Pok Fu Lam, a district on the west side of Hong Kong Island, is a great place to live, given its family-friendly environment, expansive views and open spaces. But the neighborhood also holds some secrets.
Here are five interesting things you may not have known about the area, with tales and suggested outings with the children:
1. Century-old tradition
The Mid-Autumn Festival fire dragon dance in Tai Hang is probably Hong Kong’s most famous, but its sister in Pok Fu Lam Village is building a reputation for being just as fun with an equally long history. Great to bring the kids to and not as crowded as the Tai Hang event, the fire dragon dance in Pok Fu Lam has the added advantage of allowing your kids to visit one of the few old style Chinese villages left on Hong Kong Island.
2. Stealing a glance at the fireworks
With many Pok Fu Lam residences facing Lantau, the Disneyland fireworks are visible on a clear night, so you can get your fill for free! On other nights, enjoy watching the ships pass by the Lamma Channel with Cheung Chau and Lantau hovering behind for an epic vista.
3. A taste of old Hong Kong
On Hatton Road, close to The University of Hong Kong, is one of the original boundary stones of the city. Indeed, Pok Fu Lam offers this and many other landmarks in its large country park with access to paths all across Hong Kong. On a nice day, there are plenty of walks to be had with the whole family, including Waterfall Bay Park, a site of interest to seafarers in colonial times, who used it as a landmark and source of water. At the far end of the park are hundreds of porcelain figurine deities discarded by the sea, which provide some interesting photo opportunities.
4. Colts, chapels and cowsheds
With its long colonial history, Pok Fu Lam is home to many a colonial landmark, offering a chance for plenty of family outings. The Béthanie Chapel is a neo-gothic masterpiece in the vein of St John’s Cathedral in Central, and now hosts a campus of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, while remaining open for wedding photos, venue hire and Sunday services. The site also retains the cowsheds that were part of one of Hong Kong’s oldest dairy farms. Nearby, there is a public riding school for children who have an interest in horses.
5. Bunkers, brave surgeons, and things that go bump in the night
Children love an epic tale, and Pok Fu Lam serves up many to share with the family. Mount Davis, which is nearby, adds to the intrigue, having seen battles in World War Two around its large complex of bunkers that can still be visited today. At Queen Mary Hospital, a WW2-era bomb was unearthed recently.
And the mystery keeps on coming – For those who want to believe in alien existence, Wah Fu Estate was the scene of Hong Kong’s most famous (alleged) UFO sighting.
Last but certainly not least – while relatively unknown for the average Hong Kong person, surgeons at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital at Sandy Bay pioneered world-leading operative techniques for people afflicted by polio and bone disorders in Hong Kong in the post-WW2 years.
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