Beer and bowl: Hong Kong Bowling City
The Dude would abide in this alley while enjoying the bowling and booze. With 48 international competition-standard bowling lanes at Hong Kong Bowling City, many important games take place here throughout the year. Aside from being a suitable location for professionals such as the Hong Kong Team to compete and train, it’s also great for family activities as the venue is equipped with a kids’ ramp and light, six-pound balls. But for most of us, the best part might be the $15 cans of beer at the food kiosk which you’re more than welcome to enjoy between frames.
Cost: Membership $400/year (not mandatory). Shoe rental: $10 (free for members). Lane rental (per game): $31-38/adult; $21-38/student; $28-35/member. G/F, E-Max, KITEC, 1 Trademart Dr, Kowloon Bay, 2620 3010.
Great for kids: Dragon Bowling Tsuen Wan
Located in an unsuspecting neighbourhood surrounded by residences and a wet market, this chandelier-adorned alley is a local favourite. With 32 lanes, it accommodates players of all ages and types, with professional and leisure training classes for kids, tournaments for devoted adults and a specially-designed lane for the disabled. There’s no going down the gutter in here. Dragon Bowling, which has four branches, is expressly focused on training bowling stars of the next generation, sending the gifted ones abroad for competitions to keep the scene in Hong Kong growing healthily. It also hosts birthday parties and events.
Cost: Shoe rental: Free. Lane rental (per game): $12-28 depending on visiting hours. 1/F, Tsuen Wan Garden, 15-23 Castle Peak Rd, Tsuen Wan, 2494 7383. www.dragonbowling.com
Pool and bowl: Belair Bowling Centre
Tucked away in the shopping complex of a housing estate without a sign on the entrance, this bowling centre was surprisingly busy during our Friday morning visit. The 28-lane centre was almost completely filled with students and families. The centre has minimal décor and is accompanied by a bargain café serving meals and snacks all day long. There are also three pool tables at $42 an hour for those who fancy playing with smaller-sized balls.
Cost: Shoe rental: $8/adult; $5/student before 8pm. Lane rental (per game): $30/adult; $20/student (weekdays). Shop 4, Level 2, Phase 1, Belair Gardens Shopping Arcade, 52 Tai Chung Kiu Rd, Sha Tin, 2649 9022
Fun for all ages: Mei Foo Bowling World
Despite being situated in a run-down plaza, this is a long-established and well-equipped venue with 24 lanes, VIP function rooms, a full-service restaurant and bowling shop for both professional and recreational bowlers. MFBW is popular among players of any age. Even grannies can enjoy a leisurely game or three! (Although, the manager does worry that they might injure themselves.) The venue also hosts an array of in-house competitions throughout the year. It’s a striking place.
Cost: Shoe rental: $12/adult; $5/student. Lane rental (per game): $30-46/adult; $20-28/student. Party and corporate booking also available. 1/F, Bowling Centre, 69-119 Broadway St, Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Mei Foo, 2116 1498. www.mfbw.com.hk
VIP party: Thunder Bowl
This is definitely a well-rounded hangout spot for a casual game. While bowling lovers can show off their skills on the 22 modernised lanes, others can play a round of pool in the private room. And if you’ve Munsoned out (Kingpin) on the lanes, head for the internet stations or the restaurant. Thunder Bowl also has a comfy VIP room with two lanes that can be partitioned exclusively for a private party. Two ‘bumper lanes’ are set up for children where the balls will always hit the pins. Tournaments are held on every weekday night and Monday morning.
Cost: Shoe rental: $9. Lane rental (per game): $26 for weekday daytime, $38 for weekday nights, $42 for weekends.Shop 2, B-1, Site 8, Whampoa Garden, Hung Hom, 2122 9822. www.thunderbowl.com.hk