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Neighbourhood Treasures

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A tour of Kowloon East allows visitors to experience the area’s artistic, cultural and historical attractions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2015, 10:36am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 December, 2015, 12:29pm

A day tour around Kowloon East allows you to make a physical connection with some of the city's historical places. You can read the legend of two ancient Chinese emperors on the run from the Mongolians and explore the city's hidden art in just a day. 

Sung Wong Toi Garden is not just a park; it is of a very high historical value. Located at the junction of Sung Wong Toi Road and Ma Tau Chung Road, it is a memorial to two young emperors of the late Sung Dynasty (1276 AD), who escaped the pursuit of the Mongolian enemy. They eventually came all the way south to Hong Kong. The centrepiece of the garden is a large piece of rock inscribed with the phrase Sung Wong Toi, which literally means "Terrace of the Sung Kings".  

The rock aside, as a Chinese-style garden the park has a lot more to offer. Go for a walk through the green lawns, or just sit under the shady trees, looking at the fountain against the background of a rocky grotto.  

Located across the road from an array of old buildings, Cattle Depot Artist Village is a slaughterhouse-turned artists' villageNow home to some 20 art groups, the brick houses consist of studios, exhibition halls and performance venues. The major annual events of the Artist Village are the Cattle Depot Arts Festival and the Cattle Depot Book Fair. The art groups and many other organisations also host a variety of activities, such as book fairs, dramas, concerts and even fashion shows from time to time.  

And from now till December 20, Mobile M+: Live Art, operated by the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), is showcasing the installation work by American artist and composer John Cage (1912-1992), On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1987), in the Artist Village.  

As a graded historic building, the village itself is definitely worth a visit even when nothing happens. Built in 1908, Cattle Depot is the only surviving pre-war cattle slaughterhouse in Hong Kong. Renovation and conversion works were completed in 2001. The depot was confirmed as a Grade II historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2009.