Despite living in Hong Kong for three years, I’d never really explored the Tseung Kwan O area until last month. Tseung Kwan O (abbreviated TKO) is one of nine new towns built on reclaimed land in the northern part of Junk Bay in southeastern New Territories. Upon first glance, it's just a bunch of tall skyscrapers built upon a spiderweb of shopping malls. But after living in Tseung Kwan O for a month, I found a wealth of fun things to do which I believe make this Hong Kong neighborhood worth a visit!
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Living in Tseung Kwan O
What happens when your only bathroom in your flat sprouts a leak and requires a full-scale renovation? In our case, it meant packing up a few suitcases, plus our two cats, and hauling ourselves to Tseung Kwan O.
From mid-Feburary to mid-March 2021, we lived in a one-bedroom flat (352 sq ft) with our two cats near the Tseung Kwan O MTR Station.
Because pet-friendly buildings are hard to come by in Hong Kong, we were lucky that our landlord knew someone with a vacant apartment where we could stay temporarily.
The Wings IIIA
Quick note for anyone in Hong Kong searching for a new flat...
If you're looking for a new, pet-friendly, and kid-friendly place to live in Tseung Kwan O, I recommend looking at the Wings IIIA.
The Wings IIIA in Tseung Kwan O is a relatively new, gated building complex with super-friendly staff located close to the Tseung Kwan O MTR Station. Many people in the building have children and pets, yet the apartment we stayed in was surprisingly quiet.
The downside for me was the view since we had an apartment facing inward towards the parking lot. But some units might have a better view than we did.
For Jeremy, a big negative was the ~45-minute commute to Central each day. Definitely took him back to our DC days living in Alexandria and commuting to downtown.
What I Enjoyed about Tseung Kwan O
To be honest, I’ve always dismissed Tseung Kwan O and neighborhoods like it as commuter towns or “the suburbs”. And they are. However, I found myself enjoying some of the perks that suburban living has to offer during our month there.
Tseung Kwan O is Pet-friendly
Everywhere you go, you’ll see people out and about with their fur babies. Lots of dog strollers here and people eating alfresco with their pups under the table.
If you aren’t a fan of dogs, TKO may not be the neighborhood for you. But since I love gawking at other people's dogs, this was a constant source of entertainment!
Tseung Kwan O is Great for Families
As I walked around, it seemed like getting around with kids in Tseung Kwan O would be easier than in some neighborhoods. The neighborhood is mostly flat with wide sidewalks. This means you could push a giant stroller around without blocking the entire pathway! Plus all the buildings are new and have elevators so no traipsing up the stairs like in Mid-Levels.
Once children are older, the waterfront promenade and bike lanes are perfect for them to get some energy out. The large parks and playgrounds in these neighborhoods are also great for this purpose.
Tseung Kwan O is Close to Incredible Natural Beauty
Tseung Kwan O is surrounded by beautiful country parks and greenery. It's easy to get to a number of trails either on foot or by minibus as you'll see later in this article.
And though many neighborhoods in Hong Kong are close to country parks, Tseung Kwan O is part of the Sai Kung district. And in my opinion, Sai Kung has some of the best beaches and prettiest waters in Hong Kong! Being able to just take a bus straight to Sai Kung was definitely a perk of living in Tseung Kwan O.
Fun Things to Do in and around Tseung Kwan O
Given the lack of Wi-Fi in our temporary apartment, I was "forced" to entertain myself by discovering fun activities around Tseung Kwan O. Quite the hardship, right?
As a result, I have a several recommendations for things to do when you visit (or move to) Tseung Kwan O.
1) Stroll along the Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Promenade
One of the best things about living in Tseung Kwan O is the waterfront promenade. With a wide pathway along the water, you can exercise while enjoying beautiful views of Junk Bay.
Next to the promenade, there are dedicated bicycle lanes so cyclists can enjoy moving more quickly without having to worry about pedestrians (in theory).
At night, the promenade gets busy with people exercising and getting out with their kids to let them run wild on their scooters. Since there are no cars, it’s safe enough that older children can go out biking without parents worrying.
Rent a Bicycle
To make this waterfront promenade even better, it links up with pathways to other neighborhoods, like Hang Hau and Po Lam. These pathways make it easy to go for a long run or cycling outing.
Several of the neighborhoods in TKO have bike rental shops. So if you’re in the neighborhood for a weekend getaway, you can rent a bike and explore the area that way.
2) Climb Devil’s Peak
Devil’s Peak is a hill on the western side of Junk Bay which got its name from the pirates that inhabited it during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Once the British arrived, they constructed various batteries and lookout points to fortify the hill.
On a hike up to Devil’s Peak, you can explore the ruins of these military fortifications.
