I had heard of Kadoorie Farm a while back, but I hadn’t got round to visiting it. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much since many of the farms in Hong Kong that are open to the public are a little bit grubby looking! But my husband’s colleague wanted to take us because his girlfriend works there so we took a trip out to the New Territories to see what we would find there.
And it was actually really, really lovely! Immaculately landscaped, with lots of different animals to see and learn about. The whole place is a semi-private conservation area which aims to teach the public about the plants and animals it houses and about conservation in general. The farm extends a very long way up a very steep hill and you can take a minibus up to the top area (you have to book a place on the shuttle bus for a small fee) but we just stayed in the bottom part and spent several hours there.
So, let’s start with how to get there. The easiest way is to take the MTR to Tai Wo station and then take the 64K bus to Yuen Long. The bus stop is handily called Kadoorie Farm so you can’t miss it. It takes about 20 minutes from Tai Wo. (Alternatively, if you start your journey near Yuen Long, you could take the 64K bus in the opposite direction!) Admission to the farm is very cheap – only HK$30 for ages 12-59, half-price for 5-11 year olds and otherwise it is free.
Since we went with young children, we made sure to fit in as many of the animals as possible. They certainly have a wide range! Our friend who showed us round told us that the animals they have there are either rescue animals or have been donated for educational purposes. The pigs definitely fitted into this last category! A lot of pork is eaten in Hong Kong so I guess it’s quite important!
They also have deer, bats, wild boar, black kites, fish, chameleons, monitor lizards, stick insects, parrots, monkeys, tortoises and flamingoes…
…and those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head! And this, which I think is a leopard cat.
As a little note, I have been to Kadoorie Farm twice now, once in November and once in February. There were a lot fewer of the animals outside in February due to the colder weather. So if you have your heart set on seeing as many animals as possible I’d recommend you go at warmer times of year!
There are other educational aspects to the farm as well as the animals. We enjoyed walking through the greenhouses, for example. One greenhouse had plants that had different senses. This ‘sensitive plant’ closed its leaves when you touched it.
Outside the greenhouses there were even more flowers. One plant was full of butterflies and when the plant was disturbed, they all flew around. Magical!
Another flower had a few bees buzzing around which my children found fascinating.
Since it’s a very educational place, if you go on a weekday (or a weekend too, for that matter) you are likely to be faced with many groups of school children. Sometimes we found it best to avoid an area and then come back to it later because it got a bit busy! But once you get away from the animals, it is much quieter. And so beautiful. I can’t remember how many gardeners our friend said that they employed but it was a LOT.
There are many paths and steps you can choose to wander on. There is a stream running down the hill and at one point it turns into a waterfall, which is nice to sit by…
There are views everywhere!
After all that walking, you might want to head back down to the entrance area and turn left to find the café. It’s vegetarian, and everything is freshly cooked and really delicious. Very cheap too! Even on a weekend we had no trouble finding a table, and they also had two highchairs which gives it a big thumbs up in our books (we have twins, by the way).
Just one thing to note, for those with small children, Kadoorie Farm is NOT stroller friendly! It’s very hilly and there are lots of steps. Even if you did find a step-free route around (which you may be able to, I wasn’t really taking note of this) you would be pushing the stroller up a lot of hills. We took carriers, but actually our two year old twins had a whale of a time wandering around all the paths so we barely used them.
So, to sum up, Kadoorie Farm is great and well worth a trip to the New Territories. Have you been? Did you like it as much as me?!
Thanks for reading!