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Transformation of Kowloon East

In partnership with:

Grand Central

Head East: What to do, eat and see in Kowloon East

  • From panoramic waterfront promenades to artsy boutiques, the district has an abundance of shopping, dining, art and interactive spaces for visitors to enjoy
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2018, 7:28pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 10:33am

For decades, Kowloon East has been associated with busy warehouses, shipyards and cargo handling areas.

But over the past few years, the district – which is about 30 minutes northeast of Central by MTR – has started to attract a profusion of creative types who are drawn by its evolving industrial spaces, public art installations and spacious waterfront promenade.

The result is a mix of edgy industrial vibes and contemporary lifestyle experiences, from shopping to dining, art galleries and outdoor spaces. Get a feel for Kowloon East 2.0 with our round-up of the best spots to visit.

Shopping

Go big or boutique at these popular shopping destinations

apm

Conveniently crowning the Kwun Tong MTR station, apm is much more than a mall. The 8,600-square-metre space is home to more than 170 trendy shops, as well as a slew of restaurants, a cinema, an Apple store and ever-popular Japanese lifestyle store LOG-ON. It tends to draw a young, late-night crowd since shops and restaurants are open until at least midnight, with some open 24 hours.

Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, tel: 2267 0500, hkapm.com.hk 

 MegaBox 

You can’t scan Kwun Tong’s skyline without spotting this massive orange tower. Aptly named MegaBox, it sprawls across more than 1.1 million square feet. Inside, you will find everything from Korean fashion to Japanese cuisine, plus Hong Kong’s first international-sized ice rink, an IMAX digital theatre and an immense IKEA store. Visiting with kids? Check out the 12th floor, where there’s an impressive indoor playground dedicated to little ones.

Enterprise Square Five, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, megabox.com.hk

Twenty One From Eight 

Crafting bespoke wooden furniture, Twenty One From Eight is a must-visit for design lovers. Not only can you find gleaming walnut coffee tables and oak desks in this spacious boutique, but you can also devour French pastries from the “Pantry” and attend woodworking courses, where you’ll learn the fundamentals while crafting your own project.

11/F, Pang Kwong Building, 59 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, tel: 2321 1738, twentyonefromeight.com 

 Bike The Moment Store 

Founded by two millennials, Bike The Moment Store is a cycling store that goes beyond the call of duty. In addition to selling beautiful bikes – from brands like Strida, Sense30 and Slideaway – and accessories, the founders also host regular cycling outings with fellow enthusiasts to promote an urban cycling culture.

Unit A6, 12/F, Mai Hing Industrial Building Block A, 16-18 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, tel: 6192 9928, store.bikethemoment.com 

Dining

Indulge in everything from craft coffee to fine French fare

Le Pan 

If you’re planning a date night or celebratory occasion, check out Le Pan. This glamorous, marble-clad dining room serves up inventive French cuisine by award-winning chef Edward Voon. On the menu? Artfully presented foie gras, Miyazaki wagyu, Oscietra caviar, Brittany blue lobster, smoked eel and more. Don’t miss a chance to peruse the dramatic glass wine cellar – the sommelier will happily point you to some of Europe’s rarest vintages.

G/F, Goldin Financial Global Centre, 17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, tel: 3188 2355, lepan.com.hk 

HOW Food Factory 

HOW Food Factory will transport you to the artsy eateries of Chelsea in New York and Camden in London. The sprawling warehouse space serves up healthy dishes alongside green tea lattes, fresh juice and house-made cakes. Sharing the space is a homeware design boutique that’s dedicated to all things Japanese – think ceramics, handmade wooden furniture, clothing, jewellery and more. Head over on a beautiful autumn evening; the rooftop is one of Kwun Tong’s most happening corners.

Block AB, 3/F, How Ming Factory Building, 99 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, tel: 2805 1708, how-dept.com 

Return Coffee House 

A tiny strip of space in the heart of Kwun Tong, Return Coffee House is an award-winning Hong Kong coffee specialist selling single-origin espresso blends, pourovers, all-day breakfast, and a smattering of stylish coffee accessories. The space is as cool as the iced coffee, featuring brushed concrete floors and a projector splashing films across the walls.

