9 January 2019 - Mid-Levels West is an affluent residential area on the Island side – we all know that. But before moving to Mid-Levels West, these are a few things you may want to know.
1. World’s Longest Outdoor Escalator
Built in 1993, the escalator starts at Queens Road Central and goes all the way up to the Mid-Levels, linking the business district of Central and the Mid-Levels residential area. It is 800 metres long, and the entire ride takes about 20 minutes. It is the longest outdoor escalator in the world.
P.S. If you are a fan of Hong Kong classic films, you surely will notice that Faye Wong travelling along the escalator was an iconic image of Wong Kar Wai’s 1994 film Chungking Express.
2. Multicultural Nightlife in Soho
Just south of Hollywood Road, Soho is the multicultural wine and dine nightlife side of Central. Follow the escalator and get off at Staunton, Shelley or Elgin streets, you will be surrounded by upmarket bars and restaurants - American, Mediterranean, British, Spanish, Nepalese, African, you name it. Soho is perfect for a date night, big night out or a birthday party with groups and friends.
3. Art Galleries and Cafes
The Mid-Levels is also known for its laidback atmosphere, with an abundance of interesting boutiques, craft shops, vintage clothing stores, as well as hipster cafes and trendy eateries. It is also close to PMQ, which is converted from old police quarters and is now a collection of fashionable and young, creative Hong Kong designers and artists. In addition to studios and local shops, there are regular popup exhibitions and workshops.
4. Hong Kong’s Oldest Mosque
Jamia Mosque is in the Mid-Levels and can be reached within 10 minutes’ walk from the escalator to Shelley Street. It is the oldest mosque in Hong Kong, built in 1890 then later extended in 1915. Jamia Mosque has an arched main entrance and Arabic-style arched windows on all sides. It sheds light on the cultural diversity of Hong Kong and is classified as a Grade I historic building by the government.
5. Great School Catchment Area (11) for All Grade Levels
Mid-Levels West belongs to the Central and Western District school net, which means there is absolutely no shortage of reputable schools across all grade levels from kindergarten to university. Some of these schools are St. Paul's Co-educational College, King's College and St. Joseph's College. There are also some of Hong Kong’s top international schools in the area such as Carmel School and Island School, among others. Mid-Levels West also sits close to the University of Hong Kong.
6. An abundance of Parks and Greenery
There are plenty of quiet parks that provides plenty of seating and lush greenery around Mid-Levels West, as well as playgrounds with colourful swings and slides for the energetic little ones, such as Caine Road Garden. The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is also a great natural environment right in the heart of the Central district. Surrounded by Garden Road, Robinson Road and Upper Albert Road, it features aviaries and hundreds of species of plants, and is home to a large variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.
7. Outdoor Fitness
There are not many gyms in Mid-Levels West, but with its convenient location on the hills and lots of parks throughout the area, you will find plenty of leafy paths which are perfect for runners and joggers. Most of these paths and trails such as the Morning Trail which begins on Hatton Road are relatively flat, so they are suitable even for parents with prams for a laidback walk during the day and in the evening.
8. A Large Expat Community
So, Mid-Levels West has a lot of lovely characters - it comes as no surprise that it is also a typical expat district. It is popular for both young professionals and expat families as headquarters of foreign institutions are mostly located in the Central business district; the easy commute to work, the nightlife, the upscale (and often more spacious) residences, the international schools and parks, all make Mid-Levels West a perfect choice for expats who may find other parts of Hong Kong too intense.