Wondering where to live in Hong Kong? It’s always good to talk to the neighbours! In our regular Street Talk feature, we get the inside scoop from residents of different areas. Here, we chat to VERONICA VALDIVIESO about what it’s like living in Hung Hom Bay, Kowloon.
Where are you from? Venezuela
What’s your occupation? Entrepreneur, including importing ecofriendly accessories and bags from Portugal to HK (see vvfashionstore.com, Instagram @VVfashionsVV)
Where do you live? Harbourfront Horizon, Hung Hom Bay, Kowloon.
How long have you lived here? One and half years.
Why here? Because it’s a lovely neighbourhood with a fantastic promenade overlooking Hong Kong Island, and it feels quiet and spacious, and a bit exclusive.
It’s also well located and well connected to different parts of Hong Kong. For example, you can walk to East TST in just 10 minutes, Avenue of the Stars is a 15-minute stroll away, and it’s 20 minutes to the Star Ferry. It only takes 5 minutes to get to Causeway Bay on the bus from the Cross-Harbour Tunnel stop, 15 minutes to Ocean Park, and 15 minutes to Wan Chai. In addition, it’s only a 15-minute ferry ride to Central from the newly (re)opened Hung Hom Ferry Pier, and less than 10 minutes to North Point.
You can also easily access places like Mong Kok or even the New Territories by taking the MTR. For example, it’s easy to get to Sai Kung, Sha Tin or Tai Po by MTR from Hung Hom station.
Describe your lifestyle where you live. Swimming pools (the Harbourfront has a lush tropical pool), hotel high teas (Shangri-La’s is great!); cocktails in the many lovely bars around the area (the Salisbury Road strip, for example, has some lovely places); picnics by the promenade or lovely strolls down the promenade; coffee (especially in the newly opened NOC café on the promenade); meals and drinks in outdoor cafés with the lovely view of Hong Kong (the Kerry Hotel has nice spots, and the newly opened Ink seafood bar on the promenade is a great place to eat, drink and watch the Symphony of Lights!); basically, lots of good food and cocktails and good times with good people!
When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? People running up and down the beautiful promenade with the incredible skyline of Hong Kong Island in the background.
What’s your closest store? Fortune Metropolis mall next to Hung Hom MTR, and AEON in Whampoa (in the basement of the cruise ship!). A 15-minute walk down the promenade will also take you to K11 Musea. What movie would your area be a perfect backdrop for a remake of? Any movie that involves somebody training and running to a pretty backdrop!
How are the neighbours? They’re from all over the world and everyone is super friendly; there are different types of families – some with kids, some young couples, elderly couples, and singles too. Some of them have lived in the area for 10 years or more! Of course, you also see a lot of fishermen, or just locals looking for fresh air on the promenade.
What’s the unofficial uniform of your street? Small running shorts and nothing else for the men, and for the women anything that looks good in their Instagram pictures!
What’s a mandatory stop for visiting guests? The Kerry Hotel for the 7th-floor terrace (Red Sugar bar and restaurants) and Dockyard on the 1st floor (a modern food-court concept and a great place for live music, pool and darts).The Harbour Plaza Metropolis hotel also has a great terrace bar for a cocktail or a happy hour drink at sunset time (Patio Bar). The place is magical and the view is absolutely stunning – and it’s so quiet; nobody seems to know about it!
Date night – what and where? Cocktails and canapés at Red Sugar, and also Waterfront Bar and Terrace at One Harbourfront.
Best thing for kids in your area? Fortuna Mall, which is full of kids’ centres for learning music, languages and arts. For more options, the Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa has lots to offer, including bowling alleys, a branch of Jumpin Gym USA, and of course the kids will love the novelty of being inside the cruise ship parked in the middle of the housing estates! For more fresh-air activities, the nearby Hutchinson Park or Tai Wan Shan Park on the promenade have some fun kids’ equipment.
Who would you want to swap houses with? Anyone in Harbourfront Horizons who lives on the top floor!
Strangest thing you’ve seen in your area? A fisherman once caught a pufferfish right off the promenade; he was holding it with his hands (he was wearing gloves) and a crowd gathered around to see it because it got inflated and looked like an angry blown-up balloon! I also remember seeing a group of about 100 photographers once who were all photographing a rare finch that had visited the area – the finch didn’t seem bothered at all by the huge lenses aimed at it. Oh – and there are a lot of black kites in the area, and once one flew right into our window. Thank goodness it wasn’t open!
Guiltiest pleasure in your area? High tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, or perhaps an indulgent meal at the Tapas Bar on Salisbury Road – don’t miss the churros.
What would you never change about your area? The tranquillity. I usually say that living here is the best kept secret of Kowloon. I like the fact that it’s not crowded at all and it’s still so close to town. A lot of people don’t know the lifestyle this neighbourhood offers; apartments tend to be more spacious and cheaper than in town. I love living near the sea and being able to go for a relaxing run down the promenade after a long day at work or after spending a day in Central.
Best thing about living in your area? The strategic location that allows you easily to go anywhere in Hong Kong island, Kowloon or the New Territories.
DO YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?
Share it with others – just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.