Kowloon Tong is one of the most sought after residential districts in Kowloon, located near the foothills of the iconic Lion Rock, the area was laid out in the 1920’s as a pleasant leafy garden suburb taking its namesake from a freshwater pond (“Tong” in Cantonese) found there, but like other areas in Hong Kong this natural feature has long since gone. Throughout the years the area has benefited from its proximity to the Kai Ta Airport, preserving its highly coveted low-rise characteristics.
This upscale low-rise neighbourhood comprising of mostly gated townhouses is very well known to the Locals, not just as a highly desirable to live but is synonymous with a wide plethora of claims to fame. Kowloon Tong has one of the busiest MTR stations connected to one of the most well-known Shopping Malls in Hong Kong, it is renowned for having the most prestigious schools in Kowloon, infamous for the discrete ‘love motels” dotted around, and quite in contrast is also known for its historical churches and high end wedding boutiques. Kowloon Tong is also a popular home to many celebrities and the business elite, and in particular, the area is closely associated with the International Kung Fu legend, Bruce Lee.
The MTR station located at the heart of Kowloon Tong acts is an interchange with the Kwun Tong and East Rail Line to the New Territories and China, making this station one of Hong Kong’s busiest thoroughfares. The Festival Walk shopping Mall that is connected to the station has been a popular destination for shopping and recreation for years, completed in 1998, this high-end Mall and offices was an ambitious project at a grand scale, and once held the title of the largest Mall in Hong Kong when it was completed.
To parents, Kowloon Tong is one of the most the desirable school districts in the whole of Hong Kong, as the area offers a high concentration of some of the best schools in both International and Local Curriculums. International Schools in Kowloon Tong include the American International, Yew Chung International, Concordia International, Australian International, and the Delia School of Canada. As well as many leading English medium primary and secondary schools, including Kowloon True Light Middle School, Kowloon Tong School, Maryknoll Convent School, the Beacon Hill School and notably the LaSalle College. LaSalle College is one of the most prestigious boy’s colleges in Hong Kong with a rich history of being a grooming ground for the elite members of government and in business, its most famous alumni is the one and only Bruce Lee.
Numerous love motels still operate in the backstreets of Kowloon Tong, although not as prevalent post millennium, at a time this was the most notable feature of Kowloon Tong to outsiders. These highly discrete motels were often featured in Hong Kong films in the 80’s and 90’s, and made “Kowloon Tong” a popular pop culture reference as the “go to” place if discretion was required. At the opposite end of the scale, Kowloon Tong is known for its iconic historical churches, notably the attractive Italian renaissance style St Teresa Church and the seemingly out of place white stucco Christ Church. The area is also a popular for its many high end wedding boutiques and event planners that are unmissable with their eye catching street level advertising.
Many well-known Hong Kong celebrities and businessmen have homes in Kowloon Tong but there is none more famous than Bruce Lee. On 41 Cumberland road you can find the once was residence of Bruce Lee, the gated mansion was purchased in July 1972 hot on the heels of his blockbuster successes The Big Boss and Fist of Fury. Bruce Lee lived there until his death at age 32 in 1973, but unfortunately in the hands of a new owner the property, until recently, was operating as a Love Motel out of all things. There has been many talks and proposals to convert the property to a museum and shrine to the Legend in the likes of Elvis’s Graceland, but with the recent death of the owner of the Mansion, the fate of the property seems far from being a ‘must visit’ pilgrimage for die-hard fans.
Information on Kowloon Tong provided by Home Net, Licensed Hong Kong Real Estate Agency.