To the untrained ear, it’s the most difficult name to pronounce in Hong Kong.
Tsim Sha Tsui. Or Tsimshatsui.
Many call it Chim Sha Chewy. Or TST. Some just abandon the name and refer to it as Kowloon. (In my bad Cantonese, I pronounce it as Jim Sa Joy, slurring the last syllable.)
It’s been around for a long time, as in pre-1600s. (It’s the little peninsula on the bottom right.)
TST sits on the tip of the Kowloon peninsula and was developed more than 100 years ago.
Since the middle of the 20th century, it’s been known for its tourist trap shops, outlet stores, western hotels, and dive bars. It was a popular destination for R&R during Vietnam.
The most famous hotel in TST–and in Hong Kong itself–is the stately Peninsula Hotel. My grandparents took this photo on their first trip to Hong Kong in 1965. I loved going here for afternoon tea in the 1990s.
My uncle took this photo of TST in 1971. The clocktower anchored the old railway terminus. (The railway station is now located at Hung Hom, adjacent to a redeveloped TST East.)
Some love TST, others try to avoid it. But no matter your thoughts about this little piece of land jutting out from the underbelly of China, you haven’t seen Hong Kong until you’ve stood along the TST promenade.
Now TST is lined with museums, a cultural center, and more luxury hotels. Here’s what the tip of TST looks like today.