Lively Kowloon can be Your Base in Hong Kong
No visit to sweltering Hong Kong is complete without spending time in Kowloon. Located on the northern side of the busy Victoria Harbour, Kowloon is characterised by modern skyscrapers, neon signs and a dramatic setting between the mountains and the sea. For the best views of Kowloon’s stunning skyline, especially at night, it’s worth taking a trip on the famous Star Ferry to the more genteel island side of Hong Kong, where super-rich residents and high finance dominate. However, it’s edgy Kowloon that has developed a reputation as Hong Kong’s shopping, dining, culture and entertainment hub.
Eat and Shop Like a Hongkonger in Kowloon
Kowloon is an amazing foodie destination where East meets West. Besides affordable al fresco eateries, air-conditioned shopping mall food courts and family dim sum restaurants, Kowloon‘s culinary highlights include Koreatown in Kimberley Street and seafood restaurants serving fresh Hong Kong spicy crab in Temple Street. You can also find traditional street food stalls called dai pai dong, in places like Yiu Tung Street in northern Kowloon.
Homegrown chains that locals love are everywhere in Kowloon. For unfussy Hong Kong-style wonton noodles, you can try Mak’s Noodle in Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, or Parkes Street, Jordan. There are also bakeries and dessert shops with outlets across Kowloon selling naughty-but-nice Chinese treats like mooncakes and sweet buns. At Sweets House Cha Cha branches you can devour delicious sweets and bright green matcha tea and Hokkaido milk ice creams.
Shopaholics in Kowloon can enjoy high-end shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui at the huge Harbour City mall, which boasts big brand boutiques and the latest fashions. Nearby, the swanky 1881 Heritage mall occupies a smartly revamped police building from Hong Kong’s days as a British territory. For an authentic Chinese shopping experience, you could visit the vibrant Temple Street Night Market or the Ladies Market in pulsating Mong Kok.
There’s so Much to See and Do in Kowloon
If you love museums, Kowloon should be high on your Hong Kong agenda. At the peninsula’s southern tip there are great museums, including the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the neighbouring Hong Kong Space Museum, and the Hong KongMuseum of History and the neighbouring Hong Kong Science Museum. Film fans should see the waterfront Avenue of Stars, which honours Hong Kong film industry legends like Bruce Lee.
Kowloon’s parks are the perfect place to unwind or enjoy a stroll. Besides lakes and gardens, Kowloon Park boasts the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, which occupies a one-time British army barracks. Elsewhere, the Kowloon Walled City Park is a heritage-filled green escape built on the site of a former Chinese fort that later became a dangerously overcrowded neighbourhood in the Kowloon City suburb.
Kowloon has Hotels Galore
Kowloon’s hotels range from cheap hostels to luxury establishments, whereas Hong Kong Island usually offers pricier accommodation. Moreover, Kowloon is so well served by Hong Kong‘s excellent public transport system that it really could make sense to choose one of its hotels for your stay. The MTR rail service has stations across Kowloon, making it easy to reach Hong Kong Island without even stepping on a Star Ferry. Popular upscale picks in Kowloon include the Kowloon Hotel on Nathan Road and Hotel ICON Hong Kong on Science Museum Road.