Shop Like A Local at Dragon Centre in Kowloon, Hong Kong
If there’s one thing that’s synonymous to Hong Kong – especially to Filipino tourists – it’s “shopping”. Yes, there are go-to districts like Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok for night markets and Causeway Bay for upscale outlets (where we stayed at the chic yet affordable Mini Hotel Causeway Bay), but for an authentic malling experience, one should make a beeline to Dragon Centre in West Kowloon. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, they say.
Located a few steps away from Sham Shui Po MTR station, Dragon Centre is an accessible shopping mall that primarily attracts local patrons. The nine-storey shopping center was the largest in West Kowloon until the Elements opened above the Kowloon MTR station. However, it’s no less a haven for shoppers of all ages and those seeking affordable entertainment. I liked how the mall was refreshingly free of other tourists (a rarity in Hong Kong, I guess), and offered a malling experience with a local flavor.
Walking from the subway station, the building did have an imposing facade of glass and steel, explaining why this shopping center won the Certificate of Merit issued by Hong Kong Institute of Architects for its outstanding architectural design. The mall’s oval atrium was also impressive. Looking up, I could see the glass elevator and farther above, were the elevated tracks of a decommissioned indoor rollercoaster. I wish they had revived it!
The shopping mall has over 700 shops, including the Apple Mall, located at the fifth and seventh floor. This collection of shops targets young ladies with their toys, apparel, knick knacks and creative handicrafts, to name a few. My shopping companion Lisa of Pinay Travelista was all giddy over her rare find of limited-edition kraft tape for her scrapbook-making. At another stall, I bought a pair of clip-on fisheye lenses for smartphones at a discount, thanks to a little friendly bargaining with the shopkeeper.
There are places to keep the children entertained on your visit. Want to go ice-skating? There’s the 17,000 square foot Sky Rink at the 8th floor. It’s one of the few skating centers in Hong Kong that have “real snow” and, apart from ice-skating, also offers ice hockey. On the ninth floor is Sky Fantasia, an arcade center with a significant collection of arcade games, including the arcade basketball game, which has caused a mania in Taiwan, and Taiko Drum Master Game, a current favorite of Japanese teenagers. As for dining options, there are popular international food chains like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, KFC and Yoshinoya, as well as local options at the big foodcourt.
For more information about Dragon Centre, visit their website.
How To Get There
Dragon Centre is a few minutes walk from Sham Shui Po MTR Station (Exit C2).
This blog post was made possible through a blogger tour in Hong Kong organized by Eton Properties Ltd. from August 29 to September 1, 2016.