Visit to the Kowloon City Park on the second day of my Hong Kong trip was a pure luck. I was trying to reach at Kowloon Walled City Park, but when I asked about the way to the park, people guided me towards the City Park. Both are far away from each other. I was staying in Chung King Mansion at Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui and City Park is just a kilometer walk from there. I visited the park, enjoyed and did not know that it was not the same park, I wanted to visit. Later, after three days only I realized my mistake and made another trip to Kowloon Walled City Park. But, still Kowloon City Park is also a great place to visit, if you are in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Kowloon Park was opened in 1970 and underwent a major redevelopment in 1989. The site was once home to the British Army’s Whitfield Barracks part of which has been restored and now, known as the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center.
This park contains a swimming pool, sports center, bird lake, aviary, dance rooms, fitness rooms, squash rooms etc. Park is located in the central zone of Tsim Sha Tsui and considered as one of the largest parks in Kowloon. This park also houses the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center, which is famous for its thematic exhibition gallery, lecture hall, educational activity room and reference library.
There are many entrance for this park. I was on the Canton Road, so a fellow Indian suggested me to enter in the park from the Royal Pacific Tower. As suggested by him, I just entered the hotel lobby and went to an over-bridge joining hotel and the park entrance. From there, I entered in the park and welcomed by a group of Flamingos.
I quickly passed through the lake towards the other end of the park, as I wanted to explore this park from the other end. The park boasts an abundance of scenic spots and enough establishments for tourists to enjoy themselves.
At the one end of the park, I came across this beautiful garden of Hyacinths Flowers. The Hyacinths flowers bed were very beautiful with gorgeous flowers all around.
There are many green trees and plants are located inside the park. And to enjoy the scenic beauty around and experience the nature at its best, there are quite a good arrangement of wooden and steel benches inside the park.
The walkways remain rather empty inside the park. Very few people cross this park to reach their offices, some people come here for the morning walks and very less numbers of tourists are interested in this park. This park looks very close to the nature with its peaceful environment and lesser crowd. Benches and chairs are available in plenty to sit down and to relax here.
While walking across the various corners of this park, I came across the Temporary Pavilion of Hong Kong Exhibits near Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center.This was organized as Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism for a one month duration. Designed by a local Bamboo master , the pavilion for Hong Kong Exhibits is anchored by two case studies examining Architecture’s response to changing social and economic conditions, reflecting the curatorial theme of time, place and people.One shows the local school typologies, while other focuses on East Kowloon’ s history and development.As more and more manufacturing has moved to Mainland China, and especially after the relocation of the airport to Lantau Island, this area has become a new void in the city. Planners and designers are currently in the process of reimagining this neighborhood as an embodiment of the new part of Hong Kong.
Just outside the Hong Kong Exhibits , there is a toilet available for public usage without any charges. I have never seen such a neat and clean, well maintained toilet in India, except inside few shopping malls and at the airports. Population of India may be a reason for the poor state of toilets in India, but at the crowded beaches and tourist places also, I noticed the excellent level of cleanliness in Hong Kong.
Moving further, I reached in the middle of a beautiful green garden. There were beautiful gardens, fountains, and flowers inside the park to enjoy. Ahead of that, there was a beautiful steel structure surrounded by water bodies near the sole food corner of the park.
From there, I moved towards the aviary section of the park. The park has a small aviary with around 40 species of 140 birds including macaws, parrots hornbills etc.
From the aviary, I went towards the Harbour City gate of the park and from there moved back towards the lake. This Bird Lake were full of many birds including swans, flamingos, ducks etc. Tortoise were in abundance and they were always ready for the perfect picture pose.
I spent at least three hours in the park and amazed with the natural beauty and greenery of this park in the middle of the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. I would surely missed it if not visited as planned, but I was happy to explore this park on a random visit.
Admisson: Free admission to park. Charges apply for swimming pool and sports center.
Park open 5am to midnight daily.
Swimming pool open 6-30am to 12 noon, 1pm to 5pm and 6pm to 10pm daily.
Sports Centre open 7am to 11pm daily.
Bird Lake open 6-30am to 6-45pm.
Aviary open 6-30am to 6-45pm March to October, 6-30am to 5-45pm November to February.
Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre open 10am to 6pm Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 7pm Sundays and public holidays. Closed Thursdays.
How to Reach?
Several entrances also on Nathan Road, Haiphong Road, Kowloon Park Road, Canton Road, Austin Road.
Also elevated pedestrian walkway from Promenade Level of China Hong Kong City/Royal Pacific Hotel on Canton Road.
1. Every Sunday afternoon between 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM the Sculpture Walk, becomes “Kung Fu Corner” where there are free demonstrations of martial arts and lion and dragon dancing.
2. Also on Sundays and public holidays an Arts Fun Fair operates from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Loggia with about 30 stalls. The stalls sell handicrafts and providing arts services. Handicrafts and artworks include pottery, straw-weaving work, dough models, paper craft-work, carving work, accessories, floral artwork, sand paintings, cloth artwork and clay work. Services provided include photography, painting, calligraphy, silhouette cutting and sketching or caricature.
3. Every Friday, there is a guided tour inside the park for Bird Watching. The tour is conducted between 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM and it is free of cost. The Arcade of the Kowloon Park is the meeting point for the tour.