Thursday, December 15, 2011

Walking Tour: Bowen Road

Welcome back to my weekly walking tours of the many sides of Hong Kong. This week I'll be taking you along on a classic walk: Bowen Road on Hong Kong Island. 

The tour begins in Mid-levels.

Bowen Road is lined with apartment buildings...

...and a few older houses. I think this one's a school.

Start to walk along Bowen Road.

You'll find beautiful living spaces...

...and a surprising amount of greenery.

You could take a scooter, but lots of people like to jog along the next section of the road.

Unfortunately someone's been setting out dog poison, so look out for anything suspicious.

Join the families enjoying their Sunday afternoon walk.

You're walking along prime real estate here.

Bowen Road has some of the most expensive apartments on Hong Kong Island.

Some of them have space for terraces...

...and some seem very livable.

Keep walking past more apartments.

The pockets of greenery will become more common.

And sometimes you won't feel like you're in a busy metropolis at all.

Just look to the left whenever you miss the skyscrapers.

And keep following the road.

You'll see more nice houses on the right...

...and more high-rises on the left.

The views will start to be obscured by the trees...

...but fortunately you've reached the viewing platform.

You'll have a perfect view from here.

This panorama is unusual because you're right at the level of the buildings.

Luckily we're here on a blue sky day.

This a view you can't get from the top of The Peak.

You can even see Kowloon side from here.

Return to the road and keep walking.

You'll reach a quiet park where children are playing and people are picnicing.

If you like, you can even take a break in the shade.

Or keep following Bowen Road.

Make sure you take the right branch.

There are still houses to your right...

...and city views to your left.

Sometimes there will be houses to your left too.

Eventually the path becomes quieter.

Wanchai, a very busy section of the city, looks peaceful from here.

You can see some of the works-in-progress crossing the barrier between the slope and the city.

You can see right into the rooftop terraces from here.

Keep following the path.

It will curve around Happy Valley, and you can see the terraced hillside from this angle.

You'll reach a sign and a sitting-out area.

Take the branch of the road that passes the little garden.

As you continue along the path, you'll see a few shrines.

And you'll see more angles of the city.

You'll pass some public works areas protected by barbed wire.

Just past that, you'll find a sign directing you to Lover's Rock.

You'll see more shrines...

...and Lover's Rock will emerge through the trees.

Pass the rock and keep walking.

A block of apartments will rise like a curtain, obscuring your view of the city.

When you pass them you'll be able to see glimpses of the Happy Valley Racecourse.

Sometimes you'll want to look closer and the vegetation around you...

...but if you're like me, your eyes will be drawn back to the city.

The trees will give way to more works-in-progress

and some secret gardens.

You've reached the old boundary of the city of Victoria.

But the buildings don't end here anymore.

Keep following the path, you're almost there...

You'll see a Bowen Road sign and another street will join it for the first time in a while.

You've arrived at Stubbs Road and you can take a bus home from here.

Thanks for joining me on another walk through Hong Kong. Is there a side of Hong Kong that you would like to see through one of my walking tours? What special areas have I missed so far? I have a cool, Christmasy plan for next week, but I'd love some ideas for the new year!


  1. Amazing, as always! I only went to Bowen Road a couple times in my 5 years in HK. Once was for a job interview. Is there a Park 'N Shop around there? Maybe I'm thinking Robinson Road. Anyway, your photos make me wish I'd spent more time up that way (besides the touristy Peak, where I always took out-of-towners).

    I can't wait for your surprise next week! I don't remember seeing a Waterloo Road tour, but maybe you've done it. I always enjoyed getting off the bus right after reaching Kowloon through the Lion Rock Tunnel and then walking up Waterloo Road toward Mongkok, passing all those posh love motels. There's also Kadoorie Hill, back in there, which is gorgeous, and the flower market on Prince Edward. I'd also love to see the old Kai Tak area and what's become of the Kowloon Walled City!

  2. I'd still like to see a 10,00 buddhas walking poor old legs won't take me up all the steps! It's in Sha Tin. Have a great Christmas Holiday, we're off to Melbourne on Tuesday so see you at poetry in the New Year x

  3. I used to live on 7 Bowen Rd. up until 1993 when it was demolished and replaced by a high rise apartment building.
    Although we left Hong Kong in 2000, it's always nice to hear about my favorite part of Hong Kong.
    Thank you!

  4. Very familiar scenery to me, as my daughter lives in Mid-levels, not long now till my next visit can't wait. :)


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