This week for our family field trip we found ourselves bobbing around Wong Nai Chung Reservoir in a Pedal Boat. If you missed last time, we were marvelling at the sight of a huge Noah’s Ark, and you can read about our experience here.
This week the intrepid field-trippers were once again mum and dad plus 3-year-old Gracie – now very much re-energised after her bout of jetlag. Apparently, it takes a day for every hour of time difference for a tot to recover from jetlag and I concur; it took Gracie the full week to get over her jetlag on our return from the UK… anyways, back to the field trip!
Paddle boating was such a lovely activity to do on a Sunday morning and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We also felt quite victorious for managing to dodge this season’s ever-present Hong Kong rain and do something outside again! It did rain towards the end, but being true Brits we weren’t put off by a mere shower and carried on pedalling for a bit until Little Miss G (Hong Kong-born… she doesn’t do rain!) decided it was time for us to pedal faster and get back to shelter.
The reservoir – built in 1889 and located in Wong Nai Chung Resevoir Park on Tai Tam Road (on the way to Parkview) – used to be a fully functioning reservoir until, due to its small water storage capacity, it was decided it was no longer viable and closed. In 1986 it was re-opened to the public, and the main pull nowadays is the pedal boat kiosk where you can rent both four, and two-seater pedal boats, as well as rowing boats by the hour. Lifejackets are provided free of charge.
If you want to get back to nature and escape the bustling city, pedal boating is a great way to do it! With abundant green fauna, the reservoir is serene and tranquil, packed with fish and terrapins, and an hour on the reservoir is the perfect antidote to hotfooting it around the city.
While terrapins sunbathe on the rocks minding their own business, the fish gape open mouthed and come right to the surface to gobble up bread… or rice cakes. (Gracie’s snacks went in as we forgot bread, and didn’t realise you can buy it from the boat kiosk!).
Hits: With its lush green scenery and peaceful waters you really can get back to nature; there are plenty of fish to feed and terrapins to see; it’s good for all ages – tots can sit and watch while older siblings can have a go at steering as the boats are simple to control; the reservoir is peaceful and serene and has a lovely calming influence, letting you forget busy city life for a while; easy to get to (see below for details), and it’s relatively cheap. It’s also safe – as it’s a reservoir, the water is very calm and contained so there’s no getting lost! You feel like you’ve actually done something… got out of the house, on the water and whiled away a couple of hours in the great outdoors!
Misses: No misses this week as it was fun, fun, fun!
Need to know before you go: Bring mozzie spray, sunscreen and bread to feed the fish! The pedal boats have canopies so you are protected from the elements, but your legs will be out in the sun (hopefully!) as you pedal, so keep sunscreen at the ready!
If you’re hungry: There’s a small kiosk called The Beer House that sells… beer! Perfect for post-pedal boat parental refreshment, the kiosk also sells soft drinks and limited snacks (crisps, noodle soup, sandwiches). There’s also The Pier Café that overlooks the reservoir, so a great spot. Again, they sell snacks and drinks but were unfortunately closed when we visited.
Opening hours: 9am to 6pm daily.
Cost: Four-seater pedal boat $100 per hour (weekdays) and $120 per hour (weekends and public holidays)
Two-seater pedal boat $80 per hour (weekdays) and $100 per hour (weekends and public holidays)
Age: Any age! Potentially not suitable for the very youngest and wiggliest of toddlers, but everyone else will love this!
How to get there:
By bus: Take bus numbers 6 or 66 from Central Exchange Square Bus Terminus; numbers 5 or 76 from Causeway Bay, or numbers 41A or 63 from North Point, alighting at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park bus stop (near the petrol station) on Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. From the petrol station, cross the road and head up Tai Tam Reservoir Road towards Parkview. Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park is on your right before you reach Parkview – about 10 minutes’ walk from the bus stop.
By taxi: probably the easier option! It costs approx $60-65 from Central.
Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park, Tai Tam Reservoir Road (off Wong Nai Chung Gap Road), Hong Kong.
Tel: +(852) 2812 1252/