Photograph: Courtesy Hysan

Explore Lee Gardens heritage and evolution in CWB with free guided tours

Embark on an unforgettable journey through time and explore hidden gems in the Causeway Bay neighbourhood

Time Out Hong Kong in partnership with Hysan

Causeway Bay is a thriving district that beautifully blends old and new, with the Lee Gardens complex positioned as a must-visit destination in the heart of the district. Starting as an amusement park 100 years ago, Lee Gardens Area has transformed into a bustling hub attracting residents and visitors for its array of high-end boutiques, eateries, and charming cafes.  

To celebrate Lee Gardens’ 100th anniversary, Hysan is launching more than 100 free guided tours this season. These tours offer participants a chance to explore the neighbourhood and uncover the stories behind Lee Gardens’ buildings, businesses, and communities. Available in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, the ‘100 Years of Placemaking: A Journey Through The Lee Gardens Area’ tours will run until July 31. 

Exclusive access to hidden gems

While you can visit Hysan Place any day of the week for your shopping adventures, the tour provides insights into its 17-storey mall’s spatial design, award-winning sustainable architectural features, and its visionary plans for the next decades. The guided exploration will also alter your perspective of the mall, helping you discover secret shortcuts and find the best backdrop in the area for your next Instagram post. And speaking of photo spots, get your cameras ready as the gLEEful Rooftop at the revitalised Bizhouse will open exclusively for the tour, allowing you to enjoy sweeping views of the Lee Gardens Area.

Enjoy complimentary culinary delights

No tour is complete without sampling delectable treats. During selected sessions, participants can join a coffee tasting session at Hysan Place’s social space, Urban Sky, with panoramic vistas of Causeway Bay. Additionally, participants get the chance to visit the 160-year-old restaurant, Tai Ping Koon on Pak Sha Road, and get free sampling of its popular chicken wings with Swiss sauce. Need something to take home? The tour will pass by the famous local bakery, Bakehouse. Feel free to return there after the tour to purchase some mouth-watering bread and pastries.  

Walk in the footsteps of history

When people think of Causeway Bay today, they often envision shopping centres and bustling pedestrians, while historical explorations are typically associated with other districts in the city. The tour will provide participants with the opportunity to visit often-overlooked historical venues in the vicinity. 

Scattered throughout Pak Sha Road and Lan Fong Road are a charming collection of tenement buildings, known as tong lau. These longstanding properties showcase unique architectural design from the last century, such as the city’s first generation of residential elevators and mosaic tiles from the 1950s and 1960s. The tour will also showcase historical shops in the vicinity, including Ambassador Barber Parlour – a local barbershop with a rich history spanning half a century – and Paris Cotton and Paris Woolen – wool knitting stores founded in the 1950s. 

On Lan Fong Road, get ready to strike a pose or two and relive moments from iconic Hong Kong films. The famous Goldfinch Restaurant, now transformed into the Saint Honore Cake Shop, set the scene for Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046, while The Red Pepper Restaurant played a significant role in Game of Death, starring the legendary martial arts icon, Bruce Lee.

At the end of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the ‘The Colours of Causeway Bay’ photo exhibition at Lee Garden One. Witness the evolution of Causeway Bay through rare historical photos and artefacts from the past century. One of the highlights is a collection of photographs that capture the construction of Lee Theatre in the 1920s, which are being publicly displayed for the very first time.  

Schedules for the tour are available via this link. Tick your calendar and register to secure your spot today.

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