When was the last time you played tourist in Hong Kong? The West Kowloon neighbourhood is set to take centre stage as the city’s new arts and culture hub, so be sure to visit before the crowds.
One of the (many!) things we love about Hong Kong is how at first glance it seems to be a city of skyscrapers. But as you get amongst it, you quickly find that it is the people, the market stalls, the temples and the hustle and bustle of the streets that really make this city tick. Look a little deeper as you amble around Jordan and Yau Ma Tei and you’ll find family businesses, generations of creatives who are bringing their crafts to the 21st Century.
Discover Hong Kong has put together five walking routes to help you uncover the many little-known corners that are often overlooked as you stroll the streets of West Kowloon. There are artisans specialising in everything from sandalwood fans to bamboo steamers, hand-crafted mahjong tiles and more. Not to mention Tung Nam Lou, a seafood restaurant that has been transformed into an art hotel, a bookstore hidden in the Tin Hau Temple named The School, or Liu Ma Kee, the condiment shop that specialises in fermented tofu (ask for the carbonara recipe!).
Of course, no journey through the city’s culture would be complete without sampling some local delicacies. Cha Chaan Teng cuisine is quintessentially Hong Kong – that unique mix of east meets west that blends in the most delicious way. The historic Mido Café has been frequented by locals and tourists alike – not to mention being featured in many a film for its classic 1950s interiors. Anyone for a classic milk tea and pineapple bun?!
Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, M+, is set to open its doors on Friday, 12 November, 2021 and we couldn’t be more excited! Inside you’ll find an enormous exhibition space, three cinemas, learning and research facilities and more. You can also check out Freespace – the city’s newest centre for contemporary performances, dine at FAM (stands for food, art, music), and visit the Competition Pavilion, also referred to as the “Growing Up” pavilion.
Be sure to also stop by the Hong Kong Space Museum, which will be dressed as a giant “Smiling Pineapple Bun” until Sunday, 31 October. You can meet more of the adorable FriendsWithYou characters, created by international pop art duo Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, virtually through AR technology by scanning QR codes around the West Kowloon neighbourhood.
From the bustling backstreets of Jordan and Yau Ma Tei, to the contemporary waterfront precinct, the West Kowloon neighbourhood is set to cement Hong Kong as Asia’s arts and cultural hub. Check it out now and beat the crowds!