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Despite its smaller size, Hong Kong is home to many places to explore and endless activities to keep you busy on the weekend or on days off. This includes Kowloon City, located in the eastern half of the Kowloon peninsula.
Filled with old shops and neighborhoods that are now revitalized, there’s plenty to do in this recreational hub that also encompasses a bit of Hong Kong’s history.
Read on for some ideas on how to spend a day in Kowloon City.
Kowloon City Market
Kowloon City Market is known for its abundance of fresh seafood and imported fruits. The market offers everything from your favorite fish to unfamiliar (yet intriguing!) seafood that you may be curious to try, as well as imported fruits generally from Southeast Asia, including “mangos, rambutan, and – most exotic of all – durian.”
Packed with 581 stalls as well as a section available for prepared foods, this one-stop market for groceries has it all. Along with the fun of haggling with vendors, you can spend hours wandering around, simply exploring. Make sure to bring cash and a tote bag to pack your purchases in advance. You may just find your next cooking inspiration at this market.
Kowloon Walled City Park
When visiting the area, you cannot miss Kowloon Walled City Park. The history of Kowloon Walled City, “a lawless labyrinth renowned for the crime and debauchery that took place within the 2.7 hectares of space,” is dense, dating back to 1842 when a wall was built here to protect the military base from foreign forces (the British).
Kowloon Walled City was mostly demolished in 1994. But now, built into a park, its remains are featured as historical artifacts. To learn about the park’s historical, architectural, and cultural significance, you can visit Kowloon Walled City Park without any admission fee and sign up for a guided tour.
Kowloon City Plaza
Kowloon City Plaza is a shopping mall with a diverse range of “retail stores, cafes, restaurants and entertainment facilities.” With a massive selection of stores – from sports to beauty brands – as well as salons, arcades and a movie theater, Kowloon City Plaza is a one-stop-shop for a day of shopping and fun. The mall is well-connected to public transit and also provides a large car park. Situated near Lok Fu station and Sung Wong Toi station, head here if you want to shop until you drop!
Ko Shan Theatre
Ko Shan Theatre aims to spread the beauty of Cantonese opera to the public. The spacious theater welcomes anyone to enjoy the art of Cantonese performance and learn about its history through stylized performances and a vast archive of informative resources. The theater offers accommodations for the elderly and is fit for both public and private events.
Ko Shan Theatre is also home to the Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre. Their mission is “to educate and entertain, promoting history in an enjoyable way” and the Centre is free to visit “in hopes that more students, teachers, teenagers and young artists will gain hands-on exposure to Cantonese opera and in-depth knowledge of the art.”
Cattle Depot Artist Village
Popularly known as the Cattle Depot, this ex-cattle slaughterhouse has been reinvigorated into an artist village. With free entry for all, it is filled with “clusters of art studios” and is home to several artists, including “the Frog King, an eccentric performance artist known for his ornate amphibian costume,” according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Filled with a range of art styles and artists, you may even bump into creators working in their studios. Also, near the ocean, this village is the perfect spot for a tranquil art journey.
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
Also supporting art development in Hong Kong, the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) is a vertical art village of nine stories and was the first art center revitalized from a whole factory building.
Aiming to “meet the arts community’s need for affordable arts studio and display facilities, nurture young creative talents for Hong Kong and provide a relaxed environment for the public to experience arts and culture,” the JCCAC aims to make art available to anyone. So nurture your artistic side and sign up for art programs and courses, such as ceramic sculpting classes, painting classes and more!