Marked by a rich history and filled with loads of things for families to do, Kwun Tong should be your next day trip out!
If you and your family like to travel off the beaten path (or if you’ve already visited all the tourist spots in the city), Kwun Tong may be one to add to your list. Full of history, the district has roots dating back to before Hong Kong’s establishment as a city-state and any of its development. Formerly a salt production centre back in the 1200’s, the district’s coast has been a hub for fishermen and sailors alike. Part of the district then morphed into a factory area, which was then filled up by creatives looking to take on entrepreneurial ventures. Since then, the area has undergone modern development, and is now an eclectic mishmash of old creaky buildings filled with an eccentric mix of creative businesses, and new gentrified skyscrapers all split into the organised offices not so unlike those found in Central and Admiralty. Whether you’re looking to explore a bit of local history or hoping to check out some new places to eat and shop in town, we’ve done our research and have come up with a list of our favourite and most interesting places to hit up in this Kowloon neighbourhood. All that’s left to do is to take your pick from our roundup and go there!
Getting To and Around the Kwun Tong District
The Kwun Tong district covers around 11 square kilometres and features many different attractions throughout the area, so knowing how to get there and how to get around is crucial! Like most of Hong Kong, the district is covered by the MTR, which is the most convenient way to travel. There are two lines that serve the area, which are the Kwun Tong (green) line and the Tseung Kwan O (purple) line. Stations serving the area include Yau Tong, Lam Tin, Kwun Tong, Ngau Tau Kok, Kowloon Bay and Choi Hung. More information regarding MTR operating hours can be found here, and a trip planner is available here. Various KMB, NWFB and CityBus lines also serve the area, as do several green and red mini-bus routes. For those closer to a pier, there are full day ferry routes running from North Point and Sai Wan Ho. As with other areas in Hong Kong, taxis are available, and the Take Taxi app can help you translate your addresses from English to Chinese. Simply type in your address in English and show the translated text in Chinese! (You can also swipe up to see your estimated taxi fare! Available for iOS users.)
Where To Eat
Made in HK
Celebrate the melting cauldron of British and Chinese culture at one of restaurant mogul Tony Cheng’s concoctions, Made in HK, where its fusion Western cuisine is made unique with a Southeast Asian flair. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner over at the trendy APM Mall, its Hong Kong style French Toast with Egg Custard, Tonkatsu Baked Rice with Tomato Sauce and Green Apple, and the Coconut Pandan Panna Cotta with Mango Sauce all sound like must-tries to us!
Opening Hours: 8am to 11pm Monday to Sunday
Made in HK, L1-13 Level 1 APM, Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 2156 2000, www.cafedecogroup.com
For a bit of local flavour, head on over to Harbour Dessert to indulge your sweet tooth. Usually open from the afternoon until late (or should we say, early!) into the wee hours of the morning, dessert shops serving up traditional sweet soups and a large variety of creative sugary treats are popular the city over, and are sprinkled liberally around town. Harbour Dessert in Kwun Tong comes highly recommended, and our favourites include the traditional Black Sesame Sweet Soup (ji ma wu) and the classic Mango Sago (mong guo sai mai lo).
Opening Hours: 2pm to 1:30am Monday to Sunday
Harbour Dessert, G/F 46 Hong Ning Road, Kwun Tong, 2151 0861
If you’re on the hunt for a hidden gem to impress some out of town friends, Factory 99 is a good place to start. Located in, literally, a factory building, the restaurant serves up comforting North American dishes with Asian flair. We salivated at the menu: Roasted Chicken with Orange Gravy and Baked Fried Rice with Pork Chop in Tomato Sauce for lunch and Norwegian Salmon and Spinach in Puff Pastry with Lime Cream Sauce, Roasted German Pork Knuckle and Angel Hair with Crab Meat in Tom Yum Kung sauce for dinner. You’re bound to find something interesting to treat your taste buds!
Opening Hours: 8am to 10:30pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm Saturdays and public holidays, closed Sundays
Factory 99, Room A 1/F How Ming Factory Building, 99 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 2345 8333
When it’s time for an afternoon pick-me-up, head over to Coffee Lover and let its baristas pour you a beautiful mug of espresso art. Or, if you’re feeling experimental, try your own hand at some latte art! This cafe, as evidenced by its incredibly on-the-nose name, is dedicated to the nectar brewed from the almighty brown bean. The establishment serves only coffee, but java junkies will be thrilled to find out about its coffee tastings and latte art workshops. If anyone in the family is curious to master all coffee trades, this is the place to go.
