Inner Circle

The Unseen Harbour

Your trip down memory lane is getting a revamp in Hong Kong’s spirited East Kowloon

The Unseen Harbour
Capping off the night in style, I savoured a Negroni—made with a vermouth that had been barrel-aged for eight weeks—from Red Sugar, the hotel’s stunning signature terrace bar.

• East Kowloon is the next up-and-coming hip neighbourhood in Hong Kong.

• The city’s oldest cinema is one of the area’s key attractions and is highly recommended for movie fans.

• A nearly 100-year-old porcelain factory offers visitors a chance to see experienced craftsmen in action.

• The area is also home to a unique art community, with lots of independent artists showcasing their work at Cattle Depot Artist Village.

• Make Kerry Hotel Hong Kong your base to explore the area, and you’ll also be able to sample the city’s best authentic local eats.

• Return to the hotel closer to dusk and enjoy a sundowner at Red Sugar.

 Redeem your stay at Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong with just 5,000 GC Award Points

Long overlooked despite its rich heritage and panoramic views, the north side of Victoria Harbour is finally getting its moment to shine. It is sprucing up to be the next "It" destination, with hip new cafes and funky barber shops cosying up to mom-and-pop noodle bars and porcelain warehouses. 

I based myself at the new Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong, the first hotel to open on the Kowloon waterfront in more than 20 years. The chic and spacious urban resort is located in the heart of East Kowloon, which consists of Hung Hom, Kowloon Bay and To Kwa Wan. This is an area I had not explored before, so I was keen to test out the neighbourhood.

AS TIME GOES BY

Being a cinephile, my first stop was a trip down memory lane to Lux Theatre in Hung Hom, the city's oldest cinema. With its original white marble walls, displays of vintage cinema tickets and an antique 35mm film projector, I felt like I had stepped back in time to the 1970s.

The theatre has steadfastly not implemented a computerised ticketing system, so I got a little thrill when issued with an old-school paper ticket. Full of ambiance befitting a bygone era, the theatre is still moving with the times by screening 3D movies.

Continuing on the cultural trail, I headed over to Yuet Tung China Works in Kowloon Bay, which has been running since 1928. I gingerly trod my way around four impressive showrooms, wares stacked floor-to-ceiling, watching in amazement as craftsmen deftly brought pieces of ceramic to life before my eyes in the shape of fluttering butterflies and blossoming chrysanthemums. Wanting a personal keepsake that was authentically Hong Kong, I brought my own patterns and walked out full of souvenirs—and admiration for the artisans’ skills.

ART IN THE COMMUNITY

The bay area oozes creativity in unlikely places, such as the Cattle Depot Artist Village on Ma Tau Kok Road—a century-old slaughterhouse turned art community. For a place that once saw death, the site has been brought to life by a network of independent artists.

I wandered through the colonial red-brick buildings housing studios and galleries, admiring the architecture and artwork. Hosting regular exhibitions and shows, the village has cemented its place as an artistic hub—with an edge and originality that appealing to the local and international community.

Hoping to deepen my understanding of Cantonese opera and what it entails, I went to Ko Shan Theatre, a dedicated venue for both established and budding artists of the genre. Recently renovated to accommodate performances in their full glory, it has high ceilings so that artists can practise their throwing acts and extra storage space to house the innumerable props and costumes.

EAT LOCAL, STAY LOCAL

My culinary discoveries began at Tai Wing Wah Village, which specialises in “walled village” food. Developed by Hong Kong’s early residents who lived inside stone walls, the style of cooking has a strong emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The most famous dish is Poon Choi (Big Bowl Feast), which consists of a mix of delicacies such as pork, abalone, crab and mushrooms, all layered in a big communal bowl.

I couldn’t resist seeking out another local favourite—Si Sun Fast Food on Whampoa Street. As evident by the snaking queues that form daily, this hole-in-the-wall cha chaan teng (Hong Kong-style diner) is renowned for the juiciest burgers in town. After eating two of the palm-sized treats I understood immediately why it’s been popular since opening in 1963. 

I finished off the day with an entertaining meal at Hung Fok Hot Pot on Lok Shan Road. If you follow the mouth-watering scent of charcoal and sizzling seafood, you’ll stumble upon a boisterous crowd tucked around mini burners for barbecues or hot pot. Atmospheric, authentic and appetising, Hung Fok was a real treat for the senses. 

PAMPERING PURSUITS

Returning to the hotel for some pampering in the evening, I could enjoy the district from a more relaxing vantage point. Lounging in the hotel’s 25-metre infinity pool, I watched the iconic Hong Kong ferries chug across the harbour, the art-deco Hung Hom Ferry Pier in their sights.

Capping off the night in style, I savoured a Negroni—made with a vermouth that had been barrel-aged for eight weeks—from Red Sugar, the hotel’s stunning signature terrace bar. As I took in the kaleidoscopic island skyline, I was glad to have experienced this city’s feisty, indomitable spirit.

 Book a one-night stay at Kerry Hotel Hong Kong from just 5,000 GC Award Points per night Back to Destination 

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