While Hong Kong is no doubt one of the most exciting, diverse and convenient places to live in the world, sometimes you’ll just feel the need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city – for one reason or another. We asked the experts from tailor-made travel agency Lightfoot Travel to highlight destinations for those particular travel cravings you’re keen to satisfy.
WIDE OPEN SPACES – Argentina
Argentina’s wild plains, rugged mountains and endless horizons are right out of a dreamland, and can be explored on foot, on horseback, by 4×4 or from the air. The rivers and lakes run so clear that you can see the bottom, the majestic Andes are somewhat forbidding yet hauntingly beautiful, and Patagonia, roughly the size of Texas, is full of crystalline lakes and sprawling savanna. If you’re feeling somewhat caged in by the concrete jungle of Hong Kong (though we love it!), this country is about as wide-open and exposed as you can get.
WILDLIFE – South Africa
A great introduction to the safari experience, South Africa is a fantastic place to visit if you’re keen to see all the animals. A four-hour drive or quick charter flight from Johannesburg, Kruger National Park is the granddaddy of safari parks and easily accessed from Hong Kong. In addition to safaris, you also have the country’s diverse range of landscapes to explore – the rambling Winelands, coastal Garden Route and vibrant Cape Town – which also has its share of wildlife in the form of Boulders Beach and its endearing penguin colony.
FRESH AIR – Canada
A country of staggering beauty, Canada’s landscapes range from rugged mountain ranges to vast farmlands, volcanic belts, Arctic tundra and coastal regions teeming with wildlife. Whether you’re sailing down Whistler’s slopes, trekking the Canadian Rockies or cruising the endless coastline, make sure to pause often and take deep breaths. We’ve even heard of local companies bottling Canada’s pristine mountain air to countries that are less fortunate in the clean air department!
CULTURE – Oman
Oman is a wonderfully varied country and provides the ultimate in self-drive holidays. Start in Muscat with its heady mix of age-old tradition and gleaming modernity; next, head into the desert and meet the nomadic tribes that call this barren region home; drive up into the dramatic Al Hajar Mountains stopping in the ancient city of Nizwa; and end your trip sailing through the fjords of the northern Musandam Peninsula, anchoring alongside coastal towns whose inhabitants have fished the waters for centuries. Oman makes for an incredible introduction to the Middle East.
WHOLESOME FOOD – Australia
Australia’s varied natural environment means that there is little need to import food into the country, and as a result of this everything is super-fresh. Australia’s restaurant scene has taken advantage of all of these local and sustainable ingredients, with a particular trend for the organically grown. Take a trip around the Eastern suburbs of Sydney (Bondi and Bronte, for example) where it’s all about the hippest, organic superfood joints. Byron Bay has a penchant for the farm-to-table movement, and we particularly recommend Harvest in Newrybar, a charming café that serves up delicious fresh meats and seafood, and oozes country charm.
GREENERY – Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse destinations on earth with an array of wildlife species found in the many national parks that make up some 25 percent of the country. Find cloud forests, active volcanoes and rainforest as well as the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines offering plentiful water sports. It’s a great family holiday destination and one to take over the longer Christmas break when there is plenty of sunshine making it an ideal time to both explore the jungle interior and lounge on the beaches.