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays
Coffee Lover, Flat 3B Wai Yip Industrial Building, 171 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 3149 9028, www.wingyipcoffee.com
For those looking for a bite to eat to go with their daily caffeine dose, Coffee Art brews up stunning cups of joe. Each one is perfectly Instagrammable, with motifs ranging from the classic pull to the trickier swan pour. If you’re looking for something more exciting, the kids will love the 3D foam animal latte art (think corgis and kitties!). This energy refuelling station also serves brunch, lunch and dinner, all with vegetarian options.
Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturday, 10am to 9pm Sundays
Coffee Art, G46-48 E Plaza, 7 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 5403 7883, www.facebook.com/coffeeart
Kokon2, with its quirky vintage decor and delicious Japanese fare, is best known for its creative sushi rolls. This resto also serves a large variety of appetisers, rice and noodle sets, and sashimi, including everything from edamame and octopus salad (don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it!) to sweet bean curd sushi and tuna avocado rolls. Consistent favourites among kids include the tamago (egg) sashimi and the Tonkatsu ramen, and for mamas and papas or older teens, we suggest the Midnight Cowboy (avocado, cream cheese and tempura shrimp or salmon) rolls and the sushi pizza.
Sassy Mama Tip: Make sure to ask for a high chair at Kokon2 to make dining with little ones easier.
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3:30pm and 6pm to 10:30pm Monday to Sunday
Kokon2, Room B 1/F Kwun Tong Industrial Centre Phase 4, 436- 446 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 3188 8015, www.facebook.com/kokon1010
Lei Yue Mun Seafood Bazaar
Also known as the Sam Ka Tsuen Seafood Precinct, Lei Yue Mun Seafood Bazaar is a must visit and one of the most unique experiences you can embark on in Hong Kong. The market is lined with stalls filled with tanks of live fare. Home to some of the freshest seafood available for sale in the city, the area was once a fishing village that has gained popularity since the 1960’s as the spot in town to savour the treasures of the sea. The more convenient method of reaching the bazaar is by a five- to 10-minute walk from the Yau Tong MTR station, or, more traditionally, by taking a ferry from the Sai Wan Ho pier, arguably the much more scenic route. Simply have a browse amongst everything that’s on offer and make your selections, all of which you can then bring to any of the nearby restaurants to have prepared for you to enjoy there. If you bring your own fish and crustaceans, you’ll be subject to a preparation fee (much like a corkage!), but if picking your own doesn’t sound like fun, rest assured that restaurants in the area also have a wide selection of swimmers.
Opening Hours: Opening hours depend on individual stalls and restaurants
Lei Yue Mun Seafood Bazaar, 6 Lei Yue Mun Path, Lei Yue Mun, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Shui Heung Yuen Bakery
While you’re in the Praya Road area of Lei Yue Mun, be sure to check out this traditional Chinese bakery. Although abundant before, these bakeries are now a rare breed that are almost extinct in the city. In addition to serving classics such as sweet, flaky wife cakes and crumbling almond cookies, Shui Heung Yuen is also well known for its egg roll cookies, which come in cardboard boxes. Be sure to pick up a box to take home – if it lasts that long!
Opening Hours: 11am to 7pm Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am to 9pm Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, closed Wednesdays
Shui Heung Yuen, G/F 41C Lei Yue Mun Praya Road, Lei Yue Mun, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 2347 4483
Where To Play
Suitable for all ages and challenging for both mind and body, rock climbing is the perfect way to edge some exercise in with a fun new activity. Go Nature is a 6500 square foot rock climbing facility boasting resident coaches located in a former factory building. With children’s and parent-children’s courses for the climber (any skill level) and day pass options, the whole family can have a go at this extreme sport in a safe environment. For those with a little more experience, the Shun Lee Tsuen Sports Centre is one of eight government-run outdoor leisure rock climbing facilities in Hong Kong. Although there are a few conditions to the use of this wall, the centre is free for everyone with a HKID or a passport. (You can learn more about the conditions here.)
Sassy Mama Tip: If you’re not sure how to reach the Shun Lee Tsuen Sports Centre, the site page provides suggestions for methods of public transport –check it out here!
