OWL Magazine Korea

Tai Kwun: Former Prison and Police Station Transformed into a Cultural Hub

In Hong Kong’s Central district, there’s a relatively recent attraction that has garnered attention – “Tai Kwun.” Opened in August 2018, this area has been transformed from a former police station and prison into a space for culture and the arts.

“The Transformation of a Former Police Station and Prison: Tai Kwun”

Ascending Pottinger Street, which is known as the first paved road in Hong Kong and often dubbed the most beautiful street in the city, you’ll reach a building at the end. This is Tai Kwun, a structure that served as a police station and prison for over a century.

Now, it stands as a testament to the changing times, repurposed for culture and the arts, no longer serving its original function.

“A Photo-Worthy Destination: Tai Kwun”

During my visit on a weekend, there were many people enjoying Tai Kwun. Near the entrance of Tai Kwun, you’ll find charming buildings constructed with red bricks, commonly seen as backdrops for photos taken by both locals and tourists.

Furthermore, various outdoor performances and events were taking place on this weekend, providing a lively atmosphere with citizens and children scattered throughout.

“Diverse Restaurants, Cafes, and Shops in the Central Building”

Upon entering the central building of Tai Kwun, you’ll encounter a central courtyard surrounded by a forest of buildings. The three-story structure houses an array of restaurants, cafes, and shops. As this space is utilized as a platform for cultural and artistic endeavors, you’ll easily find shops selling unique items that exude character.

“The Tai Kwun Prison Museum”

Tai Kwun, once a police station and prison, now houses a museum dedicated to its history. This museum offers insights into the prison’s past, showcasing details about meals served and the culture within. While intriguing, it also serves as a reminder of the grim and somewhat eerie nature of this place, where criminals were once incarcerated until just a few years ago.

“The Distinctive Bar at Tai Kwun, the Prison Yard Bar”

One of the buildings within Tai Kwun operates as a bar, fashioned from the original prison. While it may evoke a somewhat eerie ambiance, enjoying a drink with a loved one in this unique setting could create a special atmosphere.

“Tai Kwun: A Platform for Culture, Art, Exhibitions, and Performances”

Tai Kwun has evolved from the somber ambiance of a former police station and prison to a vibrant platform for culture, art, exhibitions, and performances. A relatively recent addition, those who visited Hong Kong in the past may not have had the chance to explore this location. For those planning a visit to Hong Kong post-COVID-19, Tai Kwun is a must-see destination.

“Central Hong Kong, Tai Kwun”

  • Address: 10 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong
  • Phone: +852 3559 2600
  • Website: https://www.taikwun.hk/en
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM