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Home > HK Guide / Resources > CityU > The Neighborhood Life is short; let's living / study abroad!


The Neighborhood

CityU / the Residence is situated on a hill but it doesn't mean there is nothing nearby. Instead, everything is within reach in 20 mins and you still have the quiet surroundings to enjoy.

The CityU / Residence is located in between the city of Kowloon Tong and Shek Kip Mei geographically. Kowloon Tong is the richest part of Kowloon, where many of the local celebrities and entrepreneurs choose to build their homes there. On the other hand, Kowloon Tong is also a place of motel, motel for sex. They are all located around the Kowloon Tong Station.

Shek Kip Mei, however, is among the poorest areas and also the highest populated area of HK. What a contrast...

Festival Walk Nam Shan Estate Post office, Church, etc. A Virtual Tour

Festival Walk / Yau Yat Shing

Festival Walk / Yau Yat Shing (The Chinese name) is the mall located just next to the campus. Here are some of the shops inside I would like to mention: (click to enlarge)

  The Festival Grand Cinema at Festival Walk, UG level - shows both Chinese and Western movies. Student with Student Card can enjoy up to HK$ 15 discount. It is a movie day on every Tuesday as there is discount for everyone too. A normal price ticket is about HK$ 90. (First show of the day is about HK$ 40 only, which is at like 10 am)
  Dan Ryan Restaurant, LG2 - American food restaurant in Chicago style. A little expensive but worthy. The dessert is the best. (CityU Student can enjoy 10% discount)

Other restaurant such as Armaroni's Little Italy, Rice Paper Vietnamese restaurant are also some of my favorites.

On the top floor, there is a food court with many choices of Asian cuisines, as well as McDonald's which provides delivery service to the Residence.
  Ice skating in Festival Walk, UG level - We have tried to ask if the ring is opened for private event, and the answer is NO.
  Taste supermarket, Basement - probably the shop you will visit the most. It opens until midnight. Sushi and sandwiches are recommended.

More about the shops in Festival Walk:

Type of Shop Name Location Description
Food Amaroni's Little Italy LG1 - 32 Italian Restaurant, a little expensive but served in big portion
  Pizza Express L2 - 43 Open in April 2009, a better option than Pizza Hut
  Pacific Coffee LG2  
  Starbuck UG Just besides AMC Cinema, coffee from Seattle - USA!
  Food Fest L2 A plaza of fast food shops, mostly Asian styles - the cheapest place to eat in Festival Walk
  7 - 11 LG2 Outside Festival Walk, right at the Kowloon Tong East Rail Station. Opens till 11pm (what the hell?)
Bank Bank of China LG2 - 56  
  Citibank LG2 - 57  
  Standard Chartered Bank LG1/2 In between LG1 and LG2
  Bank of East Asia Basement Outside Taste
  HSBC LG1 - 37

HSBC is the most annoying bank in HK.

Money Exchange    LG2  Next to the 7-ELEVEn at the train station, the closest money exchange you can find. 
Clothing Giga Sports /
Adidas
L1 Sportswear and equipment
  Double-Park UG - 45 Featuring some local and overseas skateboarding brands clothes
  Uniqlo L1 Casual wear in good quality and CHEAP!
  Hollister G A division from Abercrombie and Fitch opens its first store in Asia. American style in cheap price.
Dry Cleaning Taste Basement Dry Cleaning service locates right outside Taste (not from the express check out)
Electronics Broadway / Fortress Basement The most well known electronics shops in HK, well known for being honest. They don't sell their goods in the lowest price but the quality is guaranteed. If you are not looking for the state-of-the-art or you don't mind to pay for 10 or 15% more, you may not go to Mong Kok for your digital camera, cellphone, laptop etc. There are more trustworthy electronics shops in Shatin though.
Personal Watsons / Mannings Basement Besides Taste, you can go there for your personal products. Watsons is actually a pharmacy so you can buy something for emergency there as well.
Hair cut Private I

Hair

L2

LG2

They provide excellent service which is a compensation for the lost from your wallet. A normal hair cut with hair washing service is HK$ 300. HAIR is even more expensive)

For guys, if you just want to "make it short", you can go to the barber shop inside the YMCA Tsim Sha Tsui Hotel (just next to the famous Peninsula Hotel), at Exit L3 Tsim Sha Tsui East Rail Station. They provide hair cut for very simple styles, but they speak perfect English and it costs only HK$ 100.

Or if you are guy and all you need is to cut it short, you can ask me to do it for you with my clipper. Believe it or not, I have been doing it on many guys and they all love my service LOL. I only charge for a glass of beer.

Another option for guys mostly - if you just want it clean cut and short, you may try the barber shop at the Fleet Arcade, Admiralty - Fenwick Pier Street, Exit E2 Admiralty MTR, walk towards Citic Tower, then turn right to Fenwick Pier Street. This is the barber shop specialized for cutting American military personal whenever they arrive in HK. So they are professional male barber for short hair.

