Ready to discover a new, brilliant destination in Hong Kong that will not stay secret for long?
Tai Kwun is a newly-refurbished site that was just opened not so long ago after years of massive restoration and rehabilitation. The Central Police Station Compound is now offering the best heritage and arts experiences, and you can discover it like a local.
One of the oldest buildings on the site, the Barrack Block, was built between 1862 and 1864, when refugees came spilling into Hong Kong from war-torn Mainland China. Since the colony’s population increased rapidly, law and order challenges led to buildings such as the former Central Police Station, the Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison, which have been beautifully refurbished. To add even more diversity and dimension, an art gallery space and auditorium now complement the impressive early 20th century buildings. With 16 heritage buildings and several outdoor spaces, it is the perfect place for artists and art lovers to seek out historical markers, rich architecture, contemporary art, performing arts, and lifestyle experiences.
Here is a list of activities that can help you enjoy the sites and the newly-renovated Tai Kwun area in the best way:
- Learn about Tai Kwun through ‘100 Faces of Tai Kwun’ exhibition
Visitors are immersed in 100 amazing stories, collected from 100 “kaifongs” (local neighbours) and friends. Their stories, through illustrations, voice stories and more, reveal different interesting facets of Tai Kwun, which represent the heart and soul of this place. Free of charge
- Watch a free animation movie every Sunday
Tai Kwun presents “Sunday Movie Series” with free film screenings every Sunday in the splendour of the semi-outdoor Laundry Steps. In collaboration with the Hong Kong International Film Festival, feature films and shorts have been carefully selected for their quality and enjoyment by all. Free of charge
- Sip a cup of selected tea at LockCha Tea House
This teahouse wishes happiness, enjoyment and fortune to all its customers. Their selection of teas comes from carefully-chosen farms, with the aim of helping tea growers to conserve, develop and produce authentic good quality tea.
- Enjoy the lively cookie-baking performance which serves freshly-baked cookies at the end of the show, ‘the Spectacle of Space Consumption’
Special performances based on City Cookie, first staged in 2008 in Sao Paulo, are being staged for the first time in Hong Kong, in collaboration with HKAPA dancers and choreographers. At the JC Contemporary art gallery, freshly baked cookies are baked in a mesmerizing 30-minute performance and then served to visitors. Uniquely designed aprons bearing the Hong Kong photo image of the sky that the cookie is cut from is worn by the dancers. Free of charge
- Listen to LIVE music every first Saturday of the month
Lovers of indie music are invited to listen to musical works from local and international musicians on the first Saturday afternoon of every month. Whether you enjoy classical music, pop or the truly “out there”, prepare to have your musical horizons expanded at the unique heritage site as Kung sweeps the musical landscape. Free of charge
- Indulge in contemporary Cantonese cuisine with the atmosphere of Hong Kong’s colonial past at Madame Fu
Check out Madame Fu, a restaurant with lounges, bars and private dining, occupying the top floor of the beautifully restored Barracks Block. It brings back the experience and atmosphere of Hong Kong’s colonial past and the European Grand Cafes in Paris. Enjoy Cantonese cuisine, signature dishes from Northern provinces, dim sum and more. Afternoon teas are delightful too in this beautiful setting.
Photo credit: Tai Kwun www.discoverhongkong.com