An eclectic mix of Thai and local Chinese culture, history, and food! Kowloon City is a treasure trove nestled between Prince Edward and Kowloon Tong. Once a triad-dominated, rat-infested labyrinth of unlicensed dentists and dingy brothels known as Kowloon Walled City, the area is now packed with charming eateries from mom-and-pop congee places to famous French patisseries. Kowloon City is also home to a bustling Thai community, which has blessed the neighbourhood with countless Thai restaurants and ethnic grocery stores. Here are a couple of the least touristy spots everyone must visit:
Thai Grocery Stores
With shelves brimming with bottles of sriracha and fridges lined with lush pandan leaves and FIVE varieties of Thai basil, Thai grocery stores in Kowloon City are your Southeast Asian culinary heaven. Whether you’re looking to make fluffy pandan cake for tea (it’s not Thai but STILL) or your next super spicy tom yum goong, you’ll find all the ingredients you need here, and for CHEAP.
Address: Find various Thai grocery stores on South Wall Road, Kowloon City
THE ULTIMATE Coconut Store: A Star Coconut Expert
Coconut lovers rejoice! From Hong Kong’s own old-school Yan Chim Kee coconut candy to locally handmade coconut oil lip balm, A Star Coconut Expert has it all. (My personal favourite is the $8 pack of toasted coconut chips- crisp, slightly sweet, and a little nutty, they’re the perfect snack to convince yourself that you’ve been snacking healthy.
Address: 39 South Wall Road, Kowloon City
Cheapass Coconut Water!
The latest coconut water craze has had the city paying huge bucks for pre-packaged coconut water that, frankly, tastes more like grass and sweat (don’t ask me how I arrived at that compararon), and not sweet like it’s supposed to be. Good news- dessert spots in Hong Kong love using the shell of coconuts to serve their creations, so they’re left with copious amounts of coconut water, which they sell for cheap because they have so much of it. Get a cold cup of coconut water for only $6 at Royal Dessert for a refreshing thirst quencher.
Address: 15 Nam Shing Street, Kowloon City
Congee for brunch! (or any time of day for that matter) at Tim Choi Kee 添財記
Okay congee probably doesn’t sound that exciting to you but it isn’t meant to be exciting. Congee is supposed to be comfort food. Savoury and silky, with the occasional crunch of peanuts, congee is the warm, loving hug you need on a terrible day. A local favourite is “sampan congee” (teng jai jook 艇仔粥), packed with flavourful hand-shredded pork, fluffy pork cracklings, thin slices of squid, and topped with a fresh garnish of spring onions. Be sure to get the “jaa leung” (炸兩)- crispy, deep fried Chinese donuts wrapped in silky, paper-thin rice rolls and drizzled with soy sauce, which you can then slather in chilli sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, and toasted sesame seeds.
Address: 35 Lung Kong Road, Kowloon City
Gigantic shark fins at dried seafood stores
As cruel as finning is, the fins themselves are undeniably majestic. Find them at the historic Kam Shing Dried Seafood store, having been established over 60 years ago.
Address: 44 Nga Tsin Long Road, Kowloon City
Kowloon Walled City Park
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle lies a quaint spot of green. The Kowloon Walled City Park has preserved sections of the old city, including a Qing-dynasty Yamen (with Almshouse written on it) dating back to 1847. Exhibitions also depict what life was like in the Walled City in the 1950s-1980s before it was demolished.
Address: Tung Tsing Road, Kowloon City
Content Manager: Andrea