Header image courtesy of @wing1990hk (via Wikimedia Commons)
Originally published by Inés Fung. Last updated by Alisa Chau and Annette Chan.
“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.
Run out of Peppa Pig episodes? Let the little tykes tire themselves out with a visit to Japanese game centre company Namco’s newly opened indoor digital playground, Docodoco! With state-of-the-art digital projections, various different interactive play zones, and loads of other fun surprises, this 5,000-square-foot space is like the toddler-friendly answer to TeamLab’s immersive Borderless museum in Tokyo.
Docodoco, Shop 404–405, The Lohas, 1 Lohas Park Road, Tseung Kwan O
The Little Hawaii Trail carries over a hundred 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 villages. Now hikers can find a small but scenic oasis that can be reached via Tseung Kwan O Village, 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 two hours, and is mostly shaded and gently sloped.
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 one and a half 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.
Offering breathtaking views away from the crowds, High Junk Peak is the second-sharpest peak in 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 minibus 103 or 103M 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.
In a city full of skyscrapers, green space is a rare sight. Hong Kong Velodrome Park is a sprawling five-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. If you’re feeling peckish or have a hankering for your daily coffee, check out The Alchemist Café & Bistro beside the main entry of the cycling dome.
Stretching one and a half 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?
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 eight 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 6.30 am to 10 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and is just two blocks away from Po Lam Station so you can enjoy a cool-off at almost any time.
Enjoy sea views alongside an affordable meal of tasty Thai fare at Thai Cool, a popular neighbourhood eatery on the Tseung Kwan O waterfront. Dig into crowd-pleasers like stir-fried pork neck ($88), Hainan chicken rice ($78), and the signature prawn pad thai ($88) which comes encased in an omelette lattice. As a pet-friendly establishment, this is a great spot to do a little dog-spotting—or just bring your own pup along to be admired!
Thai Cool, Shop G25, G/F, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2329 3830
One of two shiny new Japanese additions to The Parkside’s F&B offerings is prestigious-yet-affordable Teppanyaki Mihara, which has a modern Japanese fusion menu focusing on seasonal and premium ingredients. Behind the grill, you’ll find the restaurant’s head chef and namesake, Terufumi Mihara, who is a dab hand at the Shiogama-Yaki cooking style—a seafood preparation technique which requires baking fish and crustaceans in a Hokkaido salt crust, which gets cracked at the table for an extra flourish.
Teppanyaki Mihara, Shop G06, The Parkside, 18 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 3618 8212
Just next door to Teppanyaki Mihara is sister restaurant Izakaya by K, a modern take on the iconic izakaya gastropubs frequented by Japanese salarymen after the working day. Led by Michelin-trained Japanese chef Yusuke Kitade, the vibrant after-work hotspot has an extensive menu of over 100 izakaya favourites which have been reimagined and updated in a more indulgent fusion style, with specialities including the Wagyu beef clay pot rice ($380) with a sauce of Madeira wine, and the fatty tuna tartare with avocado paste & marinated egg yolk ($210). Of course, sake pairings are a must at izakayas—and Izakaya by K’s sake sommelier is there to recommend a bevy of hidden gems from Japan’s extensive sake world.
Izakaya by K, Shop G07, The Parkside, 18 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 3618 8211
As a burgeoning suburban hotspot, it was only a matter of time before Tseung Kwan O got its very own trendy pet-friendly café. Taking over our Instagram feeds four paws at a time is Stay With Café, which somehow combines sumptuous velvet upholstery with quirky knickknacks, moody florals, and industrial fittings with aplomb. Its broad menu covers everything from all-day breakfast to burgers and fusion Japanese-inspired pasta dishes. There’s even a dedicated pet menu full of healthy snacks and drinks for your furry friend, so you can grab a roasted duck breast ($72) for yourself and a doggie afternoon tea set ($88) for your pup!
Stay With Café, Shop 3B, G/F, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O
The latest addition to Tseung Kwan O’s waterfront dining scene is approachable Parisian-style steakhouse District 8, courtesy of Woolly Pig (the restaurant group behind Hue and Big Sur). Expect the same laidback ambience and comforting French fare as its original branch at Elements, with the addition of breezy sea views from the semi-covered alfresco patio. Indulge in bistro classics like baked escargots ($150) and steak frites (starting from $270) served with herby butter sauce and charred onions, and cap everything off with a visit to the sprawling space’s dedicated ice cream trolly. In the mood for a tipple? Check out the eclectic menu of cocktails and mocktails, from Beef It ($110), a jerky-topped drink made with beef fat-washed bourbon, to the booze-free Not So Cosmo ($75) made with Seedlip Grove, cranberry, lime, and burnt orange.