If you have a U-Card (CityU student is eligible to apply from the customer help desk at Festival Walk), you will enjoy a minimum of 10% discount in more than half of the shops found inside Festival Walk.

There are more restaurants and shops at Festival Walk; such as Thai, Japanese and Chinese restaurants; and H&M, Armani Exchange, etc...Go to http://www.festivalwalk.com.hk/ for more information

 

Nam Shan Estate (Chuen)

Nam Shan means South side of the hill. I presume it is talking about the Lion Rock Hill right at the back of the dorm. Nam Shan Estate is a typical public housing area in HK. There are about 100 flats on each floor of a building, and each flat is only about 200 sq ft / 20 sq meter in size. There is a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom in a flat like that. One family occupies one flat in a building, and they summed up to about 3,000 to 5,000 people in every one of these residential buildings in HK. The people living in a public housing pay rent to the government. Talking about like HK$ 1,000 or less a month. In 2010, the GDP per head in HK is about US$ 30,000. Thus they don’t have space, doesn’t mean the people living in public housing don’t have money to spend with.

If you want to see the real side of living in public housing in HK, you must visit the Shek Kip Mei Estate just 10 mins walk from Nam Shan.

It is the first public housing area in HK built in 1958 after the huge tragic fire that burnt the homes of more than 100,000 people over 1 night. In order to provide shelters for all of the victims in the same area asap, the government of HK built a number of ‘high-rise’ housings over the scene.

These 7-story buildings have about 50 ‘rooms’ in each floor. Each room has a size of 100 sq ft / 10 sq meter, and in average 10 people were living together in one room. They had to share the only one community bathroom and kitchen on each floor.

Nowadays, these 7-story housings no longer house anyone. They become a museum for people to look back the development of public housing in HK, and the living condition of the general public in the 1960s to 1970s. In 2009, the government has implemented the conversion of this housing building from a museum to a Youth Hostel. Sounds good.

Now the museum has become a youth hostel; which is actually the cheapest and closest place for your family and friends to stay nearby when they visit you. http://www.yha.org.hk/eng/hostel.php?action_type=detail&hostel_id=5&channel=passengers-selected

Anyway, Shek Kip Mei Estate is an interesting place to visit and an ideal area for taking pictures for your HK album. It is quite near to the campus, and not many tourist guides have mentioned about it at all.

So, let’s go back to Nam Shan.

While the Festival Walk is a ‘restaurant’ for the ‘upper class’, Nam Shan Estate (or any public housing area in HK) is an eating area for common people, a place for CityU students to enjoy working-class-priced foods.

Nam Shan does not have the best restaurants in town, but it is an ideal place to take care of your stomach when you are busy in school.

In Nam Shan Estate, you can find the nearest 24 hr convenience store nearest to the dorm (10 mins walking distance), known as Circle-K. You may argue that there is a 7-Eleven at the Festival Walk, but what a shame that one is not opened after 11 pm. So when Taste is closed (after midnight) and you are in an urgent need for a brew or something, you may try this one. There is also a McDonald in Nam Shan.

 

Yau Yat Chuen / Parc Oasis

Walking away the campus or dorm from Tat Chee Avenue and after passing by Festival Walk, you will find yourself in Yau Yat Chuen. This is the residential area of some upper class people in HK. Apartment is sold at about US$ 2 million for one.

In this part, you can find some good restaurants, the nearest post office, and supermarkets.

Religion

St. Teresa Church

I am a Catholic, my parents are missionaries even. So I go to Church in HK. There are 4 churches located near the campus. 2 Catholic, 1 Baptism and 1 Mormons. They all have services conducted in English. As I am Catholic, here I include the information about the Catholic Church I go:

ST. Teresa Church

  • 258 Prince Edward Road, Kowloon

  • Tel: 2336-2241, 2336-0048    Fax: 2336-9464

Mass Schedule

  • Sunday Masses - English: 8:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

  • Weekday Masses - English: 6:45 a.m.

Getting there:

By Taxi –Just tell the driver to go to St. Teresa Church (Prince Edward Road). It should take less than 5 mins and $20.

By Mini Bus – You can get on the mini-bus No. 2 at Festival Walk. You should ask the driver to stop at Waterloo Road, and the church is not far away from you then.

People in HK enjoy freedom of worship. So you are also able to find any place of worship that suits your religious belief other than Catholic in HK.



Jogging / Sports

The gym in the school is small, so I keep on jogging once or more a week as I do at home. Jogging around the campus / dorm is a good way to exercise because you run up and down but not really challenging. It is 2 miles or 3500 meters one lap around the campus and the dorm.

Besides, you can also do other sports nearby. There are rugby field, soccer field, tennis court, baseball field, etc., in the neighborhood.

