Living in Kennedy Town with Zsuzsanna
Moving to Kennedy Town
We moved to Hong Kong around a year ago. Being a small family we were looking for an apartment which was furnished, was within our budget and had good access to Central and Pok Fu Lam. My husband moved first and had been here for three months before we moved the family. After looking at a few areas, we decided that Kennedy Town would be the right place. We found our perfect home in an older style walk up building with 2 bedrooms, open plan living and kitchen with a proper oven and a small helpers room. Fortunately for us, the apartment had been newly renovated and came with updated kitchen appliances.
At first when we arrived with our two small boys, we just had our suitcases. Our belongings had been delayed for two weeks so we set about acquiring some matresses and slept on the floor until our furniture arrived. We didn’t have curtains, there were no plates, no towels … It was our first challenge to organize everything. Actually we could get all the things we needed for our new start in K.Town and our friendly and kind new neighbors really helped us out. They even took care of our kids for the times we needed to be out organizing things.
Why we chose this neighborhood.
We chose Kennedy Town because of it’s location: It has MTR access to Central and everywhere connected from there, it’s close to Pok Fu Lam (GSIS Kindergarten) and has easy access to the Kowloon side through the western tunnel and also by bus. We wanted to have access to green parks and nature, not too busy and also to be close to the water.
The people who live here
This definitely would have been a local area but now with the new constructions underway and the new residential developments, more and more expat families are coming to the area. Most of our expat friends are families with smaller kids living in the older terraces facing the hillside with lush green views. We have also friends who live in the high rise buildings which have great BBQ areas in their clubhouse with well planned playground areas for the children.
We have found it really easy to meet nice people in our neighborhood, both local and expats alike. Some of the older and mostly retired local people who we’ve gotten to know are out doing their morning exercise in the parks which is so nice to watch and quite inspiring. Most of them have lived here their entire lives and have witnessed the transformation of the area with the newer development that has taken place.
What it’s like to live here
It’s great! It can be very peaceful around the hillside with trees, and lots of birds like a big country park, but in five minutes you can be in the heart of the town with all the public transports and supermarkets. As our building doesn’t have clubhouse facilities we really enjoy the public outdoor swimming pool in the hot summer months and our kids love the water slide at the children’s pool. The 50 meter pool is apparently olympic sized and perfect if you want to do laps for fitness. And it never seems to be overly busy. In winter months, the indoor pool is waiting for us with heated water and a jacuzzi. We love the park. It’s great because you get the nice shade from the trees. We watch several groups doing Tai Chi, for exercise. On the weekends we love to have brunch or go for a coffee down at the waterfront. We feel lucky that we have so many options on our doorstep.
Amazing amenities are in the area ie supermarkets, shops schools etc
Kennedy Town has everything we need. The largest shopping mall in the western district is Westwood, which has five stories with over 220,000 square feet of diverse retail shops, restaurants and indoor recreation facilities for children. The indoor playground area and the green podium level offer an all-inclusive leisure experience. There is a huge Wellcome supermarket in Westwood and around us we have more supermarkets such as ParkNShops, Fusion, and further Wellcome stores. We have a variety of specialized and organic food shops here and the Smithfield Wetmarkets is where I go to get fresh fruit and vegetables.
There are several good kindergartens in the area: The Woodlands, Island Waldorf School, Victoria Kindergarten. They offer bilingual, trilingual classes either in the morning or in the afternoon. For mid and senior schools there are school shuttle services so that the children can be easily and quickly transported to the many international schools in nearby districts.
Restaurants and nighttime activities
There are quite a few streets with "western" style restaurants and bars. As the area develops, there are more and more opening up. We have a lot of variety here. One of our favorites is the brewery Little Creatures, and we go here because we like the Australian beer. They offer really nice food and have a enough space for bigger groups. They also have special beer tasting there. We enjoy the several Sushi stores, especially Genki Sushi. There are a few places that have jazz or live music at night. And sometimes it’s just fun to buy a drink and sit on a bench down at the waterfront...
A Piece of History
The Lo Pan Temple is a unique piece of architecture, and it is located amongst quiet ladder streets and terraces. Lo Pan was deified as a God, and is the patron saint of Chinese builders and contractors.
In the Cadogan Temporary garden stands the foundation stone and arch of the Tung Wah Smallpox Hospital, built in 1901 and demolished after the second World War.
Some interesting points on the area that not everyone would know
In Smithfield Community Center there is a free indoor playroom for kids and use of the sports facilities is very reasonable.
Belcher's Park offers jogging trails, Tai Chi, morning sport possibilities and has a big playground.
Harborfront will be officially opened soon with a waterfront promenade to Central. (Currently it is a great jogging/walking path that ends at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park).
At the upper part of K.Town towards Pok Fu Lam Road, is the start of a hiking trail to the Peak. It takes 1.5 hours through the forest to arrive at the upper station of the Peak Tram. It’s a great hike for dog owners to get out for a scenic walk.
Also there are a lot of dog friendly restaurants, dog beauty salons and a small indoor swimming pool for dogs where owners can go together with their dog.
My advice to people in selecting a property to buy and same for leasing in the area
There are existing new buildings right now and more under construction that offer ultra modern and open planned layouts with spectacular open sea views and car parking. These have resort style clubhouses with ultra modern facilities. There are older spacious buildings that have been renovated to the highest standards, and there are old treasures, just waiting for a brilliant makeover. Decide what you want, and this suburb will no doubt be able to offer up the perfect place. Prices are constantly increasing. With the arrival of the MTR line, this has made the area much more popular. There is still growth to be gained for investors.
Unique experiences Living in Kennedy Town
I’d mentioned earlier that I live in a walk up with very friendly neighbors and we always say hello when we pass each other on the stairs. I’m not sure this is only unique to Kennedy Town but I like it all the same. As an ex pat family this is important for us to feel welcome in our new home in Hong Kong. The other thing is we have the cutest little squirrels that climb along the trees into our open kitchen window and eat the fruit if we leave the window open. Not too many people actually know that we have squirrels in Hong Kong !