Though Hong Kong Island is the most visited area of Hong Kong, Kowloon -- a peninsula that juts out into Victoria Harbour -- comes in second. A neighborhood of museums, historic temples, and shops, Kowloon attracts visitors throughout the year.
Literally meaning "nine dragons," which stands for the eight hills in the area and the Chinese emperor, Kowloon is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Hong Kong -- an already extremely overpopulated city. And with the constant influx of tourists, the crowds grow even larger. Visitors often head to the southern tip of Kowloon, which boasts beautiful water views, one of the world's largest malls, a lively nightlife scene, and Kowloon Park -- Hong Kong's version of Central Park.
But it's not just shopping and partying in Kowloon. Many areas of Kowloon have an authentic vibe, with all kinds of open-air markets -- flowers, jade, produce -- and historic buildings from before and during the time of the British occupation. Kowloon is also home to important museums such as the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Museum of History.
Kowloon is divided into several smaller areas; Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Jordan, and Mong Kok. Tsim Sha Tsu, on the southermost tip of the peninsula, boasts the greatest concentration of restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area and is often the most expensive area to stay in Kowloon. However, it is also the most convenient and is home to Nathan Road, known as the "golden mile of shopping."
Tsim Sha Tsui East also has its fair share of high-end hotels. Business travelers on short trips may want to stay here, as it is home to a major train station. Jordan offers perhaps the most authentic Hong Kong experience -- with numerous markets -- and it is also where several budget-friendly hotels can be found, while Mong Kok is largely residential.
Chinese (Catonese and Mandarin)
Sept. - Nov.; March - April
Hong Kong dollar
220 V, 50 Hz
10% service charge is added in restaurants but an additional 5-10% is appreciated.