• Fri
  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 2:20am
NewsHong Kong

Going to the country park is better than any entertainment, says Hong Kong father

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 4:07am

It is a dilemma for every Hongkonger to ponder. As much as the people of the city love their country parks, they are also the victims of the high property prices that development chief Paul Chan Mo-po say can be tackled by increasing the housing supply by using these green havens.

"There should be other ways other than using country parks," said Patrick Chan, an accountant, who was enjoying a Sunday barbecue with his wife, mother and four-year-old daughter in Kam Shan Country Park.

Chan, 42, leases a 300 sq ft flat and the family has been on the waiting list for a public flat for more than a year. He is keen to see more public flats built, but objects to losing the parks. "They are a buffer zone and they're very important to me. Going to the country park with my family is better than any other entertainment activities," he said.

But Tony Chu, 55, an unemployed investment banker who enjoys hiking, was not completely against the idea of releasing the land for development.

"There are many subdivided flat dwellers living in very poor conditions," said Chu, who lives in a small flat in Sham Shui Po. "If this country park is gone, I could go hiking somewhere else."

As well as providing recreation for Hongkongers, the parks also bolster the city's image internationally - drawing tourists and making it more attractive for businesspeople.

"About 95 per cent of our walkers are from overseas, who were surprised at how much green the city has," said Gabi Baumgarner, who founded eco-tour firm Walk Hong Kong, in 2003. "Once they get to know it, they will come back for that."

She said the firm received two groups of secondary students from its traditional rival Singapore this year, because: "They don't have a proper hiking trail."



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This article is now closed to comments

I think it's pretty from reading comments on SCMP as well as articles in SCMP that some Hongkongers and HongKong residents find Singapore's superiority in many areas very very hard to swallow.
Go on, continue to delude yourself and very soon, you will find yourself even further behind
Oh dear, it some folks in HK are doing all they can to justify their sorry existence of living in pigeon holes by arguing for their country parks, and in the process drag Singapore and their far sunnier housing situation by claiming that they don't have any proper walking trials.
I think Hongkonger should really get a grip and come to terms with their situation.

For you information, 50% of Singapore is covered in green. Sure, Hong Kong's country parks are an attraction in itself, but rest assured that we too do have our green walking trails if you care to check.
I'm sure there's no need for oneupmanship to that level? There will always be trade-offs. Save the country parks, or leave the majority of your population living like animals?
So.... Chan the accountant rents a 300 sq-ft flat with his family. Chu the investment banker lives in a small flat in Sham Shui Po. Really??


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