For the Nature-oriented: Tseung Kwan O
Tseung Kwan O is a bay in Sai Kung District, containing Tseung Kwan O New Town, one of Hong Kong's nine new towns. Its lesser known English name is Junk Bay, said to be derived from the junks moored in the bay or the nearby landfill. The village of Hang Hau established itself as the most prosperous area in the Clearwater Bay Peninsula with a ship-building industry, so the government chose to develop a new town there due to its proximity to urban areas. This project was started under the name of Tseung Kwan O. Today, the district comprises of four areas: Po Lam, Hang Hau, Tseung Kwan O and Tiu Keng Leng.
Things to do
While not quite bursting with as many attractions as the more urban parts of Hong Kong, TKO still has its fair share of things to do. Beginner hikers can get started on their journey to fitness with the Little Hawaii Trail; depending on fitness level, this threekilometre walk takes approximately an hour to complete. Start at Tseng Lan Shue by Clearwater Bay Road, or walk along Po Hong Road in Po Lam to go to opposite way. This hike is famed for the picturesque waterfall along the way, and walkers will also go past an old swimming pool that has been abandoned for many years.
Experienced hikers should challenge the High Junk Peak Country Trail instead, which takes approximately four hours with four different summits to cross and views overlooking Junk Bay and the beaches of Sai Kung. As the starting point is rather remotely located within Hang Hau village, the easiest way is to cab from Tseung Kwan O MTR station to Ng Fai Tin, or to take the 103 minibus from Tseung Kwan O MTR exit A.
Perhaps more weather-friendly for the winter season is visiting the Hong Kong Design Institute Gallery. This gallery supports up and coming local talent, so you're sure to discover new artists who are relatively unknown—a refreshing change from the big names all over mainstream galleries. The exhibition ‘Urban Daydreaming' by French industrial designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec is currently ongoing, displaying a repertoire of models and films highlighting the need to bring natural forms (plants, animals, water and fire) back into the city.
Tseung Kwan O in general is fairly pet-friendly, with most of the large residential complexes allowing pets. While animals are still not allowed in shopping malls (as in most of Hong Kong), Tseung Kwan O makes up for this with the Wan Po Road Pet Garden, a 12,000-square-metre park with three gated sections for large-, small- and all-sized pooches respectively. It even has a handy shower area for your furry friends. Right next to the pet garden is the beautiful Tseung Kwan O Promenade, popular with joggers, dog walkers, fishermen and dragonboat teams, with a cycling path. Stretching from the town centre to Tiu Keng Leng, this 1.6 hectare public space also offers scenic views of Lei Yue Mun and Chai Wan.
Also nearby is the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, featuring a 400-metre running track, an 11-a-side football pitch, as well as a 300-metre running track surrounding a seven-a-side pitch. Even more sporting facilities are available at the Hong Kong Velodrome Park, including a climbing wall, badminton, tennis and basketball courts and a skatepark. There’s also a large artificial lake; visitors can take stylish photos of the buildings and sky reflected in the water.
Though not quite the weather for it just now, little ones will love Tseung Kwan O Swimming Pool, a splashy wonderland full of water cannons, slides, hoses and sprays, water castles, and a giant bucket that dumps water down on those milling about below. The entrance fee is cheap as chips, and the arena also includes a canteen for refreshments and cabanas for adults to while the day away. A good spot to keep in mind for when the summer months roll around.
The obvious place to check out for food is the Popcorn shopping mall, with its extensive range of Western and Asian cuisine as well as cafés, including Hong Kong's favourite Michelin-starred dim sum joint, Tim Ho Wan. BEANS The Backyard does a good all day breakfast and has a wide choice of coffees. Popwalk is connected to Popcorn and offers a more spacious dining experience as restaurants are linked via an open balcony area, so some also have outdoor seating.
There's actually a rooftop bar in Tseung Kwan O; head to Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East for Cielo Steakhouse & Bar, where you can indulge in a semi lunch buffet or dinner and take in the green mountain view. Proud carnivores need to hit up Lardos Steak House, a small friendly restaurant tucked away in Hang Hau. Their 16oz chateaubriand is perfect for sharing.
Should Lardos be full, or if you miss your booking, simply pop next door to Grand Restaurant & Pub for authentic Thai food. Prices are cheap and portions are generous, and their apparent must tries are the pad thai and stir-fried rock crab in curry and egg. For more local tastes, try Tastefull Kitchen which serves up Chinese dishes and hotpot—perfect for the cold weather! Pro tip: bring a mate who knows Chinese, as English menus aren't available.
Hong Kong Design Institute香港知專設計學院