Cover Find out the best places in the city to see autumn foliage (Photo: @dlky_nature/Instagram)

Autumn is on the horizon, and with it, comes the natural beauty of the autumn leaves. Here, we list the best places in Hong Kong to see them

There are plenty of scenic places to visit in Hong Kong during autumn––from sunrise spots, to hiking trails and picnic areas. But nothing conjures the spirit of autumn more than the autumn leaves. Our neighbours, Japan and South Korea might be the postcard image of the autumn foliage, but with travel still off the cards, a visit there can wait.

Instead, you’ll be surprised to know that we have plenty of places in the city where you can also see the seasonal leaves. Pack your picnic baskets and wear your cosiest sweaters––we’re listing the best places in Hong Kong where you can enjoy a day out frolicking amidst the autumn leaves.

Editor’s note: The best time to see the autumn leaves is typically between November to January. However, since this is a natural phenomenon, the colours may change depending on the weather and climate and may vary each year.

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1. Sweet Gum Woods

Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Tong is the city’s premier spot for autumn leaves sightseeing––perhaps Hong Kong’s answer to Japan’s Karuizawa. Nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike clamour to this hotspot to enjoy the best view of the autumn leaves. Thanks to the number of densely packed sweet gum trees that grow here, you get to see the vibrant mix of orange, yellow and red up close.

Besides Sweet Gum Woods, you can also head to Tai Tong Nature Trail if you want a place a little less crowded, although given the popularity of the spot you might have to brave the crowds.

Sweet Gum Woods, Tai Tong Shan Road, Tai Tong, Yuen Long, Hong Kong

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2. Tsing Yi Park

Get a taste of European autumn right here in Hong Kong at Tsing Yi Park. The autumnal trees here are situated along an ornate lake complete with waterfalls. The park has hints of European design including pavilions, statues and an amphitheatre. Because of the pristine lake near the trees, you can see a beautiful reflection of the leaves' vibrant colours.

The scene and vibe here are definitely picturesque and cosy––perfect for a day out to enjoy the cool weather.

Tsing Yi Park, 60 Tsing King Road, Tsing Yi, Hong Kong

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3. Kau Tam Tso

If you’re an avid hiker on the hunt for autumn leaves, Kau Tam Tso is a perfect choice. It’s a route that eventually leads to Tiu Tang Lung but because the hike is physically demanding so it’s much more recommended for experienced hikers. Kau Tam Tso itself is a village but many of the ancestors of its original settlers have moved to urban areas in the city or overseas.

Kau Tam Tso, Shuen Wan Tai Po, Hong Kong

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4. Chinese University of Hong Kong

Who would’ve thought that an autumn leaves sightseeing spot lies in the secluded campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)? In fact, the spot even has a name––Lake Ad Excellentiam or Weiyuan Lake––which means “not complete”, describing the shape of the lake but also a nod to Chung Chi College's motto, “In Search of Excellence.”

The college is one of the three original colleges that joined together to form CUHK. This spot is perfect for an idyllic stroll, alongside the lake but also serves as a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Hong Kong.

Lake Ad Excellentiam, Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong

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5. Pineapple Dam Nature Trail

The Pineapple Dam Nature Trail is best suited for novice hikers who want to see the autumn foliage. The trail is home to an old pineapple plantation, where it earned its name. The hike is easy, only one kilometre long, and especially breathtaking during autumn when the leaves turn red.

You can also enjoy this location just as much during summer, thanks to the lush greenery. The trail eventually takes you to Shing Mun Reservoir which itself is also a place to soak in nature.

Pineapple Dam Nature Trail, Shing Mun Reservoir, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

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This article was originally published on October 20, 2020 and was updated on October 11, 2021.

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