Towering shopping malls, high-rise luxury apartment blocks and intriguing museums have modernized the former industrial hub of Hong Kong East. Filling the eastern side of the island with its skyscrapers, the district is a cultural haven comprising historic buildings and parks. Notice the rounded green peaks that frame the vistas of Junk Bay and the towers across the water.
Learn about this part of the island’s military history at the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence. The museum lies within the historic Lei Yue Mun Fort, which played a role in the 1941 Battle of Hong Kong.
A different kind of history is on display at the Hong Kong Film Archive, which has a resource center and exhibition hall. Watch traditional locally produced movies on its screens.
Nearby, browse the stores of the sleek and glassy six-level Cityplaza shopping center and skate on the Ice Palace rink. Go from new to old with a trip to the nearby Tam Kung Temple, which is dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen. Inspect the deity’s statue and see the old dragon boat. Across the street stands the Tin Hau Temple–Shau Kei Wan, which was built in 1873 and has several fascinating murals and woodcarvings.
For a change of scenery, head to the Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Camp. Once a barracks for British soldiers, this intriguing camp is today made up of vacation lodgings, a horse-riding school and sports fields. Walk around the grounds to see repurposed and abandoned structures that used to house soldiers.
The area incorporates various districts making up the eastern side of Hong Kong Island. From the Central zone, ride the metro east to the Shau Kei Wan Station and continue south through the district as far as Chai Wan. You can also take a bus to the many stops around here.
Hong Kong East is full of historic gems, from a 19th-century temple to a military museum.