Living in North Point and Quarry Bay
North Point is one of the few neighbourhoods on Hong Kong island that has retained much of its local charm and character, despite the gentrification that has long been transforming the areas westward from adjacent Causeway Bay. Known for landmarks such as the Chun Yeung Street Wet Market, Java Road Cooked Food Centre, the 50-year-old Cantonese opera Sunbeam Theatre and the State Theatre Building, North Point has been undergoing a revival alongside its neighbour on the east side, Quarry Bay.
These Harbourside districts are fast becoming the new favourites of professionals and families alike for their down-to-earth atmosphere, thriving energy and proximity to City centres. The expanding residential buildings, commercial spaces, retail and F&B offerings testify to the growing appeal and potential of the area...a bit like the renaissance of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District in NYC over 20 years ago.
Landmarks, both new and old
- The North Point Ferry Pier, in operation since 1963 offers convenient and affordable ferry services to and from Hung Hom, Kowloon City and Kwun Tong. Apart from ferry rides, some of the freshest and liveliest seafood are available at the Seafood stalls at the pier.
- Just by the pier surrounded by green, the North Point Promenade is a waterfront pathway with a dog park and sweeping views of Victoria Harbour – perfect for a leisurely walk or jog with a four-legged friend.
- Harbour North is the latest destination along the eastern harbour front. This brand new Mall injects a vast array of shopping and dining options to the vicinity, including the Japanese supermarket Yata and newly refurbished Cinema.
A vibrant local food scene
- You'll be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the range of culinary choices on Wharf Road, which is aptly referred to as Wharf Road Food Street these days. From seafood stir-fries, vegetarian and chiu chow cuisine, to Korean barbeque, Thai and Japanese, the lucky residents of this neighbourhood are spoiled for choice!
- The cooked food centre on the top floor of the Java Road Market is a venerable culinary institution of its own. The boisterous atmosphere, spirited diners and off the wok dishes are a wonderful antedote to the rustic fresh market surroundings, complete with glaring fluorescent lights.... however after a visit from Anthony Bourdain for his 'No Reservations' TV show, Tung Po– one of the dai pai dongs here – shot to fame and was later dubbed ‘Hong Kong’s wildest dining experience’ by CNN. Crispy pork knuckle, deep fried mantis prawn and fish head stir-fried with noodles were among the dishes Bourdain enjoyed. The spontaneous entertainment in the form of singing and dancing, courtesy of Tung Po's owner Bobby after a few sips of Tsingtao beer, may be on display too if you are lucky!
- The Chun Yeung Street Market, a bustling wet market lined with stalls brimming with fresh produce and goods, is perhaps one of the most classic, iconic sights of Hong Kong. Also known as 'Little Fujian', this street dates back to almost a century ago when the first settlers of this area were Fujian merchants. Such cultural roots are still apparent today from the wide selection of Fujian groceries on offer.
- Head to Lee Keung Kee for one of the most celebrated egg waffles, or gai daan zai, a beloved classic street snack. When steaming hot off the waffle iron, the edges crispy and the centre soft, chewy and fragrant, these golden egg waffles are so delectable and popular that there is rarely a time of the day when there isn’t a queue at this hole-in-the-wall shop...plus, it's only a short walk from the North Point Terminus along King’s Road.
Arts & Entertainment
- The Sunbeam Theatre embodies the significance of Cantonese opera in its golden age. A long-standing landmark in King’s Road since 1972 with a remarkable seating capacity of 1033, it survived a possible closure in 2009 and continues to put on Art performances most days of the week. Classic and new-release films are shown in the recently added three-screen cinema.
- Oi! is the reincarnation of a Grade II historic building built in 1908 that was once the headquarters of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Today it is a community art space that regularly hosts exhibitions and workshops to promote community art, nurture young talent and inspire creativity. The architecture is a welcome breathing space amongst the surrounding hotels and commercial buildings.
- Opened in 1952 and once an iconic destination for live stage performances and Hong Kong films at its most glorious, the State Theatre Building was given a new lease of life after being listed as a Grade I historic building in 2017 and acquired by New World Development for conservation and redevelopment. The parabolic concrete exoskeleton truss on the exposed roof is a particularly notable feature of this rare post-war modern theatre structure in Hong Kong.
- Quarry Bay Promenade Pet Garden is a 500 metre long pet-friendly park stretching along the Quarry Bay waterfront to Tai Koo Shing. Complete with green zones, dog waste bins, shelters and panoramic views of the magnificent harbour, this outdoor leisure spot is a favourite with local pet-owners and their pooches living nearby.
There is no shortage of hiking trails in the North Point vicinity. Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill is considered by many the best spot to watch the sunset as well as spectacular views of both sides of the harbour. The easiest route is to walk from the Braemar Hill bus terminus, alternatively proceed via Mount Butler – either way it's relatively easy and enjoyable for families. Upon descending from the hill, a short detour will lead to another lookout point on Sir Cecil’s Ride. Another delightful route is Mount Parker Road which starts from the heart of Quarry Bay, meanders through the luscious landscape of Mount Parker, passes the Tai Tam Reservoir before ending at Repulse Bay where plenty of beach-side cafes and restaurants await.
Quarry Bay has evolved into an up-and-coming 'satellite' CBD of Hong Kong as the demand for prime office space continues to grow and companies seek more competitively priced options beyond Central. Swire Properties has been a key catalyst behind Quarry Bay’s transformation; nowadays Taikoo Place is an integrated business hub of 9 interconnected office towers with excellent accessibility and amenities. Kerry Centre and the recently opened K11 ATELIERon King’s Road are just a stone’s throw away, and it is no coincidence that most of these commercial buildings sit close to the Quarry Bay MTR station. The Central–Wan Chai Bypass dramatically improved the accessibility of the east, reducing travel time from Quarry Bay to the Hong Kong Airport Express Station to just under 10 minutes by car.
Buying Property in North Point
One of the most exciting new developments in the area is Fleur Pavilia where the design philosophy of Japanese based Ohtori Consultants and Shigeru Uchida was used to cleverly integrate and blend the property quietly into the hillside. 1 Kai Yuen is a welcome respite from the bustling whirlwind of day-to-day, a tranquil haven with old traditions and heritage to live. Kai Yuen is also a secret neighbourhood oasis, amidst the busy cityscape.