Mai Po Natural Reserve
The Mai Po Natural Reserve around Mai Po and the Inner Deep Bay, both located in the northwestern corner of Hong Kong, have been heaven-on-Earth for birds for many years. In the past, people didn't give any protection to this area, but since 1976, this area has been considered an important conservation resource for scientific research. In 1984, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) started managing the Mai Po Natural Reserve. In 1995, 1,500-hectares (3,707 acres) of wetlands around Mai Po and the Inner Deep Bay were set aside as international wetlands of great importance.
Around the end of fall annually, millions of birds fly to Mai Po Natural Reserve to spend the winter and many of them are the world's endangered birds. So winter is the best time to pay a visit there. When spring comes, many birds leave. However, the reserve still maintains a lively atmosphere. Shrimp become active and butterflies, dragonflies and many other insects can be seen here and there.
Mai Po Natural Reserve also provides a habitat for many other wild lives, including 21 species of amphibians, 7 species of reptiles, more than 31 species of fishes, 400 species of invertebrates, 380 varieties of birds and 24 kinds of mammals. Additionally, about 250 plants can be seen there. With the appropriate name of 'Bird's Paradise', the reserve is an excellent place for you to observe various beautiful birds.
How to tour Mai Po Natural Reserve
The reserve only opens to the public on Fridays, Weekends and public holidays (except the first three days of lunar Chinese New Year). To explore Mai Po Natural Reserve, you need to join the tour groups organized by WWF. Children aged under 4 are not allowed to enter the reserve; and those under 18 must be accompanied by adults.
Three types of tour packages are for visitors’ choice: All-Year Tour, Fall-Winter Tour and Spring-Summer Tour. Each tour package offers different activities for you. Following professional guide, you will be led to a designated trail to explore traditional shrimp ponds, mangroves, habitats of the wild animals and bird hides.
To join the tour, you have to book it in advance by one of the following ways:
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: 2471 0325
Call: 2471 3480 (9:00 - 17:00 on weekdays)
Service Hotline: 2526 1011 (press 2, 1 after selecting the language).
As the accessibility of the natural reserve is not good, if your schedule does not fit, you can pay a visit to Hong Kong Wetland Park instead.
How to get to Mai Po Natural Reserve
1. From Sheung Shui MTR Station
• By Public Light Bus (red vans)
In San Fat Street, next to Sheung Shui Landmark, take the Public Light Bus (minibus) No.17 to Mai Po Village. Then, it is a 20 minute walk to your destination.
• By Bus
Take KMB Bus No.76K on Choi Yuen Road opposite the Sheung Shui MTR Station and get off at Mai Po Village.
• By Taxi
Take a green taxi from Sheung Shui MTR Station to your destination. It will cost you about HK$80.
2. From the Yuen Long Station of West Rail
• By public light bus
Take Minibus No.17 from Shui Che Kwun Street, Yuen Long to Tam Kon Chau Road. Then, take a 20-minute walk to the reserve.
• By Bus
Take KMB Bus No.76K from Long Yat Road near Yuen Long Center to Mai Po Village. Then, walk for about 20 minutes to the reserve.
• By Taxi
Take a green taxi from the Yuen Long Station of the West Rail to your destination. The cost is about HK$70.