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Uniquely HK

Feature Story

Hong Kong East- Local as Locals Get

 The eastern part of Hong Kong Island offers visitors a fascinating and multi-faceted microcosm of Hong Kong

For the modern, sophisticated traveller, it’s all about getting that authentic local experience – whether it’s food, culture, cityscape or people. For Hong Kong, a diverse, international city and a melting pot of East and West cultures, where glittering skyscrapers overshadow local neighbourhoods that can be a challenge but rewarding. So, how to do that efficiently, and out from the touristy areas?

 

Why not spend a day in Hong Kong East, east of Causeway Bay which includes North Point, Quarry Bay, Tai Koo, Sai Wan Ho and Shau Kei Wan, and be rewarded with a richly varied and local experience?  Whether it’s bustling local neighbourhoods, tasty local eats, tranquil waterfront promenades where locals practice Tai Chi and walk their dogs, scenic hiking trails, temples and historic museums, this area offers them all.

 

So, put on your walking shoes and let’s explore Hong Kong East, where it’s local as locals get.

 

Bustling Neighbourhoods: The neighbourhoods here which tend to be older are beehives of activities during the day as people go about their daily chores.  The best way to check them out is to hop on and off the tram which traverse along King’s Road, the main road; or you can simply walk.

 

North Point: Check out Chun Yeung Street West, a noted Instagram spot known for its one-way tram track which dominates the bustling road lined with market stalls. The local eateries offer a staggering of variety of regional Chinese cuisines. Check out Tung Po Restaurant, located at Java Road Cooked Food Market for its excellent Cantonese dishes. You’ll also want to stop by Duck Shing Ho and take home with you its famous egg waffles.

Quarry Bay and Tai Koo Shing : Check out the Model Housing Estates along King’s Road, the oldest public housing estate on Hong Kong Island, with the bulk of the blocks built in the 1950s – it’s still remarkably well-kept. Tai Koo Shing further up is one of the city’s earliest and largest private estates. The adjacent Tai Koo Fong is a vibrant office area with trendy restaurants, chic coffee shops and bars. Cityplaza, one of the city’s busiest shopping malls where you can shop to your heart’s content, is also located here.

 

Sai Wan Ho and Shau Kei Wan: You must stop by Tai On Building next to Sai Wan Ho MTR Station. The ground floor of this large residential building is criss-crossed with dozens of dai pai dings, food stalls, and cha chaang tengs- and the food is delicious, cheap and local. Whether its fried noodles cooked on demand -one by one, or Hainanese Chicken Rice (expect a line), beef brisket noodles, desserts, it’s a foodie’s dreamland here. Not far from it is the Hong Kong Film Archive which stores many of the city’s famous Cantonese movies made from the 1950s to the 1990s and offers daily screenings.

 

Shau Kei Wan is where the tram track ends. Evolved from a fishing village, you can find temples that are still being worshipped. Check out the Shing Wong Temple near the tram terminus.

 

Sea and Mountains: You may want to explore a more scenic side of Hong Kong East, either along the harbour, or, if you are up for some walking, take it to the green hills above.

Quarry Bay Promenade, Sai Wan Ho waterfront, Soho East, Aldrich Bay: Take a leisurely stroll along the harbour front, starting from Quarry Bay, where the Quarry Bay Promenade begins. The waterfront starts with a dog park where dog owners show off their beloved pets. The promenade is usually teemed with joggers and the park itself allows people to relax about or practise Tai Chi. The view of the harbour at this end is more expansive and tranquil, and equally panoramic.

 

Further along is Sai wan Ho Promenade and Soho East which is lined with restaurants on the waterfront. It’s perfect to enjoy a relaxed lunch or drinks while gazing at the people and harbour. You may want to take the old-style ferry there across to Lei Yue Mun for a nostalgic and relaxing ride. Keep walking, and you’ll reach Aldrich Bay Typhoon Shelter. The large Aldrich Park behind offers plenty of sitting area and beautiful landscape.

 

Mount Parker hiking trails and vantage points: The hills looming over Hong Kong East are home to some of the city’s most hiked trails. They are well-marked and well maintained, offering a variety of terrains, flora and fauna.

For a spectacular vantage point of Victoria Harbour and the city, you can’t do better than Braemar Hill Lookout, an easy hike not far from the Braemer Hill Bus Terminus. It’s also one of the best places to watch the sunset.

 

Mount Parker Road: as the second tallest peak on Hong Kong Island, Mount Parker dominates the landscape nearby. You can easily walk there from street level on the paved Mount Parker Road, which starts from Quarry Bay and takes you to the top.  The road stops by Quarry Pass, a rest stop for several major trails criss-crossing this area -this place gets busy on weekends. Along the way, you’ll run across other trails including the Quarry Bay Jogging Trail and Sir Cecil’s Ride, both mostly flat trails ideal for easy hiking. Another hiking trail worth exploring is the Kornhill Forest Walk, a shaded, tranquil trail which starts from Kornhill and meanders up the hill, passing by a variety of local plant species.

 

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