There’s no time to fully recognize the value of vibrant public spaces like a pandemic. Yet, sticking to the spectacular and touristy favorites like the panoramic view from Victoria Harbor and the unlikely hotspots like the now-closed Instagram Pier doesn’t do justice to the diversity of the city’s urban and natural waterfront landscapes.
Each with its own brand of waterfront charm, the family-friendly promenades of Hong Kong listed below are wonderfully understated, revitalizing, educational, and/or packed with amenities for Hongkongers who cherish quality family time spent outdoors. Nothing says “the journey is the destination” like a waterfront promenade! We challenge you to pick the one you’ve never strolled around before, pack a picnic basket or grab your family bikes – and go get yourself a breath of fresh air along with a change of perspective!
The kilometer-long Kwun Tong Promenade was built on the site of the former Kwun Tong Public Cargo Working Area and paid homage to the industrial history of the space with compelling installations: models of mechanical cranes, waste paper bundles inspired by the paper recycling industry, and an especially striking landmark functioning on an interplay of wonkily stacked blocks, multicolor lighting, sound effects, mist, and the installation’s surroundings. Its long wooden waterfront boardwalk doesn’t lack greenery and seating surfaces, making it ideal for picnics with a post-industrial feel and unique day & night views of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Runway Park, HK Island East, Victoria Harbor, and Lei Yue Mun. Don’t miss the sensory garden/playground for kiddos.
This wide, flat, paved pathway flows all the way from Shek Tong Tsui to Sheung Wan, nestled between the sea and greenery. Wooden viewing platforms, sculptures and art exhibitions, play areas, a pet garden, seating spaces, and work-out stations are scattered along the promenade, providing perfect opportunities for leisure, chilling out, having fun with the fam, or blissfully enjoying open views across Victoria Harbor to Kowloon on every step. It’s very accessible and several hours will unnoticeably pass by in this 4-hectar oasis.
Quarry Bay Promenade connects Quarry Bay Park and Tai Koo Shing Par with a 500-meter trail where urban and natural beauty intertwine. It abounds in refreshing sights, open spaces, playgrounds for kids, a popular pet garden, and various sports stations, as well as countless opportunities to stop and take in the views stretching towards Kowloon. A popular and wholly unique attraction is the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery, an out-of-service fireboat that has been repurposed into a unique historical museum waiting to be explored by your fam from top to bottom, inside and out!
Opened to the public in 2010, the Ma On Shan promenade is a 3-kilometer stretch of rarely well-developed civic infrastructure that ends with the Wu Kai Sha beach. There are separate tracks for biking, jogging, and walking (so you can be carefree whether you’re the family that’s on wheels or on foot), as well as playgrounds for kids of all ages, pavilions, fitness corners, a gorgeous flower garden, and more. It’s equally enjoyable for simply kicking back on one of the benches and resting – the views of the harbor, Sha Tin Hoi, and the mountains will take your breath away, but the uncommonly fresh air will help you recover!
If what you want is a grassy open space with shady trees, steady winds, and happy Hong Kong families all around you, Cyberport Waterfront Park Promenade simply cannot disappoint. It’s made for picnics, family sports activities, kite-flying, dog-walking, and sea-gazing. The restaurants at the nearby Cyberport mall will take care of your unanticipated needs, and the distant Lamma Island provides one heck of a stage for a Hong Kong sunset after an afternoon of quality family time!
Comprising 22 hectares of land located along the Tolo Harbour and ending at the mouth of the Lam Tsuen River, Tai Po Waterfront Park is the largest park managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. After strolling down the 1.2-kilometer promenade along the tree-lined waterfront and taking in the views, enter into the park area where amenities abound: children’s playgrounds, rest gardens, the only dedicated model boat pool in the city, an insect house, art installations, bike rentals and more. The unmissable central attraction is the spiral-shaped lookout tower that will elevate the views to a whole new level!
Sai Kung Town is a singularly picturesque part of Hong Kong that still breathes that fishing village charm. The Sai Kung Waterfront Promenade offers that vibrant amalgamation of harbor activity that awakens all senses – fishermen, shops, eateries, junks – and calming serenity of the view encompassing numerous small islands in the distance. There is a lot to see and do, which makes it a fantastic backdrop for a dedicated walk with your kids – listen to their reflections about the sights they’re taking in and engage in conversation – or just dive into the irresistible charms of Sai Kung.
Hongkongers seem to be discovering the unexpected beauty of Tuen Mun – perhaps due to seeing a part of it through a cinematographer’s lens in the film Beyond the Dream. The Tuen Mun Promenade stretches from Butterfly Beach to the mouth of the Tuen Mun River and is, in most part, a modest paved path that offers 3 trails with views of the Lantau Island and Tuen Mun Typhoon Shelter. The Tuen Mun Pier is located in the middle of the promenade and is the understated gem of the area – quiet and the perfect spot to listen to the waves. Though lacking in amenities, being present with your kids amidst a lack of targeted stimuli could be kid-friendly on a whole other level.
Seaview Promenade stretches for about 2.7 kilometers from Deep Water Bay to Repulse Bay. This idyllic in-beach-ween promenade is among the most tranquil stretches for walking, jogging, or strolling with your pet in Hong Kong, providing serene views of the hilly coastline enriched by the soft movements of sailboats on the waves. The 20-minute walk ends at Repulse Bay, i.e., one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong, where you can spend the rest of your leisure time frolicking with the fam. If possible go during the workweek as both locals and tourists flock there on weekends!