This is a guest article contributed by Clare Rhodes.
Hong Kong’s Kowloon district is the place to be for full explosion and total enjoyment. The highly developed city is now one of the leading tourist centres for both local and international residents.
Kowloon is one of the best locations to stay in Hong Kong. Sitting in the northern mainland part of the country and across the Victoria Harbour, the city offers more than a tourist would expect. It started as a farming and fishing area back in the 1860s British colonial era. Later, in 1997, the Chinese took over its control and progressively made it what it looks like today, an eye-catching arts, entertainment, and shopping district.
When to Visit Kowloon
Hong Kong is a country in the subtropical region of the globe receiving the four climate seasons. Although Kowloon can be visited year-round, it is recommended during spring (March and April) and autumn ( October and November). You’ll find more comfortable temperatures to explore this region. See here for the best time to visit.
Below are some of the top 10 essential things you can do while in Kowloon district, Hong Kong.
1. Sightsee the Tsim Sha Tsui’s Mansions
Interested in shopping and lifestyle features? Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the most well-known places to visit in Kowloon. Before the luxury and Louis Vuitton malls, Tsim Sha Tsuimany was called the “mansions.” due to its enormous buildings filled with shops, restaurants as well as apartments.
The most famous of these buildings is the Chungking and Mirador mansions which appear more like fraternal twins. Back in the years of 1980s, these two were no exciting places to visit as they featured many scandals relating to drug smuggling and selling of counterfeit products. Today, they are one of the most refreshing shopping centres you may want to visit. There are reputable shops for Bollywood DVDs and also offer delicious Indian dishes.
At a stone throw away distance, there is also Champagne Court. On the ground floor, you find a cluster of quality camera shops plus a decent basement for the 1960s-era Star Café. Deliciously made tomato-and-egg noodle soup is available here.
Hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui are world-class. Even if it gets late, you can find one and book it for the night. Don’t hurry your stay.
2. Visit Yau Ma Tei
Despite its narrow streets, Yau Ma Tei has a lot to do terms of fun and enjoyment. What you will love most here are the classy cafes, well-stocked bookstores and the entertaining movie emporium.
The laid-back spot is a 55-year-old Midofamous Café in this area. It features 1950s-style décor and offers Hong Kong milk tea. While in the booths of its second floor, you can have a clear view of the Temple Street night market – one of the more familiar places around.
While here, you will notice the native’s business hours mostly pick up at night. They have other markets and business areas as well, mainly operating at night. Hotels in Yau Ma Tei are decent and quite accommodative. Settle in one at least for a night and watch all this even for a day. You will like it.
3. Shop in Sham Shui Po
The streets of Sham Shui Po have a lot to offer in terms of markets. They offer a wide variety of products ranging from electronics, used and brand new to clothes, both men’s and women’s. Here you will also find cameras, computers, toys, phones, fashion clothes, dishes and plenty more. Each of these items comes at pocket-friendly prices and so you can enjoy your shopping even with a fixed budget.
4. Take a Day Out with Kowloon’s Creative Side
Come to Kowloon and witness some of the thought-provoking shows of entertainment. Many are already aware of the Hong Kong Museum of Art as well as the Cultural Centre. However, these are not the only places to witness quality entertainment. Osage Kwun Tong, still in Kowloon, has lots of cutting edge art spaces you might want to see.
Some of the other areas you get to witness are a comprehensive gallery of art including;
- The Cattle Depot Artists’ Village,
- Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, and
- Savannah College of Art and Design’s
5. Explore The Thai community
Going deep into the Kowloon city, you will be reaching the core of the Thai community. They have Thai restaurants that offer mouth-watering and aromatic dishes such as salads, grilled pork, neck, and seafood for lunch.
At South Wall Road, a few minutes’ walks from Amporn restaurant, there is the fully-stocked Thai grocery. It sells wide varieties covering spices, tropical fruits, plus other products you hardly find in different sections of Hong Kong. Khanom is Thai’s sweetest sweets and should definitely be tried before you leave!
Apart from all these, you can engage in Thai community development projects to assist the locals in getting a better life.
6. Old-School Al Fresco Eating
From October to May of the following year, Kowloon’s weather is usually calm and favourable for outdoor eateries. When you visit during this period, head out experience how they operate their outdoor restaurants.
Most visited places here by tourists are the Temple Street spicy crab outdoor restaurants. These are like the Temple Spice Crabs. However, it’s been discovered that it is because they offer cheap beer and fresh seafood.
7. Mong Kok’s Study and Restaurant Cafes
Mong Kok is one of the neighbourhoods where you can find a peaceful relaxing environment. In the upper floors of the areas’ buildings, there are highly decent bookstores, cafes, bars as well as joints of barbecue.
Along Sai Yeung Choi Street, is the Hong Kong Reader, one of the bilingual bookstore-cafes featuring book selections on various topics. Some of which include; philosophy, social sciences, and cultural studies. It also hosts regular discussions and readings. Similar cafes are Full Cup and Aqua Café. All these contributing to the fact that Kowlooning is still the best place to stay in Hong Kong.
8. Walk up Shanghai Street
One way you can spend your quality time in Kowloon is to check out its streets. In particular, Shanghai Street, Hong Kong’s most interesting. It is one of the oldest yet most atmospheric streets. Taking an afternoon walk all along it is a fascinating experience you wouldn’t want to miss. Along the way you can gain experience of the local’s way of life, historic shophouses and other daily activities they engage in.
9. Enjoy a Drink Whilst Taking in a Better View of the City
Do you love to grab a drink when you’re on holidays? Hong Kong’s Kowloon has some of the best sprees you can visit for this. However, drinking alone won’t be enough. Choosing sky-high bars offers you a better view of the iconic skyscraper buildings glorifying the city. An example of such is Eyebar, located on the 30-floor and featuring both outdoor and indoor drinking spaces. Another is the Ozone Sky Bar, located on the 118th floor of the city’s International Commerce Centre. These two are quality spots; you can relax while enjoying the view.
10. Go Dancing
If music and dancing are your interests and hobby, Kowloon will then favour you more. The city has some of the lively nightclubs. Most of these are within the city centre, so you won’t have to go so far when residing around. Most talked about are Eyebar, Ozone Bar, Sky Lounge Sheraton, and Aqua Spirit amongst many others.
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