Opening Hours: 2pm to 11pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 8pm Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Go Nature, Unit C2 G/f Wing Hing Industrial Building, 14 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3563 7156, www.gonaturehk.com
Shun Lee Tsuen Sports Centre
Opening Hours: 9am to 11pm, closed every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month for maintenance
Shun Lee Tsuen Sports Centre, 33 Shun Lee Tsuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2951 4136, www.lcsd.gov.hk
Read More: Top Places For Teens to Hang and Have Fun
Indoor Shrimp Fishing
Maybe you’ve been fishing before, and maybe you’ve even gone squid fishing in the dark off the side of a boat before, but have you ever fished for shrimp indoors? At Ha Cube, visitors can sit at the bar table surrounding a cube-shaped pool, where a variety of live crustaceans await your bait. With the species of shrimps and crabs changing with the seasons, this could be a great way to educate your kids on a little marine biology.
Opening Hours: 2pm to 2am Wednesday to Monday, closed Tuesdays
Ha Cube, Shop C 3/F 60 Tsun Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3188 4989, www.facebook.com/hacubehk
Living in a city where the hustle and bustle is constant means there’s never a lack of things to do, but it also means we’re all easily stressed out as well. If you and your kids need to let off some steam, you’ll love Ikari Area, a space where everything is destructible – and you can smash and scream out all your anger and anxiety! Open all day, every day, this innovative facility provides baseball bats and everything you’d ever want to hit. If this isn’t a novelty entrepreneurial repurposing of former factory space, we don’t know what is!
Opening Hours: 12am to 12am Monday to Sunday
Ikari Area, A10 12/F Mai Hing Industrial Building, 16-18 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 6274 1916, www.facebook.com/ikariarea
If constructiveness is more your style, J-Plus is an indoor play facility that offers cooking workshops for kids. Mainly a soft play area featuring rope courses, tunnels, bridges and even a mini golf course, your children are bound to have tons of fun here. You can also try your hand at making some really cute food (did we mention it recently did a class on panda cookies?). Its culinary workshops are scheduled by booking only, so be sure to call ahead to reserve a space! You can keep yourself updated on its schedule and find out how to make reservations here.
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm Monday to Sunday
J-Plus, Shop 301 3/F Domain Mall, 38 Ko Chiu Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2343 5068, www.jplus.com.hk
Another soft play option in the Kwun Tong district is E Cube, located in Megabox. As the largest indoor playground in Hong Kong, it boasts 11,000 square feet and has everything from trampolines to slides that end in ball pits. Partnering with Hasbro and Playdough, this jungle gym is the perfect way to spend a day indulging your tot with play.
Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm Monday to Thursday, 11am to 9pm Friday to Sunday and public holidays
E3 Club, L12-1 Megabox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, 2117 1068, www.e3club.com.hk
There’s nothing like combatting the humid city heat with a nice trip to the ice skating rink. Just imagine it now: the cold air rising up from the ice to chill your fingertips and your cheeks! You could almost convince yourself the over 30-degree heat isn’t real. A perfect activity for the whole family, especially if all you really want to do is cool off. Just be careful to lace up everyone’s skates real tight and remember to admire the practising figure skaters from afar so nobody gets hurt!
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm (check website for times when closed for ice hockey)
MegaIce, Unit 1, Level 10, Megabox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, 2709 4023, www.megaice.com.hk
Japanese Capsule Toys
Avid collectors of cute little toys, rejoice! Megabox houses the biggest Japanese Capsule Toy shops in the 852. United under the Vivi Shop, the space has more than 100 machines, each containing a variety of tiny toys in capsules. All you have to do is feed the machine of your choice a few coins and twist the dispensing knob for your capsule to fall out! Incredibly popular with the local kids from young to old; just be warned that it could get a little addictive!
Opening Hours: 9am to 11pm Monday to Sunday
Vivi Shop, Shop 4 L9 Megabox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, 2382 2289, www.smalltoys.com.hk
Where To Shop
By now a name that should not be foreign, Megabox is a family-friendly mall located in Kowloon Bay. Featuring one of the few Ikea stores in town, an ice skating rink, and an IMAX theatre, there’s no missing the building that looks like a giant red box. With a host of other children’s goods outlets and entertainment centres, and stores selling maternity wear and other baby care products, as well as housing the largest Giga Sports location in town and an AEON JUSCO department, spending a day there just keeps getting more attractive. Although a bit of a long walk from the Kowloon Bay MTR, a free shuttle service running from the mall to the station makes it very convenient, while parking availability makes it all the more easy for those with vehicles.
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm Monday to Sunday
Megabox, Enterprise Square Five, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2989 3000, www.megabox.com.hk
Camel Paint Building
Everyone loves a good deal, and it should come as no surprise that some of the best athletic wear deals are tucked away in this city full of treasures. Located in in the Camel Paint Building in Kwun Tong are several sports name brand outlets, such as Adidas, Nike and New Balance. Stocking recent and current lines and a great selection of trainers, it’d be a shame to visit the area and not hit up these outlets just to have a browse, especially if you’ve got active kids or teens.