Post Office

The Post Office in the Kowloon Tong area is located in Yau Yat Chuen. If you go out from the Cornwall Street, walk to the Festival Walk (Tat Chee Avenue). Keep walking in the same direction until you see a Wellcome supermarket and a 7-11 together, make a left to Wellcome then make a right at the corner. You will see the Post Office there. The walk is about 15 mins. (The Google Map below is showing a wrong location of the Office. I have pointed the correct location on the map instead)

Sometimes people may need to go to Shek Kip Mei Post Office to collect their package. Shek Kip Mei Post Office is on Wo Chai Street. You can go from Nam Shan Estate - the residential area behind City University of Hong Kong. Walk all the way till the end of Nam Shan Estate you will be on Wo Chai Street. Make a right and walk on the left side of the road. You will see a post office in 5 minutes. On the other hand, you can take MTR to Shek Kip Mei Station then go out to Wo Chai Street and Shek Kip Mei shopping center / market. The post office is in the center. (Google Map is wrong here again)

In case you need to send bulky items, you will need to go to the Shatin General Post Office in Shatin. Just a few minutes from the Shatin Station, on 3/F of the building next to IKEA.

In general sending letter within HK costs HK$ 1.4 and takes one day only. To overseas is HK$ 3.0 and takes only 1 week. Sending big thing to home (overseas) is also very reliable with the HK Post service. It costs from 15KG around US$ 120 to 25KG or more at only US$ 200. Normally it will take not more than 2 weeks by air, or 5 weeks by ship. http://www.hongkongpost.com .

HK Post Office APP

If you are using a smartphone like those with Android and IOS system, you may download an APP developed by the HK Post Office. It allows you to calculate the shipping cost from HK to almost everywhere in the world.

 

Tour around the neighborhood

Last but not least, I would like to invite you to a virtual tour of the neighborhood:

This is where you start, from the Academic Exchange Building, exit from the exit next to Garden Cafe.
This is Tat Chee Avenue, walking to the opposite direction from the Residence
After about 10 mins, you will see a shop looks like that, on the other side is a small garden. There you can find the Wellcome supermarket - price lower than Taste but fewer choices; 7 - 11, the 24hours opening convenience store (closed in 2016); a bar / restaurant; and a post office
Turn to the small road between the garden and the shop, walk until the end you will find the post office, the nearest to the campus
On the opposite side of the post office, is the Apple Bar / Restaurant. It is a very nice western food restaurant. The foods are not expensive and are delicious. At night, it will become a bar and it is cool to chill out inside. This is by far the bar nearest to the campus
Go Back to Tat Chee Avenue, look for Begonia Road on the opposite side of the garden and walk into it
Keep going through Begonia Road until you found this restaurant. There are a few restaurants here. I have never tried them because they are all expensive.
On the opposite side from the restaurant, you can see a small entrance to a path
Go inside the path, walking down the hill and you will be arrived at Nam Shan Estate. To the left is a rugby or soccer field
But now, we are heading to the right
Keep walking on the same side of the road, then you will come to another Wellcome supermarket
Keep going until you are in front of a crossroad (A McDonald is there at the corner)
Then you will have to turn right, stay on the same side of the road, until you see this building. Cross the road and walk towards this building, then turn left and walking up the hill
Stop when you see this sign - it means Nam Shan Market. Go inside where you will see a food stall selling Chinese noodles. It is an outdoor food stall, a traditional HK dining environment. Foods are usually cheap in this kind of food stall, the best one is in Shatin by the way. In this one, you can try the Chinese noodles. There is nothing special in the noodles, but the foods come with the noodles are delicious. Such as, beef, fish balls and shrimp dumpling.
If you keep walking ahead, you will see this Chinese restaurant. This is a very famous restaurant among the City U exchange students. Almost every one of them has tried it in every semester. Personally, the food is really cheap there but the quality is just okay. After so many years serving overseas students, they finally have English menu provided in 2008.
 
On the right side of that restaurant you can find a way out and there is a staircase which will take you to the ground (This picture is taken from the opposite direction)
On the right side of the staircase if you are walking down from it, there is the Nam Shan wet market. Go and explorer how the Chinese prepare their foods for sale (Killing a frog or chicken by chopping off its head alive)
When you reach the ground from the staircase, walk to your left until you are in front of a road junction. Cross to the other side of the road and head further left (This picture is taken from the opposite direction)

The Salvation Army store on the left side of the picture is a second-hand stuff store. You may find something you like at a very cheap price there.
Then you will see another junction and a sign of City U on one side of the junction
So here you are, back to the campus from Nam Shan entrance, congratulations!!

No need to tell you that, you can go to Nam Shan right at the beginning from here, just do the tour in the opposite way!

 


Last updated: August, 2017 (Version 6.0); since January 01, 2007
Best viewed in 1024 x 768 resolution; IE 11 / Safari / Chrome / Firefox - By Lorencio H M Shiu; all rights reserved MMVII - MMXVII
       
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