Hong Kong, Kowloon Hotels
Kowloon is sometimes referred to as the ‘dark side’ in comparison to its cosmopolitan counterpart, Hong Kong and is bordered by the New Territories to the north and Victoria Harbour to the south. Once a tight-knit farming and fishing community, it has expanded massively to become one of Asia’s most engaging destinations with its appeal evident through both its old and new attractions.
Kowloon comes from the words gau and lung meaning ‘nine dragons’, which portray the eight highest mountains in its surrounds with the ninth representing the Emperor Bing of Song who so named it. There are plenty of places of interest in an area that covers just 47 square kilometres, such as the tourist hub of Tsim Sha Tsui where you’ll find shopping and entertainment in its abundance. With an idyllic location on the cape of the Kowloon Peninsula, it is also home to a number of museums, namely Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Space Museum, and Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Tsim Sha Tsui is also where you’ll come across a 17-storey, five block collection of offices, shops, restaurants, and residential abodes that epitomise the term ‘hustle and bustle’. If you’re in the market for all manner of second-hand goods and enjoy the art of bartering, then this is a place for you.
Another district of notable interest is Mongkok, which is a great place for street food and equally appealing for specialised shopping opportunities. Ladies’ Street is full of the latest fashion for women, while Fa Yuen Street has a wide selection of sporting goods, including rare and special edition sports shoes. If you’re after electronic items, Sai Yeung Choi Street has got the lot, from mobile phones to laptops and the latest tablets. There are also road names that can be taken quite literally, such as Goldfish Street, Photocopy Street and Tile Street, all of which sell what they suggest.
Temples are a big draw for tourists to Kowloon with one of its most popular being Wong Tai Sin Temple to the south of Lion Rock. Visit Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill where you can wander through the Chinese gardens in a complex that also houses temple halls and a vegetarian restaurant.
Catch the Star Ferry for a trip across Victoria Harbour and try to time one of your journeys with the Symphony of Lights display, which occurs every evening at 8:00pm for ten minutes. This impressive, synchronised light and laser presentation creates quite the spectacle across the exteriors of numerous high-rise buildings on either side of the harbour.