Hong Kong MTR Station Series: Diamond Hill (鑽石山) & Kowloon Bay (九龍灣)
This series aims to take readers through the subway stations of Hong Kong. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR), has about 86 major railway stations in all, and is one of the most profitable rail systems in the world. On average, the railway serves about 5 million trips in Hong Kong, daily. Each station represents a microcosm of life. People in Hong Kong visit or live in a particular area because of many factors, including financial, convenience, status, profession, geography, etc. In consequence, people coming and going in the stations are often a reflection of what the location provides. This series serves to pay homage to the many walks of life that call Hong Kong home.
In Northern Kowloon, you’ll find Diamond Hill, a station that is covered in a drab, blackish livery peppered with a handful of brilliant white stones. The station seems to prefer function over form; in the last couple years that I’ve lived in Hong Kong, they’ve neglected to fix the ceiling. It almost feels as if the colour and state of the station serves as a metaphor, that sometimes, underneath a dark, charcoal exterior lies a diamond in the rough – you just need to look for it.
Diamond Hill is home to the Buddhist Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden, a tourist park that provides a piece of historical serenity in the style of the Tang Dynasty. Surrounded by skyscrapers and encased between a loop of highway and high rise residential buildings, the park feels like Hong Kong’s answer to NYC’s Central Park… minus the “street meat.”
If you get hungry and want to keep the Cantonese history lesson alive, you can later head to Kowloon Bay Station. Kowloon Bay is primarily an industrial and budding residential area, but somewhere hidden down its streets is a mall housing Wing Wah Village Cuisine (大榮華酒樓), a great restaurant that specializes in Cantonese-style village cuisine. Wing Wah sources their produce from numerous markets in the New Territories and has had deep roots – since the early 50s – in local food and moon cake production.
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