Discover the best of West Kowloon on foot

You’re never fully dressed without a smile, and you’ve never fully known a city till you’ve experienced it on foot. West Kowloon, Hong Kong links traditional craftsmanship, historic buildings, authentic dining and shopping experiences to a new bustling international art and culture district. The emerging neighbourhood plays host to countless gems located within walking distance for an effortless and relaxing holiday.

Five thematic West Kowloon walking routes

1. Where modern architecture meets history

West Kowloon has been recognised as Hong Kong’s newest arts hub in recent years. While its new identity flourishes, the district is still loved as one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. Stroll along the streets to spot Art Deco designs, Victorian Gothic giants, Neoclassical structures, and modern architectural wonders. With structures dating back to 1800 still standing, be whisked away to a bygone era that is still alive within an evolving modern city.

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Yau Ma Tei Theatre on the crossroads of Waterloo Road and Reclamation Street. Built around 1930, this structure is the only surviving pre-World War II theatre in Kowloon.
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The Red Brick Building on Shek Lung Street, the only structure that remains of the former pumping station built in 1895—one of the oldest in Hong Kong.
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Completed in 2019, Xiqu Centre is a space dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of Chinese opera.

2. Local handmade treasures of West Kowloon

Master craftsmen claimed West Kowloon as their creative turf once upon a time. A part of their legacy has been kept alive to this day. You can see seasoned artisans making traditional crafts such as copperware, mahjong tiles, jade jewellery and many more alongside contemporary stores and branded luxury boutiques. Be sure to make time and witness these skilful hands at work, or try your hands at creating time-honoured crafts through workshops hosted by the masters themselves.

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Shanghai Baoxing Qipao (上海寶星時裝祺袍), where Master Yan patiently handmakes qipaos and Chinese cotton jackets and has been doing so for over 65 years.
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A disappearing craft in this day and age, Uncle King at Biu Kee Mahjong (標記麻雀) is one of the last craftsmen in Hong Kong that still handmakes mahjong tiles.
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Lee Wo Steelyard (利和秤號)—the last remaining shop in Hong Kong selling steelyards and Chinese scales. In operation for over 90 years, Mrs Ho took over the shop from her father, Mr Wong, a master scales craftsman.

3. Art in panorama

West Kowloon is home to the West Kowloon Cultural District—Hong Kong’s latest and largest cultural hub. The highlights include state-of-the-art museum facilities, award-winning architecture, the new Palace Museum due to be unveiled in mid-2022, and a wealth of traditional crafts hidden in Jordan and Yau Ma Tei. Whether you’re an avid art enthusiast or a casual onlooker, you will be guaranteed a kaleidoscopic experience set against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline.

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Encompassing modern visual art, design and architecture, moving images, and the thematic area of Hong Kong visual culture, M+ is Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, slated to open on 12 November 2021.
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Freespace, Hong Kong’s newest centre for contemporary performances. It is a versatile space for pushing artistic boundaries and promoting creative exchanges.
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For an exploration of arts and creativity along the harbourfront, head over to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre to catch a live performance from ballet shows to theatre productions.

4. Urban art in all its glory

Connecting paths after paths of amusement for inspiration seekers, there are always something new to discover on the artistic streets of West Kowloon. Be sure to heighten up your senses and look for surprises from every building corner as you explore the hallways of the urban gallery. Ogle at shop shutters, stairwells or walls that are splattered with murals. Drop by the community theatre to catch unusual arthouse films. Stop for a cuppa and feast your eyes in a boutique art hotel. You may want to blink less to take in every delightful detail.

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On Reclamation Street sits Vision Signage Production. Owner Mr Sin’s regular customers include local and international film studios. Try spotting his film props in over 90% of Hong Kong films!
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Mural on the flight of stairs connecting Nathan Road with the street above a little way down Public Square Street.
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Broadway Cinematheque puts on arthouse films in addition to the regular roster of blockbuster movies. Founded in 1996, the cinema hosts regular thematic film festivals, retrospectives, and events.

5. Pamper your palate with local flavours

Unleash your appetite for good food and feast on local cuisines from family-run establishments that define Hong Kong’s culinary scene. From traditional sweets, desserts, handmade noodles to preserved foods, you will enjoy the unmissable authentic flavours of West Kowloon.

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Established in 1946, Kam Hing is a mainstay in this city’s thriving food and beverage business, supplying over 600 restaurants as well as world-renowned hotel chains in Hong Kong.
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A TCM remedy that is easiest on the first-timer’s palate is the guilinggao, also known as tortoise jelly, and Kung Wo Tong (恭和堂) is famous for it.
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The Kwong Fat Spices (廣發號) spice store has remarkably been operating in Hong Kong for over a century. It has retained its old-school packaging and designs.

 

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