Kowloon Park is one of the biggest public parks in Hong Kong, with more than 13 square hectares of grounds. The location, right in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui off Nathan Road, means it’s also one of the most popular. Home to the impressive Kowloon Mosque, some superb greenery and wildlife and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, it’s well worth a visit.
What’s Not in Kowloon Park
First things first; those expecting the likes of Regents Park or Central Park are likely to be disappointed, Like most Hong Kong parks, Kowloon Park has almost no open green space and the small, carefully manicured slices that do exist are for staring at admiringly, not sitting. If you’re looking for somewhere to throw the Frisbee around or spread out a blanket and picnic, you’ll want to look up Victoria Park instead.
What’s in Kowloon Park
While the grass might be missing, Kowloon Park has just about everything else. Half split between gardens and concrete; you’ll find a small, yet decorative Chinese pagoda and small lake and a well-tended maze. There are some excellent walking paths and plenty of benches for sitting down out of the sun.
One of the undoubted highlights of Kowloon Park is a gang of striking pink flamingos splashing around in the bird lake. There is also a small aviary. The Piazza at the center of the park hosts regular events and live performances, including Chinese festival related programs. Every Sunday, between 2.30pm and 4.30pm, there are free demonstrations of dragon dances and various martial arts.
Kowloon Park Sports Facilities
During hot weather, which means just about most of the time in Hong Kong, the outdoor pool built into the park is absolutely packed. If you want to splash around, try and hit it during weekdays, before the school's kids arrive. Curved around the public piazza, there are three different pools of varying depths and a very inviting sunbathing area. It is generally clean but not heated. Access is through the Kowloon Park Sports Centre, which also has an indoor pool.
Kids in Kowloon Park
Aside from the outdoor pool, there is a pair of playgrounds available in the park. For older kids, Discovery Park playground is set amidst the canons and turrets that once formed the defenses for the barracks in the park - perfect for jumping around on.
In the corner of the park is Kowloon Mosque, the biggest Islamic center of worship in Hong Kong. Built in 1984 to replace its century-old predecessor, the Mosque is an impressive sight with four minarets and a dome above its whitewashed walls. Capable of holding up to 2000 worshippers and home to prayer halls, clinic, and library, it is the heart of the Muslim community in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Heritage and Discovery Centre
Occupying what’s left of the British barracks that once stood in Kowloon Park, the beautiful, colonial buildings of the Hong Kong Heritage and Discovery Centre, with their wide verandas and Roman-inspired columns, are worth a visit. Inside are exhibitions on the origins of Hong Kong, including archaeological treasure dating back 6000 years. If you are interested in the history and development of Hong Kong, you’ll be far more satisfied by the richer, livelier and interactive exhibitions put on by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
How to Get to Kowloon Park
If you are staying in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Park will be a short walk away. From anywhere else, Tsim Sha Tsui MTR, Exit A will lead you to the edge of the park.
Entrance to the park is free and it is open daily from 5 a.m. until midnight.