Best things to do in Kam Tin
Cohee – how you would say coffee in Japanese – is tucked away among the alleys and village houses in Kam Tin, injecting a little Japanese culture and minimalism in an otherwise local area in Hong Kong. Serving hand-brewed coffee in Japanese pottery and a selection of buns, cakes and pastries, Cohee welcomes patrons to find their zen and embrace the Japanese way of living at the café.
Operated by a retired couple in the Kam Tin neighbourhood, this cosy and snug venue is not only a bookstore but a creative space for the duo to share their hobbies as well. Those hobbies include tie-dying, ceramic works and woodwork. The couple also runs a farm next door and encourages visitors to bring in a book or two in return for a homecooked meal or some organic produce they’ve grown themselves. Beibei hosts irregular classes and workshops ranging from sourdough baking, pottery and even mindfulness, demonstrating how there’s more to life post-retirement.
Formerly a candle factory, the Victorian-style Red Brick House has been transformed and revitalised into a massive handicraft market housing more than 50 stores. Highlights at the market include Angel Candle, which produces colourful candles using natural fragrance oil and cotton wicks; Old Make-Up Collectibles Shop, which sells memorabilia such as toys, figurines, soft drink glass bottles and cheongsam made by the owner; and Refinery Workshop, offering classic Levi’s at its vintage store.
Yep, it’s true. There’s a flea market in Hong Kong. Offering snacks, knick-knacks, toys, jewellery, collectibles, leather products, soap, cut-price fashion pieces, the Kam Sheung Road Flea Market is the closest we’ve got to the likes of London. Located right next to Kam Sheung Road station, it has an amazing array of goods and surprises at seriously low prices.
The walls of this rural village have become a canvas for a community of students. Inspired by the mural art trend in Hong Kong and an attempt to revitalise this neighbourhood, local secondary school art teacher Kwok Yin-ming has led a group of students to paint their dreams and express their creativity across various surfaces of Kam Tim Village since 2017. The student’s artistic takeover was warmly welcomed by villagers and visitors alike. Meander around the neighbourhood and you might discover a street art piece that speaks directly to you.
A rare natural phenomenon in Hong Kong, the Kam Tin Tree House is where you’ll find a house completely engulfed by an ancient banyan tree. Since the last tenants of the house (which rumour has it that it was once a study hall) moved out, the banyan tree on the side just kept on growing over it. Over the course of time, the structure was eventually left in ruins while the century-old tree thrives as its branches and roots have grown over the bricks and walls of the house. It’s quite a sight to behold.
Just three minutes away from the iconic Kam Tin Tree House, there’s another worthy spot to visit. The Shui Mei Village pond is Hong Kong’s closest answer to the legendary Bolivian salt flat where the clear, calm waters of the pond act like a mirror, reflecting the surrounding mountains and trees. But unlike in Bolivia, your Instagram shot here comes with an abandoned parking lot nearby as part of your backdrop.
Built during the Ming Dynasty, Kat Hing Wai has been the settlement for the indigenous Tang Clan since the 15th century. Now rated as a Grade I historic building, the compound allows you to literally step back in time to Hong Kong’s rich history. The walled village was originally built with a moat as a defence against British rule in 1899, where the iron gate stood strong between the British and the natives. The British, however, eventually broke through and the gate was torn down and shipped to England. It was not until 1925 that the British Hong Kong government managed to retake ownership for the descendants and resurrect the iron gate as a monument.
There are shopping malls of all shapes and sizes in Hong Kong and Kam Tin happens to be home to a mall made up of stacked shipping containers. The Richfield features everything from cafés and snack shops to pet groomers and beauty salons. Whether you’re a foodie on a hunt for homemade cookies at M F Coffee & Bakery or you're on a snack run at Partner 32, which offers goods from Taiwan, Japan and Korea, The Richfield has got all you need. Why not make a day trip out of it?