Featured image credits: @pinguette6
“You live so far away!” Yes, and it’s great. Tseung Kwan O is a quiet, family-friendly new town in East Kowloon (though technically it’s a part of Eastern New Territories). Stretching out over four MTR stations and surrounded by nature, the residential hub is often deemed boring. We’re here to prove the naysayers wrong with our in-depth neighbourhood guide.
Things to do
Photo credits: @wkkfelix
It’s the cliiiiiiiiimb: Little Hawaii Trail
The Little Hawaii Trail carries over 100 years of Tseung Kwan O history and is one of the easiest hikes you will find in Hong Kong. The trail originated in 1906 when Alfred Herbert Rennie, a Canadian businessman, set up Rennie’s Mill in Tseung Kwan O Village at the edge of what is now Po Lam. He built a small reservoir and a 100-foot dam to generate electricity, and after his tragic death, it was turned into a private swimming pool for the surrounding villagers. Now hikers can find a small but scenic oasis that can be reached via Tseung Kwan O Village (Po Lam MTR exit C), featuring a waterfall on the ruins of the reservoir. This hike is great for people of all exercise levels as it clocks in at less than 2 hours, and is mostly shaded and gently sloped.
Colonial military relics: Mau Wu Shan
Mau Wu Shan is home to an extremely well-preserved observation post. The bunker is said to have been built during the late 1800s and was used for observing maritime movements in Fat Tong Chau during the Qing Dynasty. The British also used the bunker for coastal defence during World War II. It’s a short hike from Haven of Hope Hospital, and only takes 1.5 hours to finish off at Lam Tin. However, we recommend furthering the hike to the old Gough Battery on Devil’s Peak in Yau Tong to make for a truly unique relics’ experience.
Photo credits: @h_letsgohiking
Touch the sky: High Junk Peak Country Trail
Offering breathtaking views away from the crowds, High Junk Peak is the second sharpest peakin Hong Kong. The steep hike rewards you with clear sights of both Port Shelter and Clear Water Bay, much loved by aerial photographers. For thrillseekers, the trail is open on weekdays to mountain bikers. Compared to the other hikes mentioned in this guide, High Junk Trail is definitely on the more difficult side, so go prepared! Take the 103 or 103M minibus from Hang Hau to Ng Fai Tin, where the hike begins. The trail finishes at Po Toi O, an idyllic fishing village that is home to great seafood and two pieces of history—Hong Kong’s oldest and biggest Tin Hau temple, and the oldest rock inscription found in Hong Kong.
Let’s get physical
Photo courtesy of LCSD
HK Velodrome Park
In a city full of skyscrapers, green space is a rare sight. Hong Kong Velodrome Park is a sprawling 5.3 hectare park covered in lush lawns and artificial lakes, perfect for a summertime picnic. The park is home to the Hong Kong Velodrome, a sports centre with an international standard 250 metre wooden cycling track, as well as a concrete skate park, climbing wall and jogging track. The park is well loved by TKO locals and you’ll find plenty of families lounging underneath the cherry blossom trees on a late spring day.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
TKO Waterfront Park
Stretching 1.6 hectares and connecting Tiu Keng Leng to Lohas Park is Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park, where on a good day you’ll find joggers and dog walkers basking in the sunset glow. The park offers panoramic views of Eastern Hong Kong Island and its surroundings are ever changing as new high rise residential developments line the harbourfront. Don’t want to walk? Head to Beverly Cycle in Po Lam to rent a bike and ride along the cycling path that covers the entire Tseung Kwan O area.
On the south side of the park is Wan Po Road Pet Garden, Hong Kong’s largest pet park where your furry friends can play off leash. The Garden is split into three areas – one for large pets, one for small pets, and one for everyone to mingle. Who let the dogs out?
Photo courtesy of Parks Supplies
TKO Swimming Pool
We’re not exaggerating when we say that Tseung Kwan O Swimming Pool is the best in Hong Kong. It can rival any waterpark with not one, but 8 pools including water slides of different lengths and giant water pistols and levers to keep both kids and adults alike entertained. Just imagine how epic water fights can be here! It’s not all fun and games though—swimmers hoping to work on their technique can do so at the training and diving pools year round. The pool opens from 6:30AM to 10pm from Tuesday to Sunday, and is just two blocks away from Po Lam MTR so you can enjoy a cool off at almost any time.
Places to eat
Whoever said Tseung Kwan O is a “food desert” is wrong: there are plenty of hidden gems, you just have to go off the beaten path.
Photo credits: @openrice_hk
Well On Shopping Arcade
Well On Shopping Arcade is one of the rare pockets within the area that haven’t been taken over by corporate restaurant chains. What’s that, where in Hong Kong can you get 10 made-to-order dumplings for less than $30? Why, at 良記小食 (Leung Kee) of course! There’s always a queue for their signature leek and yam dumplings and we can’t decide if we prefer them steamed or fried. Need to sit down? 日年華美食 (The Excellence) is one of the only tuckshops in the arcade that have seating space. Students and workers in the area flock to The Excellence for lunch, and we don’t blame ‘em: $26 for a bowl of rice or noodles with 2 toppings of your choice is an absolute deal. Last but not least, 楚塋小食 (Cho Ying) has an abundance of snack options, which will satisfy even the pickiest foodie. We love that they’ve made an effort to offer healthier options like a $5 bowl of stir-fried Chinese kale.
Leung Kee, G/F, Shop A117, Well On Shopping Arcade | (+852) 2702 2826
The Excellence, 1/F, Shop B67-68, Well On Shopping Arcade | (+852) 2623 2182
Cho Ying, G/F, Shop A35, Well On Shopping Arcade
Photo credits: Vortex American Snack Bar via Facebook
Beverly Garden is another local enclave popular with students for its cheap eats. Get in with the TKO natives by grabbing an al-fresco seat and chowing down on food made with love. We especially love the homemade congee and rice rolls combo at 豐味石磨腸粉 (Tasty Steamed Rice Rolls). Rice rolls are a local snack staple and the ones made by the friendly staff at Tasty are proof that you shouldn’t ever judge a book by its cover. A few doors down is the cosy but lively burger joint Vortex American Snack Bar, ran by young owner and chef Ken. All burgers are handcrafted and topped with bagels instead of burger buns, and paired with hearty servings of tortilla chips and guacamole.
Vortex American Snack Bar, Shop 46, G/F, Beverly Garden, 1 Tong Ming Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2388 7133
Tasty Steamed Rice Rolls, Shop 38, G/F, Beverly Garden, 1 Tong Ming Street, Tseung Kwan O
Photo credits to supersupergirl via OpenRice
Tucked away in a Hang Hau alley is Chao Siang, a family style Chiu Chow restaurant specialising in Braised Goose and Tofu. Order with caution if your eyes are bigger than your stomach as the portions here are made for sharing. Prefer to graze? Food Lane in TKO Gateway is home to stalls of international delights. We especially love Lemon Leaf House for their affordable Thai fry-ups. Another unexpected gem amongst the food stalls is What The Food, a Spanish tapas stall run by two youngsters.
Chao Siang, Shop 25, G/F, On Ning Garden, 10 Sheung Ning Road, Hang Hau | (+852) 2363 1138
Food Lane, G/F, TKO Gateway, 2 Sheung Ning Rd, Tseung Kwan O