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When most people think of Hong Kong, they think skyscrapers and big city life. But 70% of Hong Kong land is countryside with about 40% reserved as country parks. This means that people live and work in dense clusters (hence the skyscrapers), and while these seem like the opposite of “natural”, it’s a very eco-friendly way of life. The small house living has been taken to extremes though, and people could do with a smidgeon more space, not to mention more affordable space instead of the crazy prices that have priced the middle class out of the market and forced the poor into horrible subdivided flats.

There seems to be a general agreement that Hong Kong’s housing crisis should be solved without touching the country parks that are the city’s pride, its lungs, and an amazing free and accessible leisure venue. Even the most urban-looking city development is probably just 10-15 minutes away from the goodness of nature in all its glory.

When we didn’t have kids, hiking up mountains was a frequent activity. Now, we’ve begun making short forays by taking a cab right up to the start of the park. The tranquility and beauty that is so near at hand never ceases to amaze me.

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