This week for our family field trip we found ourselves enjoying the lush green delights of Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui. If you missed last time we were boating and picnicking at Inspiration Lake near Hong Kong Disneyland and you can read all about our experience here.
This week the intrepid field trippers were: Mum, Dad, Granny and Gracie the tot, aged 3. Having exhausted the parks on HK Island, we were keen to see what one of Kowloon’s most famed parks had to offer in comparison… and we weren’t disappointed!
Situated in the centre of Tsim Sha Tsui and sandwiched between Canton and Nathan Road, Kowloon Park is a welcome green oasis from the hustle and bustle of this part of Hong Kong.
Formerly a military base back in the 1830s due to its valuable strategic position overlooking the harbour, the site was opened as a park in 1970 and later redeveloped in 1989 at a not-to-be-sniffed-at cost of $300 million by the good old Hong Kong Jockey Club.
The park covers a whopping 13.3 hectares and there’ s plenty to do and see, including: a large children’s playground, plus a discovery playground including castle turret and cannons to explore, a maze garden, water features, a bird lake, an aviary, a swimming pool complex, a sports centre, various beautiful gardens, and the Health Education Exhibition and Resource Centre… phew!
The Star Ferry journey to TST is always a crowd pleaser, then it’s only a short walk to the park entrance on Haiphong Road where we started with a gentle, pleasing amble through the peaceful tree lined avenues taking in the small ponds. The favourite was the larger bird lake with its pink flamingos and sunbathing terrapins. Next stop was the aviary where we enjoyed playing Spot the Bird… perhaps they were all sleeping or just well-camouflaged? But once again without fail, the ultimate favourite was the large children’s playground and the discovery playground with its big castle turret to climb up and down and accompanying cannons. Getting lost and going around in circles in the maze garden was a close second favourite. And finally it’s FREE, so a cheap day activity and of course suitable for all ages.
(We didn’t have time to visit the Health Education Exhibition and Resource Centre, but we hear, despite the less than enthralling name it’s often a hit with kids with its interactive games and exhibits specially designed for little ones, so if you have time… go!).
Hungry?: We headed to Harbour City for pizza at El Molo; there’s also BLT Burger, and Pizza Express in Harbour City. In the park itself, there’s a McDonalds.
Park opening times: Daily, 5am to 12am.
Discovery playground: Daily, 6.30am to 9pm.
Aviary: Daily, 6.30am-6.45pm (March to October); 6.30am – 5.45pm (November to February).
Swimming pool: Daily, 6.30am to 12pm, 1pm to 5pm, and 6pm to 10pm.
Sports Centre: Daily, 7am to 11pm.
Health Education Exhibition & Resource Centre: Tues, Weds, Fri & Sat, 8.45am to 6.15pm; Sun 11am – 9pm.
Closed Mon, Thurs and Public Holidays.
By Star Ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, then on foot walk straight ahead from the TST Star Ferry Pier exit on to Salisbury Road and keep going until you meet Kowloon Park Drive, then turn left. Stay on Kowloon Park Drive until you see the park entrance.
From Central or Admiralty take the Tsuen Wan (red) line to Tsim Sha Tsui station, Exit A1 and the main park entrance is on Haiphong Road. You can also get the MTR to Jordan and there’s an entrance to the park from Exit C1.