What’s going on over the hill? Exploring Kwun Tong.
Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay are on the up and up. The two areas have acquired a couple of snappy new monikers – CBD2 and Kowloon East – and a thicket of modern office blocks, malls, shops and restaurants.
An estimated 60 million square feet of office space, or three times as much as currently exists in Central, is opening this year and next year.
The new Kai Tak cruise terminal is booming, Kellett School is now properly established in Kowloon Bay, and two new hotels have opened.
Even scruffy Kwun Tong town centre is due for a multi-billion-dollar makeover courtesy of the Urban Renewal Authority. There’s a lot going on over the hill. We went exploring.
Kwun Tong Fun and games
Indoor ski slope and softball
Kwun Tong’s acreage of building space isn’t all reserved for Grade A offices. Indoor recreation centre PLAY has lots of fun activities for rainy days, including dry ski slopes and a softball practice net. Skiers and snowboarders can book lessons for beginners to advanced levels on the three dry slopes, which have adjustable angles and speeds of more than 20km/hour. There is also a stationary slope for beginners. Lesson prices start from $1,200 an hour, plus $300 for gear hire, while practice sessions are $1,680 an hour for up to four people.
Alternatively swing a bat or toss a ball in the softball nets. PLAY charges $30 for 14 practice balls with lessons for $450 an hour.
PLAY | 1/F, Kras Asia Industrial Building, 79 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong | 2797 9323
Channel your inner urban warrior with a session at Paintballing Headquarters. The 10,000-square-foot war zone includes two-storey towers, a bridge, partitions and oil barrels for cover as you stalk and splat your best frenemy in fun, adrenaline-pumping sessions for 10-60 paintballers. From $220 for students and $250 for adults, including gear and 100-150 paintballs. Booking is essential and an advance deposit of $100 is required two weeks in advance.
G/F, Po Lung Center, 11 Wang
Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, 3106 0220,
Go Nature in Kwun Tong has one of the finest bouldering walls in town. For details, see page 34.
Children as young as four – and their dads – can take the controls of a Boeing 737 in the Flight Experience simulator. Choose from 24,000 airports to fly into, or swing by world-famous landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and London Bridge on the realistic, 180-degree display. Up to three people can fit in the flight deck at one time. The introductory flight package includes two take-offs and landings at the airports of your choice in a 30-minute session ($1,290). G/F, MegaBox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, email@example.com, 2359 0000.
Kwun Tong Education
British international school, Kellett School opened its state-of-the-art Kowloon Bay campus last year, with both Preparatory School and Secondary School sections and space for up to 600 students. “We now have the space to grow our community further and the ability to educate our students all the way through their academic lives, from four to 18 years old,” says Principal Ann McDonald.
Facilities include a running track and astroturf field on the rooftop, indoor swimming pool, large theatre and excellent music and arts facilities in a bright, cheerful building. 7 Lam Hing Street, Kowloon Bay, 3120 0700, www.kellettschool.com.
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong
Due to open in September, Nord Anglia International School will offer 660 places in Years 1 to 7, expanding to 800 students up to Year 9 in 2015, with Years 10 to 13 to be added later. It will follow the British National Curriculum and will be located in a renovated 80,000 sqft former school in Lam Tin. Facilities will include specialist classrooms, outdoor sports courts, a covered pool and state-of-the-art sports and performance areas. 11 On Tin Street, Lam Tin, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nais.hk.
Kwun Tong Shopping
APM Millennium City
At APM Millennium City, late-night shopping isn’t just a promise, it’s a lifestyle. Taking its name from the combination of am and pm to reflect the late-night concept, shops are open until midnight, restaurants until 2am and entertainment spots until dawn. It has everything you’d expect in a fashion mall, from Uniqlo to Marathon Sports. Anchor stores include Jusco supermarket, Muji, a multi-screen Palace Cinema and Neway karaoke. APM Mall, 418 Kwun Tong Road,
Everyone loves a bargain, and the Camel Paint Building has them by the bin-full. Nestled between two industrial buildings, the dingy-looking exterior hides a host of discount outlets for major brands such as Adidas, Nike and New Balance as well as stores selling imported food, garden furniture, organics and beauty products. Camel Paint Building Block 1, 62 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong.
While you’re in the area, ladies, there’s a good Triumph outlet at 50 Hoi Yuen Road selling a wide range of top-quality underwear at bargain prices.
Kwun Tong Culture
This large art gallery primarily focuses on Asian art, curating shows that typically feature several local and international artists. Other events have included “Hello it’s Me, Goodbye: Andy Warhol Cinema”, pop-up art markets and workshops. Check the website, www.osagegallery.com, for upcoming events. Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-6.30pm, Sun 2.30pm-6.30pm. 4/F, Union Hing Yip Factory Building, 20 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, 2793 4817, email@example.com.
This underground music venue features indie bands and artists in a 4,000 sqft space. Among the six bands playing this month are Northern Irish “math-rock” band And So I Watch You From Afar, post-rockers Caspian and shoegazers Alpine Decline. 2A Wing Fu Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, 9170 6073, hiddenagenda.hk.
The Salt Yard
This year-old photography gallery this month features portraits by Kazutomo Tashiro taken after the tsunami in Japan. B1, 4/F, Jone Mult Industrial Building, 169 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3563 8003.
Kwun Tong parks and recreation
Jordan Valley Park
Once a landfill site, boy, has Jordan Valley scrubbed up well. The grassy, six-hectare site features a large children’s playground, jogging tracks, gardens, a greenhouse, a maze and two radio-controlled-car racing circuits. And yes, you can walk on the grass. Parking available. 71 New Clear Water Bay Road, Kwun Tong.
Kwun Tong Swimming Pool
This indoor swimming pool complex is open all year round, with four pools to choose from. Closed Wednesdays. 2 Tsui Ping Road, Kwun Tong, 2717 9022.
The newest location in the Fitness First chain of gyms is the closest large gym to Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay. Among the classes on offer are TRX Circuit, body combat, Pilates and Zumba. 25F, One Pacific Centre, 414 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, 3106 3538.
Kwun Tong Promenade
There was a time when people flying into Hong Kong could smell the Kai Tak Nullah before they landed. The pong has gone. Once ominously black and bubbling, the nullah has been cleaned up and the waterfront area once used only by paper recyclers has become a rare waterfront promenade.
Stage Two is due to be finished by the end of the year, with more green open space and a pleasant waterfront cafe. It’s a surprisingly peaceful park where early risers perform tai chi or jog along the harbour. There’s even an art installation: a landmark tower that lights up and sends kaleidoscopic beams right along the boardwalk in time to music. Kwun Tong Promenade, Kwun Tong.