Hong Kong can be one of the most exciting cities in the world, but there may be days when you want to trade the towering skyscrapers for a bit of nature. For those days when all you’re craving is some fresh air and a bit of greenery, here are 5 easy day escapes to consider:

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Spend a day at Shek O Beach

Shek O is a little seaside village that faces the South China Sea. It is the perfect escape from the city because it’s easy to access via public transportation, plus there’s so much to experience here in terms of outdoor activities. You can enjoy a swim in the calm waters of Shek O Beach, you can take part in water sports like windsurfing, or you can hike the Dragon’s Back Trail through Shek O Country Park. Big Wave Bay Beach is another nearby spot worth checking out; here you can visit the prehistoric rock carvings found along the coast, or spend an adrenaline-infused afternoon paragliding.

Go hiking around Lamma Island

Lamma Island is Hong Kong’s third largest island and it has plenty to offer visitors. The island started out as a traditional fishing village and while it has expanded over the years, it still has a very laid back feel. For a beach escape,  head straight for Hung Shing Yeh Beach where the water is clean and the sand is powdery. If you’re feeling active, try the Ling Kok Shan trail, which winds through rural villages and coastal scenery (it takes about 2.5 hours to complete, so wear the right shoes.) Or for a deeper look at the island’s history, visit the Lamma Fisherfolk’s Village, where you can learn about the locals’ ties to the sea and try your hand at fishing. (Guided walking tours are available.)

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Come face to face with Buddha at Lantau Island

Lantau Island is a popular site with visitors, namely because of the Big Buddha. Other points of interest include riding the Ngong Ping 360 cable car for scenic views of the island, walking the famed Wisdom Path, and visiting the Tai O village where the Tanka people have built their homes on stilts above the water.

Escape to Aberdeen for some seafood

Aberdeen is a town situated on the south side of Hong Kong Island and it has a completely different feel from the city. The main attraction here is touring the harbour aboard a sampan boat, and then dining at Jumbo Kingdom, one of the world’s largest floating restaurants. This is the place to feast on seafood, so bring your appetite and don’t be shy at the buffet!

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Enjoy a cruise of the harbour

And lastly, if you’d prefer to spend some time out at sea, there’s the option of taking a cruise of the harbour. Hop aboard the “Oriental Dragon” and enjoy a drink in hand as you navigate past Wanchai, Central, and the North Point neighborhoods. The views from Victoria Harbour are truly spectacular.

How would you spend a relaxed day in Hong Kong?