Leave the skyscrapers of Hong Kong's urban landscape behind on a journey to discover the rural beauty that lies beyond the harbor. The banana plantations, mountains, and wildlife in the countryside serve as a gentle reminder of its pastoral history, as well as the region's plans for the future.
Once you leave the urban center of Hong Kong Island, pay a visit to the Yuen Yuen Institute, a temple built among wooded hills that showcases the role of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist thought in the area's culture. From there, pass banana plantations and visit Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong's tallest mountain, for a panoramic view of the countryside stretching back to Hong Kong Island.
As you head north through the rural countryside, stop at Shek Kong to browse the colorful stalls piled high with dried fish, fresh fruit, herbs, vegetables, and flowers. A visit to Luk Keng takes you near a Hakka village and a bird sanctuary, home to Chinese pond herons and night herons nest, before you pass through the Plover Cove Country Park to visit the fishing village of Sam Mun Tsai.
The last stage of your tour returns you to the city by way of the newly developed industrial town of Tao Po. Ride past the Chinese University and on to Sha Tin, a sleepy village not long ago but now the site of an impressive new urban district. Enjoy a Chinese lunch at a popular restaurant in the New Territories before your day of exploration comes to an end.