Tsuen Wan - The one-stop neighborhood

Tsuen Wan is gearing up for its 56th anniversary this year since becoming an urban town, with a dynamic F&B landscape, shopping scene and robust residential growth.

Imagine a town that used to be so far away that phoning to Kowloon was charged at a long distance calling rate of HK$0.3 (a real deal back in the day); where residents drank water running down from the mountain nearby; and where cotton and dyeing mills were everywhere. Now it has become an urbanisation miracle – a charming modern residential area and a gastro-magnet for weekend visits.

Perched below Hong Kong’s highest peak, Tai Mo Shan, Tsuen Wan district is the first of what it calls a “satellite town” in the New Territories under the government’s urbanisation plan issued in 1961, targeted to accommodate a population of 10 million in the hope of easing population pressures.

The present day Tsuen Wan is a sensation for visitors with the charm of Ma Wan, Park Island and a cache of retail and dining options; and an ultimate choice for residents to spend the rest of their life their as the town never stop inserting new urban excitements into its fold.


More on Tsuen Wan:

>> How Tsuen Wan became an urban miracle

>> New Properties in Tsuen Wan: The Pavilia Bay | Ocean Pride | PARC CITY | One Kowloon Peak | Deauville | The Seafront | City Point | The Rise

Duen Kee Chinese Restaurant

Though small, this little coffee shop on the ground floor of One Island South has a mighty goal to bring wellbeing to the neighbourhood. It serves fresh veggie meals, nicely crafted coffee, and even has yoga classes. As suggested by the name, the food philosophy here is centred on food most likely to be prepared by mums – casual and healthy.

57-58 Chuen Lung Estate, Route Twisk, Tsuen Wan
2490 5246

Burger Jobs

This is perhaps the creepiest burger I’ve ever had – yet the most intriguing – a Tiffany Blue bun with a Cheddar and mozzarella stuffed chicken fillet in it. The burger comes with chunky chips and a cup of salad to balance the fat. The shop is a playground of black and white – a dark tiled façade and black-and-white wall decorations of ping pong paddles, cassettes, sockets, hangers and keys.

Shop 7A, G/F, Cheong Tai Building, 2-4 Tsuen Hing Path, Tsuen Wan
6599 9199

Browny Café

It all started in Perth, when one of Browny Café’s owners Ah Fai and his wife Maggie first encountered the combination of a steaming cup of espresso and a cup of cold milk on a working holiday when the couple decided to bring this idea back to Hong Kong with a café now tucked away in a shopping mall on Sai Lau Kok Road. The café offers a westernised menu with an Asian twist – most memorable was the double potato cheese cake, the aroma of the cheese blends harmoniously with the sweet potatoes. The couple learnt the craft of making coffee while she worked at a café in Perth, and now they are passing along coffee-making skills to the like-minded via workshops in their shop. Next to a bar table facing out the window is a corner called “Bean Storage”, which keeps loyalty cards for regular customers.

Shop 66A G/F Cheong Ning Building Tsuen Cheong Centre, 98 Sai Lau Kok Rd, Tsuen Wan
6821 0142

Tsuen Wan Riviera Park 

Nestled next to one of the biggest private real estates in Tsuen Wan Riviera Gardens, this waterfront park is a favourite spot for joggers, kids and residents from Riviera Gardens to walk their dogs or just swing by after dinner. Completed in 1990 by Riviera Gardens’ developer Sino Group, the HK$60 million Riviera Park boasts four tennis courts, a football yard, a basketball-cum-volleyball court and a gateball court. A jogging track has been built along the waterfront with fitness stations, fitness equipment and a pebble-walking trail for seniors.

2 Yi Hong St, Tsuen Wan
2406 9145

Park Island 

Literally, this breezy island is just like a man-made park where visitors find themselves hugged by Tsing Ma Bridge-view restaurants, garden furniture sets next to palm trees, with family dogs hanging around. This beautifully un-gentrified corner of Tsuen Wan, which can be reached by ferry or bus, both near the Tsuen Wan West Rail Line Station, is home to the private real estate Park Island by Sun Hung Kai Properties, next to the lesser-known Tung Wan Beach.

A family run café, which focuses on local staples behind a subtle wooden façade, was my favourite lunch and reading spot from high school. Oddly enough, I went for the simple Cervelat instance noodles and French toast to share with friends every time, almost two times a week; yet, I went into the shop with excited anticipation every single time.

But bear in mind, this is a laid-back island reserved for relaxation, meaning you can’t raise a glass; if you prefer enjoying the Tung Wan panorama a little tipsy, head down to Ma Wan.

Ma Wan 

In the 1970s, a fleet of fishing boats arrived at the Ma Wan peninsula as aquaculture started to take off. Tourists tend to swarm the Noah’s Ark Theme Park, a full-scale ark replica and an amusement park home to 67 pairs of animal sculptures, a waterfall, pond and green landscaping.

In close proximity is a slew of waterfront restaurants, including Pattaya Thai, Café Roma and Oma’s Kitchen, where visitors come to grab a pint of cold German beer and a selfie in front of the Tsing Ma Bridge.

Not far from this mesmerising view, however, is Ma Wan Main Street, an eerie abandoned spot with its glorious fish farming history in plain view – decayed shrimp paste-making and shrimp-drying farms and uninhabited dwellings, empty and rocky narrow paths, this once prosperous town which owned restaurants, schools and a wellbeing centre fell into decay as the housing estate Park Island arrived. Now, it’s a popular destination for weddings.

>> Issue 261: In Search of Beauty in Wong Chuk Hang

>> Issue 263: Kai Tak Ready for Take Off