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 8pm Monday to Sunday for Nike and Adidas; other store hours vary
Sportswear Outlet, Shop B3 G/F Camel Paint Building Block 1, 62 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2172 7938_
Camel Paint Building, 62 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong
Home to the Kwun Tong branch of Apple and APM Palace cinema, APM caters to people age 15 to 35. The spot is famous for its late opening hours, with eateries closing at 2am. With lots of shopping and more than 170 shops, the establishment is great for a quick bite or a spot of shopping. Boasting a floor area of 630,000 square feet and seven storeys as well as hourly underground parking, you can expect sportswear, H&M, Uniqlo, and more to be found here.
Opening Hours: 11am to 2am Monday to Sunday
APM, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2267 0500, www.hkapm.com.hk
Domain is a megamall located in Yau Tong serving more than 80,000 people living in the area. The largest shopping centre owned by the Housing Authority, it boasts 45,000 square feet and is a complex with a green jogging path on its podium and an outdoor recreation platform. The large selection of food vendors makes the location perfect for a bite to eat and some fun time with your kids at J-Plus, an indoor play area (as mentioned above!).
Opening Hours: 7am to 11pm Monday to Sunday</em
Domain, 38 Ko Chiu Road, Yau Tong, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2870 2660, www.domain-mall.hk
What To See
Kwun Tong Promenade
Hong Kong is renowned for its breathtaking skyline and harbour views, and with 17 of 18 districts touching the water, it should come as no surprise that Kwun Tong also has a coast. Recently renovated in 2015, the Kwun Tong Promenade is the perfect place to take a stroll, day or at night. Furnished with models of mechanical cranes and waste paper bundles reminiscent of its days as a paper recycling plant, the sculptures feature a colourful light show at night complete with misting for a surreal effect. Offering panoramic views of the Victoria Harbour, Lei Yue Mun and the east side of Hong Kong Island, a nighttime visit is the perfect way to wind off a fun day out as a family. Or, if you’d like to take a stroll while the sun’s still out, the sensory garden, cafe, and children’s outdoor playground will keep everyone in the family occupied.
Opening Hours: 24 hours Monday to Sunday
Kwun Tong Promenade, 80 Hoi Bun Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk
Lei Yue Mun Wishing Tree
Every Lunar New Year, the news always shows the Wishing Tree in Tai Po, but if you’d like to make a wish someplace more quiet, or would simply like to observe the traditions, there’s a wishing tree in Lei Yue Mun as well. Hopeful men, women and couples will tie coloured ribbons and prayer cards to the tree to make their desires known to the spirits. A five- to 10-minute walk from the Yau Tong MTR station, the tree is located in the middle of the Lei Yue Mun village and is believed to grant wishes, especially those regarding love, marriage and children.
Lei Yue Mun Wishing Tree, Lei Yue Mun Village, Yau Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Public Records Building
It seems only right that a city with so much history should have a place to store and preserve them. The Hong Kong Public Records Building is coincidentally located in an area rife with it, and holds all manners of accounts regarding the past of our ever-evolving city. Although everything in the catalogue has since been made available online and can be accessed here (just in case your children ever have a project they need research for!), it is still worth a visit for its search library and exhibition hall. Come learn about the events that shaped the city and the changes that were made before and after British colonialism. Perhaps between some yellowed pages or in the lines of text on an exhibition board, you and your kids will learn something you never knew!
Opening Hours: 9am to 5:45pm Monday to Friday, closed Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Hong Kong Public Records Building, 13 Tsui Ping Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2195 7760, www.grs.gov.hk/en (only the G/F, 1/F and 2/F are open to public access)
Tai Wong Ye Temple
For anyone interested in the culture of the sailors and fishermen, or for those who wondered about those small coastal abodes which have streams of incense wafting out, Tai Wong Ye Temple is a great place to start. Traditionally, the Chinese believed that those who prayed to the spirits and made offerings to them would be granted safe passage at sea. They built many temples where they saw phantoms (and also near docks) so that they could make quick prayers and offerings on their pit stops between destinations. There are a range of deities these temples could be named after (and we won’t get into the complex structure of the Chinese pantheon, their temples or their rankings), and a host of spirits to worship. One such deity is the Tai Wong Ye, believed to be the god of plague and/or the patron saint of fishermen. Although the true identity of the spirits these houses were built for are unclear and could vary from place to place, we know that this temple in Kwun Tong was built in honour of Lei Man Chung, a general of the late Song Dynasty. On the eighth day of the fifth month of the lunar year, the Hoklo (a fishermen clan) hold celebrations for the Tai Wong Ye’s birthday, where they dance and parade in their traditional costumes and even perform martial arts. (You can check which Gregorian calendar day this coincides with here.) While the most well-known and popular Tai Wong Ye Temples in Hong Kong is located in Tai Po, this one is sure to attract visitors and celebrations as well. If you’re interested in the ceremonies and a little more culture and history, you can find some more information here.