How to Get to Devil's Peak from TKO
To reach Devil’s Peak from TKO, walk along the path just across from the Tiu Keng Leng MTR station towards Junk Bay. This path leads you up along Junk Bay, which is currently in the midst of a major bridge/tunnel project. You have excellent views of the project from the road.
Then, continue up through the Junk Bay Chinese Permanent Cemetery on the hillside to reach the trail up to Devil’s Peak.
Devil's Peak Redoubt
It’s a gradual climb for the most part until you reach the final ascent to the top of the hill. Once at the peak, you’ll have incredible views of Junk Bay and also across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island from the Devil's Peak Redoubt.
You’ll also be able to see Yau Tong and neighborhoods in Kowloon. To explore Gough Battery and Pottinger Battery, work your way down the hillside. Then, either retrace your steps back to TKO, or continue down towards the Yau Tong neighborhood.
3) Eat Fresh Seafood in Lei Yue Mun Village
Lei Yue Mun Village is a short walk from the Yau Tong MTR station and sits at the foot of Devil’s Peak. It’s long been a home for seafarers – at first pirates, then later fisherman and miners. Today, it’s a great place to go for fresh seafood!
Getting to Lei Yue Mun Village
If you’re coming down from the Devil’s Peak Hike above, you can follow the trails from Pottinger Battery towards Lei Yue Mun Village.
But if you're just coming for the seafood, take the MTR to Yau Tong station (exit A2, turn left). Then, walk along Cha Kwo Ling Road until you reach the waterfront. You’ll see the entrance for Lei Yue Mun village and immediately begin to see the seafood shops with their massive tanks of live seafood.
What to do in Lei Yue Mun
As you walk through the village, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick out seafood from a variety of shops. Despite the cloudy day, we wanted a restaurant with a view. So we walked past most of the shops until we reached Gateway Cuisine which sits right on the waterfront.
After we took a seat, I sent Jeremy to pick out the fresh seafood. I’m a bit squeamish about seeing my food alive before I eat it. They cooked it up for us and it was delicious – albeit a bit expensive. We’re terrible at bargaining and usually have no idea how much or what to order, so we inevitably end up overpaying.
Murals and Tin Hau Temple
In addition to delicious seafood, be sure to check out the colorful street art along the waterfront as well as the Tin Hau Temple.
Old Lei Yue Mun Quarry
If you continue walking to the old quarry, you can explore some of the old settlements while enjoying the harbour views.
4) Hike the Wilson Trail Sec. 3 Ridgeline
The Wilson Trail Sec 3 is a scenic trail that runs behind Tseung Kwan O, Hang Hau and Po Lam. It begins at Devil’s Peak and continues north until it reaches Clear Water Bay Road.
For a short and easy hike, I recommend this ~6-km/3.5-mi loop route which begins (and ends) at Tiu Keng Leng MTR station. Follow the trail up to Black Hill Triangular Station then walk the ridgeline as it undulates with moderate climbs.
After a few ups and downs, you'll head down towards Mau Wu Shan Bunker to finish the trail. The bunker was closed on the day I hiked past it, but it sort of reminded me of a castle.
Once you get to the bottom, you’ll have to make your way back along Po Lam Road South to reach the stairs back down to Tiu Keng Leng.
5) Cycle and Relax at Hong Kong Velodrome Park
The Hong Kong Velodrome in Tseung Kwan O is a huge sports center but the highlight for cyclists is the 250-meter indoor wooden cycling track which meets the standards of the International Cycling Union.
Other indoor facilities include badminton courts, basketball/volleyball courts, table tennis rooms, a dance studio, fitness room, plus a play area for children.
Outside, Hong Kong Velodrome Park is equally fun with lots of areas to explore. The park has a wide open field where you can set up a tent and relax. Plus an outdoor rock climbing wall and skateboarding park.
Getting to the Hong Kong Velodrome
To get to the Hong Kong Velodrome on the MTR, go to either Hang Hau Station and use exit B2 or Tseung Kwan O Station and use exit A1.
Find opening hours and facility information for Hong Kong Velodrome Park on the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department website.
6) Exercise at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground
Right next to the Hong Kong Velodrome, you'll find the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground. Facilities at this sports ground include a main sports ground with a fixed spectator stand and a secondary sports ground.
The TKO Sports Ground was designed and constructed in accordance with the standards set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). As a result, it's a suitable venue for athletic training and international track and field events.
Find opening hours and facility information for the TKO Sports Ground on the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department website. Choose the "Sai Kung" option to jump down to the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground.
7) Walk to Little Hawaii Falls and Razor Hill
Another short hike close to Tseung Kwan O is the Little Hawaii Falls trail. This is an easy, family-friendly trail on a stone path.
