There are two trending spots in Hong Kong that people are eager to visit for their insta-worthy architecture – the Choi Hung Estate and Montane Mansion. I’m sure you’ve seen some photos of these places from a handful of influencers you’re following on Instagram. Remember those colorful basketball court shots and those seemingly unique residential buildings? Ring a bell, yet?
Important note: It’s really unfortunate that the Philippines currently imposed a travel ban going to Hong Kong for tourists because of the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re coming from any other country, make sure to check first if you can travel to Hong Kong. Always keep yourself updated and be a responsible traveler!
Read on as I share with you photos and some of my thoughts about these two places. Also, find out if they’re really worth visiting or not.
All About Choi Hung Estate
Why is Choi Hung Estate popular?
Constructed way back in 1963 by the Hong Kong Housing Authority, Choi Hung Estate is actually a public housing estate. It houses more than 18,000 Hong Kong locals. Now you may be wondering – why would tourists want to visit a residential place? Well, because it just might be the most colorful housing estate you’ll ever see! Apparently, its name literally means “rainbow estate.”
Tourists usually go up the Choi Hung Estate basketball courtyard to have good shots with the colorful buildings as the background.
It also gained a lot of recognition; one of those is a Silver Medal at the 1965 Hong Kong Institute of Architects Annual Awards. Several prominent people had also visited Choi Hung Estate in the past, among them were former US president Richard Nixon and Britain’s Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra.
Where is Choi Hung Estate located?
2 Tse Wai Ave, Ngau Chi Wan, Hong Kong
How to go to Choi Hung Estate?
Click here to open Gooogle Maps (it’s already pinned to the exact location). You can access it via bus or MTR. It’s actually easy to find! Chances are, you may find many tourists heading the same direction as you are.
All About Montane Mansion
Why is Montane Mansion popular?
Montane Mansion is yet another residential building in Hong Kong! I know, I know you might be thinking why are tourists flocking this kind of place?! It’s easy to get excited as this place has a unique, old charm to it. Plus, the fact that it was featured in one of the Transformers movies added to the hype. A little tap on Instagram’s location tag will also reveal lots of amazing inspo shots from people who had been there.
Sometimes it’s also referred to as “Monster Building.” However, Montane Mansion is just part of the five interconnected buildings collectively called as “Monster Building.”
Where is Montane Mansion located?
1028 King’s Rd, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
How to go to Montane Mansion?
Click here to open Google Maps (it’s already pinned to the exact location). Just input your current location and then check the bus/MTR routes you can take.
It’s good to note that Choi Hung Estate and Montane Mansion are not exactly walking distance from one another. But it will only take you less than an hour to get from one to another via bus or MTR.
My Thoughts About Montane Mansion
So now that we’ve covered the basics, here are my personal thoughts!
I’ll be honest with you – I didn’t really do my research first when I went to either of the two places. All I know is that I wanted to see them in person because they’re taking the IG world by storm. I want to see what the buzz was all about. So on my recent Hong Kong trip last year, I included these two places in my 5-day itinerary. Me and the boyfie didn’t have a solid itinerary for that particular trip (normally I have and I research about them beforehand), so this was really like a spontaneous kind of trip.
READ: If you don’t have 5 days to spare, you can still enjoy Hong Kong! See my 3-day itinerary before!
Imagine my surprise when we arrived at Montane Mansion! The façade and the walkway going inside made me think we were in the wrong address! So it really is a residential place after all!
It suddenly dawned on me that real people actually live here, in this kind of condition and then random tourists just flock to it and snap photos like it’s some kind of a fictitious background you just see in movies. It’s as raw as it gets.
I kinda felt guilty and sad about all this – that I, too, was among those tourists. We only stayed for less than an hour. Luckily, the crowd wasn’t that much around 10 AM; they say it could be super crowded in the afternoon).
My only takeaway here is that I got a rare glimpse of how locals live right smack in their own turf. I noticed most of them are happy and content with their modest lives, playing mahjong or simply chitchatting with their neighbors. They actually didn’t mind us at all (probably because we were only a handful that morning).
If I were you, skip Montane Mansion! I can imagine these locals had enough of tourists disturbing their daily lives already. I also recently found out that photo/video taking is already banned here. Not sure when was that implemented though because last time I was there, they weren’t strict about it. But just in case you’re thinking of going there to take photos/drone shots/videos, then you might be out of luck.
Why You Should Visit Choi Hung Estate
Our next stop was Choi Hung Estate, specifically right at their huge basketball courtyard! Wow, this place made me happy! It’s so different from the dark, gloomy vibes of Montane Mansion. There’s no doubt that this estate is photogenic! Now I understand why it has become a must-visit spot for tourists and avid photographers.
The colorful basketball courtyard itself is surrounded by tall and vibrant buildings – looking up will actually make you feel as if you were boxed inside.
Unlike Montane Mansion, Choi Hung Estate seems more tourist-friendly too. There are various shops and restaurants on the ground floor of each of the 11 residential blocks. Of course, those establishments are initially meant to cater to those locals living there but if ever you get hungry after taking lots of photos, it’s good to know you can quickly grab something to eat from there.
So there you have it! I hope you learn a thing or two about these two trending places in Hong Kong. Always do your research ahead of time to avoid what happened to me. If you have any questions or maybe an extra trivia to share, feel free to comment down below.