Sassy Mama Tip: The temple is accessible via a short walk from the Kwun Tong MTR exit A1 or by minibus, more directions can be found here.
Tai Wong Ye Temple, behind Tsui Ying House, Tsui Ping South Estate, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Wilson Trail and Devil’s Peak (For experienced hikers and older kids/teens)
The Kwun Tong district is brimming with history, and the Devil’s Peak, with its batteries and redoubts, is one of the most historical spots in the area. With its oldest structure, the Gough Battery, having been built in 1898, there are only the remains of the three main fortresses left. Formerly used to guard the Lei Yue Mun Pass which was crucial to the access to the south of China, the pass has been garrisoned by pirates and the British military in the past.
The spot offers breathtaking views of Lei Yue Mun and the coastline from the Victoria Harbour to Tseung Kwan O. However, getting to the view is not for the faint of heart; besides taking a cab up, the only other way to access the Devil’s Peak is by section 3 of the Wilson Trail, a fairly difficult hike that starts in Lam Tin and ends in Tseng Lan Shue, stretching out to 9.4km in total and estimated to last around 4 hours. With the Devil’s Peak at 222 meters up from sea level, the hike is a challenging but worthy one, with characteristics of hike unique only to Hong Kong, where the sound of birds chirping can be heard on one side and the low rumble of city traffic can be heard from the other.
Sassy Mama Tip: Although section 3 of the Wilson Trail starts in Lam Tin, the easiest way to access the start is by a five- to 10-minute walk from the Yau Tong MTR station. More information can be found here. Devil’s Peak information can be found here. Both are fairly difficult and for older kids or teenagers and adults.
Back Alley Graffiti
By now, you should be starting to understand that Kwun Tong is a rough looking area stacked to the brim with hidden gems. One of these is the mural on the exterior hoardings behind the Kwun Tong Fire Station. The space was made public for art, and created in collaboration with local artist group Pantone C. Completed in 2015, the mural depicts colourful abstract forms linking the district’s history, heritage and urban revitalisation together, using industrial mechanics in its motifs to remind viewers of the area’s past. It contributes to the budding art scene in Kwun Tong all while beautifying the Hong Kong we know and love.
Kwun Tong Fire Station, 426 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk
Kwun Tong’s gentrification has now hiked up the area’s real estate prices and consequently forced artists with smaller incomes to move, however, there is still a strong creative presence hidden in the rundown industrial buildings. Part of the developing art scene in Kwun Tong, Osage Gallery opened its doors in 2004 and now has three locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Located in a former factory building, this gallery features multidisciplinary pieces and artists, and is known to support local artists and art institutions, as well as lesser-known international artists.
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Saturday, 2:30pm to 6:30pm Sundays
Osage Gallery, 4/F Union Hing Yip Factory Building, 20 Hing yip Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, 2792 4817, www.www.osagegallery.com
Lei Yue Mun Coast Lighthouse
For a breathtaking sunset, head over to the Lei Yue Mun Coast Lighthouse. Located on a tiny rock island that can only be accessed at low tide, it has been in function for more than 50 years and still operates to warn ships of rocky terrain by the coast today. Although the lighthouse itself is not very impressive, the photos you would get from the lookout at sea will more than make up for it. Just be careful if you’ve got very young kids, and take care not to risk it all when you’re snapping some pics for the ‘gram (and warn your teenagers, too!).
Opening Hours: Open at all times, but can only be accessed at low tide
Lei Yue Mun Coast Lighthouse, off Shung Shun Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Feature image courtesy of Eugene Lim via Flickr, Image #2 courtesy of Made in HK via Facebook, Image #3 courtesy of Michael Saechang via Flickr, Image #4 courtesy of J-Plus via Facebook, Image #5 courtesy of Baycrest via Wikimedia Commons, Image #6; Image #7 courtesy doctorho via Flickr; Image #8 by ystsoi via Flickr; image #9 by Ystsoi via Flickr