contemplation.
Believed to be over 500 years old, villagers in the past came to seek blessings for peace, fertility and bountiful harvests.
The word on the bottom right means: silence, stillness, serenity, tranquility, contemplation, profound insight and eternal joy.
Check out the awesome dragon pillars!
From the picture of the statue on the map, we were lead to believe that it would be a giant statue, seeing as people made all that effort to walk a rather long way to see it.
So you can probably imagine our surprise when we were greeted with this…
It still makes us laugh, just thinking about it!
If you’re interested, here are a few facts about Kwun Yum.
At least the views were pretty awesome from the top!
Even with 2 trips, we still couldn’t see it all!
Next time, we’d like to visit the Kadoorie Brothers’ and T.S Woo Memorial Pavillions.
If you’re looking for a cheap ($20) day out withthe company animals and nature trails, away from the hustle and bustle of the city – this is for you! To find out more, click here.
“Everybody can help to make a difference, every day, through small choices and lifestyle changes that can have big impacts to the general health and well-being of the planet. By working together, we can all protect our common future.”
Happy Friday! 😀