West Kowloon Cultural District – Creating Modern Traditions with Heritage and Craftsmanship
Hong Kong has over time emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations across the world. The heightened innovations and growing popularity have paved the way for more and younger people and older retired individuals to visit the space to reel in the beauty of the uplifting area.
Amidst all the growth, the Hong Kong tourism board is on a quest to further improve and expand their tourism experience, especially with recently launched neighbourhood – West Kowloon Cultural District. This new spot around Hong Kong is spread across 40 hectares of reclaimed land.
The place is an uprising, especially with the individual amenities, heritage and itineraries that the tourists can indulge in. The reports from the Hong Kong tourism board’s official website suggest this place as must visit attraction for tourists.
Travellers will have access to the traditional culture and heritage, craftsmanship and even the historical architecture around the city. Not just the historic imprint, this secluded district also involves a range of authentic dining experiences for the tourists with bustling energy from the people around.
The highlight of the West Kowloon Cultural district is the five thematic walking routes that involve different key themes, including:
- Where modern architecture meet history
- Made by hand: Local treasures of West Kowloon
- West Kowloon: Art in panorama
- See urban art in all its forms
- Feast your way through delicious local flavours
However, this doesn’t stop there. Despite being built on a limited space, the good thing about this spot is the key stops that you can explore even while walking.
Quick Pit Stops in between the Thematic Walking Routes
Before we discuss the walking routes and the kind of itinerary you can plan, we are going to walk you through some of the best spots that you can explore on the way to the final destination.
- Yau Ma Tei theatre
Dating back to the old 1930s, this is the lone standing theatre in the Kowloon Peninsula. It is located around the south of this place and is one of the key remnants from the pre-world War II era. Stepping into this theatre brings out the historical importance of the place and the kind of charm that Hong Kong brings in. You get to witness the beauty of pre-war cinema and how it impacted the lives and entertainment of people before the disastrous war.
Just opposite the theatre is the popular fruit market, which is an ecosystem for the livelihood of the people around. The fruit market dates even before the theatre was built and it was built in 1913, supplying the people with fruits, fresh produce, etc.
- West Kowloon Station
You might be sitting here thinking, “What is so special about a station?” Well, this one is one of the largest underground cross-border railway stations. It marks one of the most important and popular landmarks in Hong Kong’s beautiful and scenic skyline.
The entire structure of the train station is supported on 8000 tonnes of steel and over 4000 glazing panels across the expanse of the station. There are decks where the individuals can step on to view the beautiful sightseeing spots around. You can watch the waves lap and the roaring sound of the ocean breaking against the shores.
The train station also connects the railway services across 58 mainland stations without any kind of interchange.
- Tin Hau Temple
Another popular calm and comfortable spot that you can likely indulge in is the Tin Hau Temple. It is alternatively called the Yau Ma Tei temple as well. It is one of the largest temple complexes in West Kowloon.
The temple is a testament to Hong Kong’s history with the fishing community. These temples were built along the seashores for the seafarers to pray for their safety during the voyages. This particular temple is built just around the Yau Ma Tei shoreline and hence the alternative name.
The temple is not just a place of worship but stands as a free school for the less unfortunate. However, the school was closed back in 1995. The temple and the five adjacent buildings are now declared as the monument. Just walking through this temple will insight feelings of nostalgia and give you a quick rundown about the history.
- Xiqu Centre
If you aren’t into temples or historical upright standings, Xiqu Centre is the state of art modern centre in West Kowloon. This is another form of theatre with modern and unique architecture that highlights Cantonese opera. You get to enjoy the beauty of the historical and modern-day opera, ideal for beginners and seasoned listeners.
The place houses some of the best troupes and the travelling artists who are popular across the world. And, if you want to click some cool pictures for your Instagram page, this is one pit stop you have to make while you are there.
- Kowloon Union Church
This Church dates back to the 1930s and was built by the London Missionary Society. This is one of the oldest denominational churches near Hong Kong. Besides the conventional design, the church also inflicts a blend of East and West in the design and architecture.
You get to unfurl the historical architecture of the place, especially with the prominent Gothic style outlook. But, the entire spot isn’t dominated by just western architecture. You get to look through the beautiful and meaningful elements from the Chinese and Asian cultures. The stained windows with the trigrams are immaculate and a real stunner. Just stepping inside this structure is enough to leave you awestruck.
Cover everything in your Well-Planned Itinerary
Besides the immaculate structure of the West Kowloon cultural District, the good thing about this spot is the thematic walking routes. While making an itinerary, there’s no way you can afford to miss out on any of these experiences that you gather along the way.
- Explore modern architecture
Despite the old traditions and culture that bestows West Kowloon, you can be assured that the city has done its part to accentuate and elevate the surroundings to its modern-day likings. So, not only do you get to experience the historical buildings and architectures, you get to explore the modern-day design and structures equally well.
- Buy from local artisans
One highlight of West Kowloon is the availability of local craftsmanship. If you want to support the local people and their talent, this spot has a lot of spots, stores and markets where local artisans sit with their handmade products to sell. Buy from the small vendors to support their businesses during your stroll.
- Enjoy the panoramic views
Despite being designed and structured in limited space, West Kowloon is popular for its infrastructure, especially with the lighted buildings and the skyscrapers. The twinkling lights in the night with the panoramic view of the skyline are a must-watch during your visit.
- Explore urban art
Not just your staple muted historical art, West Kowloon is a spot that reflects vibrancy with urban art. The bold strokes of color and the beautiful backdrops across the lanes make these spots worth every minute you spend. Not to mention, they make a good pit stop for a quick Instagram picture.
- Tap into the local flavors
Chinese and Cantonese cuisine is loved by millions of people across the globe. If you are visiting West Kowloon, be assured that you will never have to worry about the lack of local flavors. From supermarkets to local restaurants, there are a variety of spots that allow you to explore their food and the beautiful blend of spices and variety of food choices.
- Explore M+
It is not every day that you come across a unique structure. The M+ in West Kowloon is Asia’s very first global museum that highlights visual culture spanning across the varying and rich history of West Kowloon and Hong Kong. You can never get too much with this spot at all.
- Fun for kids
Besides something for the history buffs and the cultural enthusiasts, you also get to explore the beautiful province of West Kowloon. The AR Fun is particularly an amazing spot for the kids to have some fun in. The games and the alternative reality exploration is something you will eventually get a lot of fun out of.
If you are planning to visit West Kowloon Cultural District, look out on Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Official website to get an update about the ongoing or upcoming events. The website holds all the needed information that you will likely need before you plan the trip and the itinerary that follows. Just make sure that you keep a check on the offers too that are available on the website.
All in all, West Kowloon Cultural District is soon going to break out all the tourism popularity so it goes without saying that if you want to explore somewhere new, this is where you need to plan your next vacation. From the beautiful nature trails, cinematic theatres, and rich cultural history, West Kowloon is shaping up as one of the most popular tourist spots to date.
Great Blog post. Really informative. Keep up the good work.