If you have the time the Kunming Botanical Garden is very nice and has great examples of traditional Chinese, Buddhist, Japanese Gardens. And for a interesting perspective on other gardens the former world horticulture expo is immediately adjacent complete with sky tram connection. The latter isn't really that great but when the parade goes through its a hoot.
Thanks for the advice. I found the botanical gardens to be a nice collection of species and spaces and I almost entirely avoided the rain. If you have been in Kunming during the drought years you would be surprised to know that it has been a very wet summer.
Your welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.
Check out Hong Kong Park, it can be a bit naf and dated but it is a well used much loved park. There is an interesting dynamic at different edges of the park with some major roadways cutting it off from the surrounding buildings while other parts are more integrated into the pedestrian system.
Kowloon Park warrants a visit.
The Expo Promenade in HK island is also worth a stroll along.
The Hong Kong zoological and Botanic gardens are ok.
I think it is worth walking up Victoria peak, you get some good views of the city on the way up and meet some interesting folk out walking their dogs.
Signal hill gardens in Kowloon are small but nicely down although feel a little out of the way (which is odd for where they are located).
In terms of street life and night life I enjoyed the Wan Chai district. Lots of food plenty of people.
If you have the time I suggest heading to Chengdu it is an interesting place, to me it felt like there were more street trees and had a greater pedestrian focus to the streets and of coarse it has the panda sanctuary.
I wanted to go to Kunming each time I went to China but never made it there. It sounds like such an interesting place.
Thanks for your help. I was able to visit most of the places you suggested. I really enjoyed Hong Kong Park. Kowloon Park was interesting too but is showing some wear and some areas were being shut down for repairs. The best part of all was just being part of the street-life in a wonderful world city.
If you want to see the "real" and ancient (compared to our infant country) China, you need only to go to two cities and their immediate surroundings. Xi'an and Guilin. No need for Beijing, which is overrated, overcrowded and really just too expensive.
I have seen Xi'an but I am planning to make a quick trip to Beijing as well. Xi'an was pretty good but would of been more enjoyable if I hadn't gone during the heart of tourist season.