There is more underneath the glass and steel of Hong Kong
When it comes to Hong Kong as a travel destination, scenes of the hustle and bustle, all kinds of cuisine and hundreds of shopping complexes probably flood your mind in a blink. No we are not going into the obvious beauty of the city. We are here to unravel the mesmerizing gem of the city’s cultural diversity. Let us freshen your vision and mind with some colorful hues!
For those who want to explore the city from an unconventional perspective, check out the HKwalls! For four years in a row, HKwalls has been making efforts to strengthen the link between art and the public space. Last year, HKwalls took place in Sham Shui Po, one of the earliest developed areas in Hong Kong. The mixed land uses and history has given the district a distinct character, making it an ideal area for the annual street arts celebrations. The festival featured 40 art pieces created by artists from 17 countries, 42 workshops, 3 free film screenings and a pop-up print exhibition.
This year HKwalls reignites the partnership with Vans as part of the Hong Kong Arts Month in Wong Chuk Hang. Unlike other events during the month, there are scattered happenings for the public to stumble upon. Though Wong Chuk Hang may be a little far from the city centre, it is chosen for a reason. While the art and creative community has been blossoming in the industrial district, the mural art pieces and interactive programs would perfectly compliment the growth. Just remember to have your camera ready!
Feeling revitalized now? Let’s dig deeper into the city’s cultural matrix, here is our recommended guide for you.
Old Town Central
Here we go a compact experience in the culturally diverse city!
Old Town Central (OTC) refers to the rectangular shaped neighbourhood in Central bounded by Wyndham Street, Caine Road, Possession Street, Queen’s Road Central and Hollywood Road. A miniature of the big city, it hosts many must-go including heritage sites, landmarks, historic architecture, religious buildings, designer boutiques, local shops, dining and entertainment outlets. It mirrors the transition of Hong Kong from a fishing village to a British colony to a metropolitan city throughout the decades.
The story of modern Hong Kong began at Possession Street in 1841, where the British soldiers landed and the colonial governance commenced. Fast forward to 176 years later, it is now the Hollywood Road Park, a Chinese-style garden. Still, you can find a mix of nostalgic and modern shops at Possession Street.
Climb a few staircases to POHO; fill yourself with the artsy air. Surrounded by Po Hing Fong including Tai Ping Shan Street, Po Hing Street, Tung Street, Sai Street, and Upper Station Street, the up-and-coming neighbourhood is analogous to Hong Kong’s hipster village with plenty cafes, quirky boutiques and art galleries.
YMCA Bridges Street Centre & Ladder Street
You will find YMCA Bridges Street Centre and Ladder Street at the east of OTC. Constructed in 1918, the YMCA Bridges Street Centre is an architectural epitome displaying a crossover between Chinese green glazed tiled roofs and Chicago School style. Ladder Street, a Grade 1 historical building, which is made entirely of stone steps, connects Queen’s Road Central all the way uphill to Hollywood Road and Caine Road.
Man Mo Temple
At the corner of Ladder Street, Man Mo Temple is a masterpiece of long-lost traditional Chinese architectural craftsmanship. It would certainly take your breath away the moment you step in. The temple was built for Gods worshipping and as “Kung Sor” where community issues were discussed and resolved.
Go along Hollywood Road and you will arrive at PMQ, the Police Married Quarters. It has been revitalized as a creative hub where over 100 shops, pop-up stores, design studios and restaurants are nested. The mission of PMQ is to nurture local designers, provide a place for organizing exhibits and for visitors to have a taste of creative lifestyle. With this in mind, you cannot miss this place from your to-go list in Hong Kong.
Gough Street and Kau U Fong
Also known as NOHO, there is a great deal of independent boutiques and contemporary art galleries awaiting your discovery; cafes and old-style dai pai dong (cooked food stalls) ready to fill you up. Be sure to spare some time and belly for them!
Pak Tsz Lane Park
Pak Tsz Lane Park, located at a quiet square behind Aberdeen Street, Hollywood Road, Gage Street and Peel Street, is a park featuring a monument in memory of anti-Qing Dynasty activities in the late 19th century by revolutionaries from Furen Wenshe and Xing Zhong Hui. Enlighten yourself with some knowledge on Hong Kong’s role in overthrowing the monarchy in China.
One of the oldest built in 1844, Hollywood Road has evolved into a renowned art hub, accommodating numerous contemporary art galleries, antique shops and boutiques. Get your art and shopping fix here and you won’t be disappointed.
At the junction of Old Baileys Street and Hollywood Road stands a gorgeous colonial-style establishment – Tai Kwun, or “big station” in Chinese. That was how the Chinese used to colloquially refer to the former law enforcement complex. Initially where the Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison were, it is now under transformation into the next talk-of-the-town hub of heritage, arts and leisure. Stay tuned!
Named after Hong Kong’s first governor, Pottinger Street is made of uneven slabs of cobblestone, and thus given the name “Stone Slab Street”. If you need ideas for your costumes and props to Halloween celebrations or themed parties, look no further, you can find everything here.
Lyndhurst Terrace is another featured spot of the Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail. The old Xing Yan Lou Western Restaurant was one of the secretive bases where Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his comrades meet as well as a refuge for overseas revolutionaries during the First Guangzhou Uprising in 1895. You may be hit by some shiok buttery aroma and it probably comes from Tai Cheong Bakery, renowned for “the best egg tarts in the world” hailed by the last British governor Chris Patten.
This content was produced in partnership with Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Awesome! Disney World Is Opening A Brand-New Park For People Who Liked Disney Movies As A Kid But Have A Healthy Sense Of Detachment About The Whole Thing Now
We all loved Disney as kids, but it can be hard to get your Disney fix as an adult if you aren’t one of those people who goes apeshit for anything that has to do with Disney. Well, if that’s you, here’s some good news: Disney World is opening a brand-new park for people who liked Disney movies as a kid but have a healthy sense of detachment about the whole thing now.
The park features several Disney-themed rides such as The Witch’s Forest, Jafar’s Revenge, and The Hercules along with ones like The Rattlesnake and Galaxy Spinner that are in no way affiliated with any Disney properties but nonetheless provide a thrilling experience for adults who don’t need everything to be about Disney.
Yup. Anyone who remembers watching The Jungle Book at a friend’s house in first grade will love the Mowgli-shaped pesto pasta at the park’s restaurant, while anyone else can choose from a delicious array of salads that have nothing to do with cartoons. If you still need a break from Disney stuff after lunch, the park even has three fully functioning coffee shops with Wi-Fi where park-goers can catch up on work emails and personal calls.
Awesome! This is a godsend for people who enjoyed Disney movies back in the day but now lead full, rich, grown-up lives!
According to planners, the park also includes a museum about the history of film in general that barely even mentions Disney, for people who just want to forget about animated movies for an hour or two and consider the genre in a wider context. Museum guests will get to see never-before-seen interview footage of Stanley Kubrick in an exhibit on Dr. Strangelove, then decide for themselves if they want to go get Mickey Mouse’s autograph or just call it a day.
Okay, can someone please just buy us tickets to this place right now? It sounds like the perfect place for anyone who remembers that The Aristocats is about cats, but can’t recall much else. We can’t wait. Way to go, Disney!!!