Lifestyle

Ho Man Tin: The pride of residential history

 

street life

Ho Man Tin is a quiet residential area located conveniently next to Mong Kok but divorced from its noises and crowds. It isn’t touristy at all and is considered one of the traditionally upscale residential neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. The central part of Ho Man Tin is between Argyle Street and Waterloo Road. Since the Ho Man Tin MTR stop on the Kwun Tong line opened in 2016, increasing amounts of people are clamouring to move into the area, with SCMP predicting it as the neighbourhood with the biggest increase in home rental price this year.


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Interestingly, the Ho Man Tin MTR station is not actually located within Ho Man Tin, but rather in a nearby area known as Lo Lung Hang, and central Ho Man Tin is roughly a 20 minute walk away. It might be easier to exit from Mong Kok MTR or Mong Kok East MTR and stroll over. If, however, Ho Man Tin station is closer to where you need to go, the summer heat dictates that you avoid Exit A3; it has 562 steps, said to be roughly the equivalent of climbing up 25 floors. Be warned!

Leisure & Facilities
The Kowloon Public Library is on Pui Chung Road. This 12-storey building used to be known as the Kowloon Central Library, and was renovated in 2005. Ho Man Tin also has a Sports Centre and swimming pool, located on Chung Yee Street. Its facilities include a fitness room, tennis courts, children’s play room, other sports facilities and a restaurant.

A slightly more unusual place to visit would be the Jockey Club Life Journey Centre, where visitors can take part in an hour-long interactive experience meant to make people rethink what it means to be ‘young’ or ‘old’. The philosophy is that everyone goes through the same journey of life, so the centre aims to inspire people to treasure time and care for those around them, especially cultivating a respect for the elderly. 

Food & Beverage
Ho Man Tin has a high concentration of small independently owned restaurants, perfect for foodies who prefer a localised taste. Top Blade Steak Lab in Wing Ying Mansion offers reasonably priced flat iron steaks that come with bottomless fries. Mohinga on Victory Avenue serves authentic Burmese food; we have it on good authority that their signature fish soup noodle is amazing. For a quick bite, head to Hot Dog Link, a little hole-in-the-wall with Hong Kong-style hotdogs. Right next door is a Norwegian bakery called Backstube which has a very promising-looking Olivenbrød, and another lovely bakery is J’aime Pain on Argyle Street. Sunken in a small alcove on Peace Avenue, Black Sugar Coffee & Lifestyle is a café with personality; they only offer full cream in drinks as they insist that skimmed milk ruins coffee.


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Ulvapig on Liberty Avenue is a speciality butcher that sells ulva pork. They have a good variety of cuts, are fresh and reared in Hong Kong, and apparently make great ramen broth. Round the corner, Little Cellar stocks specialised umeshu Japanese plum liquer. Pop in for some sample tastings, and see if you find a favourite. 

Head south towards Oi Man Estate for more traditional flavours such as 天馬快餐 (Tin Mah Fai Can) for amazing local-style burgers and much more within the Cooked Food Centre and nearby. 華園餃子館 (Wah Yuen Gao Zi Gun) on Victory Avenue has a dumpling special called the “13 yiu” in which 13 different flavoured dumplings are served with an extra one repeated. Unfortunately, most of these spots are too local to have English names on their storefronts so finding them might involve some guesswork. Or simply do what we do, follow your nose!


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Culture & History
Oi Man Estate is the largest public housing estate in the Kowloon City District. Its construction in 1975 marked vast improvements in public housing standards and for this reason the estate was on the itinerary for Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher when they visited Hong Kong in 1975 and 1977, respectively. It follows logically that the public housing headquarters and the Hong Kong Housing Authority Exhibition Centre are both located in Ho Man Tin. The latter showcases public housing development in Hong Kong, where visitors can see its timeline and history. This museum is free of charge with guided tours available upon booking. Oi Man Estate itself is also a great place to take photos; head inside and admire the square skywell which offers an incredible symmetrical perspective.


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Ko Shan Theatre is a little further out of the way but if you’re interested in Cantonese opera it would be well worth a visit. First opened in 1983, it was designed as a 3,000-seat semi-open theatre, which unfortunately suffered from weather and noise problems as a result. A refurbished version was then reopened in 1996. A new wing was added in 2014 which comprises of a 596-seat auditorium, exhibition gallery, rehearsal rooms and more. There is also a green roof which is nice to relax in. Visit the Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre to learn about the history, artistry, and musicality of this traditional entertainment form. 


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