Getting to Little Hawaii Falls
Start at Po Lam MTR station (exit A1) and head north past Po Tsui Park on Po Hong Road. You’ll see signs for Little Hawaii Falls as you get closer. Once you reach the trail, it’s an easy climb up to Little Hawaii Falls.
Stop at Lin Tuen Terrace Falls
Along the way, you’ll cross another trail. If you turn left, you’ll reach the Lin Tuen Terrace Falls, which in my opinion, are more impressive. Be sure to check them both out and decide for yourself!
Climb Razor Hill
If you want to add a bit of a challenge to this hike, I recommend adding in the climb up Razor Hill. You can get to this trail using the same path as the Lin Tuen Terrance Falls.
Razor Hill is a steep climb so perhaps not as family-friendly as the rest of the trail. But the views should be amazing on a clear day. Since it was cloudy and rainy the day we climbed it, we had a different experience!
8) Explore the Parks, Playgrounds, & Gardens
A positive thing about the apartment buildings being so close together in Tseung Kwan O is that it leaves space for large parks. These are beautiful spaces through which to wander or sit and enjoy a beautiful day.
One of my favorite parks was Hang Hau Man Kuk Lane Park. It has a large pond with coy fish and waterfalls. Plus, the view of the colorful primary school and these pink towers isn't bad either!
The parks also provide excellent walking paths which connect different neighborhoods. It's a much more scenic way to go than walking along the road!
9) Let Your Furry Friends Run around the Pet Gardens
As I mentioned before, Tseung Kwan O is a very pet-friendly neighborhood. It seems like everyone is out with their fur babies, showing them off and wheeling them around in strollers more elaborate than you’d see for children!
Throughout the Tseung Kwan O neighborhoods, you’ll find a few pet gardens where dogs can be off leash to run wild. Plenty of places to meet up and socialize those pups!
10) Scramble up High Junk Peak
On the eastern side of Tseung Kwan O, you can see the ridgeline for the High Junk Country Trail looming over the LOHAS Park neighborhood.
The High Junk Peak hike is a bit more challenging than the others in the area due to the rocky scramble up to High Junk Peak. But the views from the top make it worth the climb!
If you plan to hike the entire High Junk Peak Country Trail, it's a ~6.0 km (3.7 mi) hike. From flat, shady paths to steep scrambles, this moderate to difficult hike is an exciting adventure in the Tseung Kwan O neighborhood.
For more details and photos on this beautiful hike, check out my full hiking guide for the High Junk Peak Hike.
Getting to High Junk Peak Trail
Catch the 103M green minibus at the Tseung Kwan O MTR towards Clear Water Bay. Then disembark at the Ng Fai Tin stop for the High Junk Peak Country trail. Alternatively, you could walk to the trail from the Hang Hau MTR Station like we did when we hiked this trail.
11) Hike the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail
Making our way even further east, the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail in Clear Water Bay Country Park is an incredible trail for views and is easier than the High Junk Peak trail.
Beginning at the Clear Water Bay Equestrian Centre at the northern tip, you’ll gradually ascend while magnificent views of the green hills of Sai Kung and various islands appear behind you.
Towards the top of the hillside, various rock formations make for interesting photos and viewpoints. While it’s great that this trail has unencumbered views, this also means it doesn’t have a lot of shade. Take your time, wear sunscreen, and bring lots of water to have the best experience!
Getting to Lung Ha Wan Country Trail
To get to this hike, either take a taxi from TKO or Hang Hau MTR stations to the Clear Water Bay Equestrian Centre (~HK $90) to start the trail. Or, take a minibus from Po Lam (no. 16) or TKO (no. 103M) to Tai Au Mun.
Note: You’ll have to walk to the start of the trail if you take public transportation. Keep in mind, you’ll most likely have to walk back to Tai Au Mun to catch public transportation unless you call a taxi to pick you up.
12) Shop, Shop, Shop
With the maze of malls in Tseung Kwan O, you could easily spend a weekend in the aircon catching up on your shopping. Though you won't find the luxury stores that you will in Central, the malls in TKO are great for everyday shopping needs.
Stores range from grocery stores to pet supplies & grooming, skincare to electronics, clothing to home goods. Plus, you'll find several excellent restaurants to try in the malls.
Pro Tip: Some of the malls have free Wi-Fi! As I walked to the MTR from our apartment through the PopCorn shopping mall, I always used the free Wi-Fi. It came in really handy since our apartment in TKO didn't have Wi-Fi and we were running low on data!
Great Places to Eat in Tseung Kwan O
Despite being a suburban community, Tseung Kwan O has a large selection of restaurants from which to choose. From small local eateries to "fancy" western places, you'll be sure to find something good to eat no matter your budget.
Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan is a local dim sum restaurant that has locations in various neighborhoods around Hong Kong. Even though the Tseung Kwan O location isn't mentioned in the Michelin Guide as some of its branches are, the dim sum here is still very tasty!
Menu highlights for us are the baked BBQ pork buns and steamed fresh shrimp dumplings (ha jiao). The steamed egg cake makes a nice sweet(ish) ending to a savory meal.
TKO Address: Shop 49, G/F., POPCORN 2, 9 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O
Urban Coffee Roaster
Urban Coffee Roaster is a fantastic café just off the Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Promenade which serves delicious, locally-roasted coffee. You can also find branches in TST and Causeway Bay.
Despite visiting at midday on a Thursday, I still had to wait for ~5 minutes to get a table which tells me that this place is quite popular. Can't imagine how long the wait would be on the weekend!
I ordered an Americano and Eggs Benedict with Iberico Ham. The coffee was nice and strong and the eggs benedict was delicious!
TKO Address: Shop 12, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O
Goobne – Korean Oven Roasted Chicken
What can I say about Goobne Chicken except that it's the BEST.CHICKEN.EVER.
This Korean oven roasted chicken is tender and moist with a flavorful sauce that is addicting! The fact that it's on top of melted cheese like a fondue just ups the game entirely. Artery-clogging? Probably. Worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
I'd never heard of or noticed Goobne before moving to TKO for a month and passing it every time I went shopping. But now I'm very much aware that there are other locations - both in Hong Kong and abroad - and I will be visiting!
TKO Address: Shop 119A, 1/F, Popwalk ll, 19 Tong Yin St., Tseung Kwan O
District Eight is a Parisian-style steak and wine bar located right off the Tseung Kwan O Promenade with beautiful views of Junk Bay. Despite only staying in TKO for a month, we had to eat here twice because they serve one of the best steaks I've tasted in Hong Kong!
Premium cuts of steak from the best free-range farms in Australia and cooked to a perfect medium-rare that melted in my mouth. And the baked cheese souffle with goats and Gruyère cheeses makes a perfect appetizer.
Although you can make a reservation for indoor seating, the outdoor patio is first-come, first-serve so get there early!
TKO Address: Alto Residences, Shop 10, G/F, 29 Tong Yin St, Tseung Kwan O
Chilli Lime was another favorite of ours in the Tseung Kwan O neighborhood. It serves "Pan Asia Cuisine" which basically means a variety of Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Indian dishes.
Although we tried some of the Malaysian dishes and they were okay, we really enjoyed the Indian curries and would recommend them. The flavors and spices were on point!
TKO Address: Shop G07, G/F, Monterey Place, 23 Tong Chun St, Tseung Kwan O
NOC Papillons & Bakery
NOC Papillons & Bakery is another specialty coffee shop and bakery in Tseung Kwan O which is insanely popular. Although I've enjoyed NOC coffee at several of their other locations in Hong Kong, this review is more of a cautionary tale. Especially for coffee lovers that just want their freaking caffeine ASAP (i.e. me). Because on a weekend in TKO, it takes forever to get a cup of coffee!
One Saturday afternoon, we waited for 45 minutes to get a simple americano coffee to take away. Google reviews I read after the fact seem to suggest that this happens to customers frequently on weekends.
If you have time, patience, and/or want an Instagram photo, this is the place for you. Otherwise, you may want to grab your coffee from Starbucks in the PopCorn mall which takes ~2 minutes and avoids a caffeine-withdrawal-induced rage.
TKO Address: Shop G1A, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun St, Tseung Kwan O
Where to Stay in Tseung Kwan O
If you're booking a staycation or searching for a relaxed area of the city in which to stay for your trip to Hong Kong, the Tseung Kwan O neighborhood is a great choice.
A couple of hotels located above the MTR malls in Tseung Kwan O are convenient and budget-friendly options for travelers, especially for families that would like to be close to playgrounds for the kids.
The Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East is located right above the Tseung Kwan O MTR Station and the PopCorn Mall. Its luxurious and modern rooms are spacious with excellent views of the surrounding neighborhoods and country parks.
Hotel amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, business center, and a spa and wellness center.
Other Activities Close to TKO
If you're staying in the Tseung Kwan O neighborhood, you may also enjoy these other activities that are nearby.
Final Thoughts on Tseung Kwan O
Tseung Kwan O is a relaxed, family-friendly neighborhood with a much different vibe than Hong Kong Island. With plenty of parks, shopping malls, waterfront promenades, and good restaurants to try, TKO is a great place for a day trip or a weekend getaway in Hong Kong.