District 8, Shop 10, Greenwich Village, G/F, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 3500 5860
Rise was born out of a passion for French artisanal baking and their restaurant in Tseung Kwan O serves up delicious bread, pastries, and European all-day dining. On a busy night, you’ll have to wait in line for a table at this cosy café, but the delicious and affordable food makes it all worth it. Their most popular dishes include a loaded and luxurious all-day breakfast ($149), as well as a substantial French foie gras & Australian chicken ten-grain rice ($139). Can’t get enough? Their in-house bakery also hosts workshops for baking enthusiasts and cooking classes.
Rise Kitchen, Shop 4, G/F, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2703 9388
Amare is relatively new to the Tseung Kwan O waterfront dining scene but has quickly captured the hearts of locals with their fresh and affordable Italian inspired menu. Go for their handcrafted pizzas like the calabrese ($148) or the Parma ham ($148), or a light pasta or risotto dish like the black truffle carbonara ($168) and the squid ink seafood risotto ($178). On a sunny weekend afternoon, you’ll often find the Amare’s alfresco patio packed with families and pets, too.
Amare Bistro & Wine, Shop G02, G/F, Monterey Place, 23 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2576 2398
Madira is a modern Indian and European fusion bistro with friendly service and excellent food to boot. As with most restaurants in the area, prices at Madira are reasonable and the alfresco dining vibes are a welcome change from the malls that dominate the area. Here you’ll find everything from a perfectly spiced chicken tikka masala to pizzas and baby back ribs. The real standout here is their cocktail menu, which pairs well with their shisha offerings, with flavours like masala chai and orange Seville coffee.
Madira, Shop G21, G/F, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2869 9933
Well On Shopping Arcade is one of the rare pockets within the area that haven’t been taken over by corporate restaurant chains. Where in Hong Kong can you get 10 made-to-order dumplings for less than $30? Why, at Leung Kee (良記小食), 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? The Excellence (日年華美食) 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 two toppings of your choice is an absolute deal. Last but not least, Cho Ying (楚塋小食) 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.
Beverly Garden is another local enclave popular with students for its cheap eats. Get in with the TKO natives by grabbing an alfresco seat and chowing down on food made with love. You’ll want to check out lively burger joint Vortex American Snack Bar, run 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 Sreet, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2388 7133
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.
Chao Siang, Shop 25, G/F, On Ning Garden, 10 Sheung Ning Road, Hang Hau | (+852) 2363 1138
If you’re happy to venture out just a bit more, Hang Hau Village has three tried-and-true eateries that locals would prefer to keep a secret, but we reckon they’re too good not to be shared. Lardos Steak House may be small, but their portions are big and service is always amiable. They’ve been at it for two decades now! Make sure you visit with an empty stomach, as they’re famous for their tomahawk prime, a succulently grilled platter of steak perfect for sharing.
If you can’t get a table at Lardos, why not skip across the street for some Thai delights at Grand Restaurant & Pub? Grand Restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating and is very accomodating for large groups. They serve up Thai favourites like tom yum and curry crab, all at a reasonable price. Service can get a little dicey when they get busy, but the great food and atmosphere make up for it.
Not into Thai food? Yin at Home is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Japanese restaurant serving up fresh seafood and mouthwatering skewers.
Offering a perfect view of passing cyclists and skaters on the waterfront-lined track, SeaRock Lounge is a perfect spot for relaxing evenings with a cocktail. The staff are incredibly friendly and warm. Mood lighting fills the cavernous, Middle Eastern-inspired salon with red and blue hues after sundown, whilst pop oldies and guilty pleasure teeny-bop jams get you itching to do a little shimmy in your seat. Their menu boasts freshly prepped shifa (Lebanese oven pizza) with toppings like the classic grilled lamb ($148), all the way to fusion combinations like Hokkaido-style scallop ($158).
SeaRock Lounge, Shop 22, G/F, The Papillons, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | 2327 7277