The West Kowloon Cultural District continues to blossom and grow, transforming West Kowloon into a vibrant new cultural quarter. One of the most interesting new buildings in the district is the Xiqu Centre, Hong Kong’s first contemporary venue dedicated solely to the promotion of Xiqu, or traditional Chinese theatre.

The first thing you’ll notice about this striking building is that as you enter you are welcomed into a large, open atrium, with a pavilion where a number of free events take place. Music in the Atrium is one such event, with free performances of traditional Chinese music, including classical and folk tunes, and Chinese opera music, with a variety of instruments.

Photo by Dortack Taremiao used under CC

Upstairs is the Grand Theatre, a world-class venue which was tailor-made specifically for xiqu productions. Theatre troupes from Hong Kong, mainland China and other parts of Asia have taken to the stage in the Grand Theatre, and there is a long line-up of shows that take place all year round.

If you’re new to the world of xiqu, then you’ll love the unique experience of the Tea House Theatre. Designed to recreate the atmosphere of Hong Kong’s early 20th century tea houses, audiences are served traditional tea and dim sum during the 90-minute show. Tickets cost between HK$318.00 and HK$380.00, depending on where you want to sit.

Those who want to learn more about the art form can attend one of the free Xiqu Centre tours. The 60-minute tours, conducted in Cantonese, English or Mandarin, introduce visitors to the centre, including its design and facilities, plus interesting facts about the culture and stories behind the art of xiqu.

Visitors can also participate in hands-on workshops, such as the art of Chinese knots, paper lantern crafting, Chinese fan painting, and paper puppet making, to name just a few. Most of these are free to the public, and are a wonderful opportunity to explore a variety of xiqu-inspired arts and crafts.

The Xiqu Centre has six restaurants on-site. For sweet treats, try tiny bites of goodness at GO Cakes, and wash it down with bubble tea from Daily Tea Time. For a proper sit-down Cantonese meal, take a seat at Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant, or get the cha chaan teng experience at Peony Garden.

Getting to the Xiqu Centre is very convenient, with easy access to Austin MTR Station (Exit F) via an underground walkway. It is also about a ten minute walk from Jordan MTR Station, along Austin Road.

Other West Kowloon Attractions