I noticed yesterday how the Discover Hong Kong ad campaign has really minimized Kowloon in its US magazine advertisements.
There’s so much to do in Kowloon. Here I’ve come up with 8 (because it’s a lucky number in Hong Kong).
1. A rice/noodle/congee shop in Mongkok
Although this photo shows Ladies’ Street, which is okay if you want cheap stuff, I’d rather head over to a hole-in-the-wall rice, noodle, and congee (rice porridge) shop. The menus are often written in Chinese and posted on the wall, but you can simply point to what your neighbor (or table mate, if it’s crowded and you have to share a table) is eating. My favorite is yupin juk, or fish congee, with ginger and green onion. Yum.
2. The flower market
Yes, this ancient postcard shows a flower market on the Hong Kong side, but the one along Prince Edward Road in Kowloon is as charming as can be in the 21st century. Even if flowers aren’t your thing, this part of Prince Edward is less hectic than most sections of Kowloon (but not all; see Kowloon Tong below). I used to pass it every day on my way to work back in 1996-98 and would even hop off the bus early so I could savor the neighborhood before heading to my office.
3. A stroll through Kowloon Tong
I loved walking south on Waterloo Road toward Mongkok. Better yet, head over to a parallel side street for a quaint look at an upscale residential neighborhood of cute, colonial single family homes.
4. Nathan Road
Nathan Road has been vibrant and colorful (even in black and white!) for decades. It runs north from almost the tip of Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) all the way to the top of the Kowloon peninsula. I could spend a day walking up and down Nathan Road, window shopping (or really buying something), stopping for a cold lemon squash, or indulging in a spicy Indian feast at one of the many restaurants in Chungking Mansions.
5. Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park is a calm oasis at the top of TST, just parallel to Nathan Road. When I first visited Kowloon Park, the charming Hong Kong Museum of History was housed here. It’s since moved (see museums of TST), but there are plenty of other attractions in the park, like an aviary, Chinese garden, tree walk, etc.
6. Tea at the Peninsula
Most of the items on my list involve little cash, but not this one. Tea at the Pen is fun and a throwback to yesteryear, and it’s also one of the cheaper dining options at the Pen.
7. The museums of TST
At the tip of TST, you’ll find the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Museum of History, and the Hong Kong Space Museum, all along Salisbury Road. The Hong Kong Cultural Centre is also one of the city’s premier performing arts venues. And next to the Cultural Centre is the Star Ferry, a cheap and colorful way to cross the harbor.
8. The TST promenade
If you know of a skyline more breathtaking than Hong Kong’s, please let me know. I never tired of standing along the TST waterfront, looking over Victoria Harbor. The promenade now hosts an Avenue of the Stars, celebrating Hong Kong’s illustrious film industry.
Do you have other favorite spots in Kowloon?