Shop 2A, G/F, Hung Tat Industrial Building, 43 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, tel: 3590 9367, return-coffee.com 

DurianBB 

Durian obsessives will want to make a beeline for this warehouse hideaway. To fulfill your durian dreams, grab a seat at DurianBB for a five-durian sampler that includes the famous Musang King durian from Malaysia. For true aficionados, the cafe also makes its own durian-flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and popcorn.

Shop B, 2/F, King Win Factory Building, 65-67 King Yip Street, Kwun Tong, tel: 3708 8732, durianbb.com/shop.php

Uni-Coffee-Versity 

With its welcoming wood tables and harbour-front location, Uni-Coffee-Versity lures coffee enthusiasts not just for its high-quality brews, but also for its welcoming atmosphere. You can learn how coffee contraptions work with the help of explanatory artwork throughout the shop, or snap up high-quality accessories while you’re there. Aside from satisfying your caffeine fix, the cafe serves up fresh salads, pastas and juices – a perfect way to unwind after a morning of exploring the neighbourhood.

Shop 3, G/F, MG Tower, 133 Hoi Bun Rd, tel: 2959 2211 facebook.com/unicoffeeversity

Art

Get inspired by these creative havens

 Osage Gallery Hong Kong 

Tucked away in an unassuming commercial building, Osage Gallery Hong Kong has the luxury of space. The industrial-chic gallery stretches across multiple rooms, all painted stark white so the spotlight stays on the artwork. Exhibitions tend to revolve around contemporary art, with an emphasis on emerging regional talents such as Chinese conceptual artist Zhao Zhao and Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei.

4/F, Union Hip Yip Factory Building, 20 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, tel: 2389 8332 / 2793 4817, osagegallery.com 

MarblePrintClay 

If you’ve arrived in an industrial hallway without a sign in sight... you’re in the right space. Turn the corner and a notably well-maintained door will catch your eye. This is MarblePrintClay – a professional print shop that provides bespoke services as well as a collection of limited-edition prints by local artists, photo etchings, woodcuttings and lithography.

Unit 5, 7/F, Sing Win Factory Building, 15-17 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, tel: 3706 5127, marbleprintclay.art 

Back Alley Project @Kowloon East 

With the aim of reinventing Kwun Tong’s forgotten lanes, the Back Alley Project has transformed 18 underused walkways and alleys into veritable works of art. Local and international artists have helped energise these spaces, including Sautel Cago from France, Malaysia’s Renny Cheng, Addison Karl from the US and local urban artist PANTONE C.

Various locations

Interactive spaces

Explore the district’s evolving public areas

Kwun Tong Promenade 

Originally a loading area for the paper recycling industry, the Kwun Tong Promenade was redeveloped in 2015 as a 1-kilometre walkway tracing Victoria Harbour on the west coast of Kwun Tong. Along this pleasant pathway, you’ll encounter stretches of grass, lots of colourful murals, edgy art installations and mixed-use spaces, wooden benches and shaded areas. There are also a few alfresco cafes along the way including La Serre, where you can pick up coffee and cake before snagging a bench by the water and soaking up the views.

Hoi Bun Road, Kwun Tong

Kai Tak Runway Park & Cruise Terminal Park 

Last century, planes coming into Hong Kong landed between skyscrapers on the edge of the harbour along Kai Tak strip – making this one of the most dramatic descents in the world. After the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport in Chek Lap Kok, the old airport was left abandoned for well over a decade. It reopened in 2014 as a cruise terminal, but it’s not just a boarding gate for seafarers. The landscaped area is also home to two parks that are still in progress: there’s Runway Park, at the tip of the peninsula, and Terminal Park on the rooftop. Both promise exceptional views of Victoria Harbour, Lion Rock, Kowloon Peak and Lei Yue Mun.

33 Shing Fung Road, Kai Tak 

Fly the Flyover 

Built under the Kwun Tong Bypass, creative space Fly the Flyover is an open performance venue available for exhibitions, dance shows, concerts and interactive game nights. Around the urban-chic space, which is operated as Vessel 01 by non-profit HKALPs, visitors can peruse the Back Alley Project’s eclectic graffiti walls – each with its own personality.

Tsun Yip Street Playground

Another example of how Kowloon East is enhancing public spaces, while paying tribute to the area’s industrial heritage. The Tsun Yip Street Playground is also home to four vibrant yellow shipping containers that are transformed into striking exhibition pavilions.

58 Tsun Yip St, Kwun Tong