Header image courtesy of @ig.isme (via Instagram)
Think of East Kowloon, and many may arrive at an impression that is dominated by residential buildings and near-defunct malls that carry not much more than day-to-day necessities. It’s time to renew this perspective, as the area is actually a treasure trove of sites for amazing Instagram photoshoots!
For this list, we have hand-picked several spots across the Eastern Kowloon factions (which includes the Wong Tai Sin district, and the Kwun Tong district) that are bound to double the appeal of your next Instagram post. And no, it’s not just the rainbow-coloured Choi Hung Estate basketball court that deserves your attention for Instagram fodder.
Dubbed the “Jimmy Bridge” after the titular character of Hong Kong rom-com film Love in A Puff,the pedestrian bridge at Wai Yip Street offers a visually captivating spot for your next Instagram photo. Constructed around the mid-twentieth century—during the peak of industrial development in Hong Kong—the bridge’s rounded top echoes the simplicity of architecture considered modern at the time, whilst the two-toned paint job cheekily recalls MTR train carriages. Experiment with the pinhole lighting coming through from the lined windows on each side.
Starting from the early nineteenth century all the way up until the 1980s, carved stones were a highly sought-after construction material in Hong Kong. Many iconic historical buildings—such as the former Legislative Council and the former Bank of China buildings—were built using materials coming from the stone quarries in Lei Yue Mun. Traces of history remain in the now-abandoned extracting location, providing a picturesque scene to shoot your photos in.
Nestled within the To Kwa Wan neighbourhood, a cluster of 1950s-style tenement buildings that stretch between Mok Cheung Street and Ma Tau Kok Road give a glimpse into past Hong Kong. This colourful quarter of parallel-running streets are a reminder of the cluttered, tight-knit urban landscape that the (now-bulldozed-over) Kowloon Walled City comprised—thankfully, it is nowhere near as dangerous. Stroll through these 13 streets, each named after an auspicious creature from Chinese lore, and admire the visually arresting leading lines embedded in these neatly packed edifices.
Originally built as a slaughterhouse and used as an animal quarantine base until the 1990s, the Cattle Depot Artist Village is now a booming hub for contemporary and avant-garde art in Hong Kong. The site consists of five red-brick buildings with a pre-war design. Educational occasions are held often in the effort to nurture culture in Hong Kong, whilst art of several mediums are showcased at the site, including dramas, fashion shows, concerts, film screenings, and more.
Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan | (+852) 2364 2959
Though the residential blocks may come across as just any other old housing estate, there is a special spot above the car park that features a unique structure that would look great on your feed. The car park above the south division of Lok Wah Estate features walls that lend to a distinct composition of sky-blue curves, swerves, and lines that make for a one-of-a-kind backdrop.
Lok Wah South Estate Car Park, 70 Chun Wah Road, Ngau Tau Kok
Those who want to refresh their feed with some nature should check out the Devil’s Peak trail. A low-effort hike with high rewards, the three-kilometre route is just a short stroll away from metropolitan Yau Tong Station. At the peak, the view showcases the gateway to Victoria Harbour that stretches out from the East Kowloon side, serving as stunning scenery for you to capture or pose in front of. Click here to check out our full guide on how to get to Devil’s Peak.
Neighbouring Jordan Valley Park, between Ngau Tau Kok and Kwun Tong, lies a short hiking trail that houses a still-running reservoir dam. Its cool geometric structures and alluvial concrete make for visually arresting shots. Those eager for an aerial snap can choose to continue the journey to Sham Wan Shan, whereas those who are satisfied with reservoir photos can try heading in the direction of the grassy knoll in the park (and maybe even have a picnic).
However, please refrain from getting in the water, as it would be very dangerous. As even more incentive to keep out of the reservoir, note that the water passage used to store flushing supply for toilets in homes around the neighbourhood...
Boasting an area of over 8,000 square metres, InPark is a much-welcomed crop of open space that provides greenery and breathing room for working folks to rest at. However, this park is not just your typical sitting-out area, as there are seven large art pieces permanently installed for public enjoyment. Merging together the surrounding industrial energy with the bustle of corporate culture that has emerged, the art installations are an expression of an industrial element that reflects Hong Kong’s past as a manufacturing centre. As you snap away taking artsy shots, take a guess at what the structures represent!