Kowloon: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Kowloon" is a transliteration of 九龍. For other transliterations, see 九龍 (disambiguation).
Location within
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Population (2006)
 - Total 2,019,533
 Density 43,033/km2 (111,455/sq mi)
Time zone Hong Kong Time (UTC+8)
Traditional Chinese 九龍
Simplified Chinese 九龙
Literal meaning Nine dragons

Kowloon (English pronunciation: /ˌkaʊˈluːn/) is an urban area in Hong Kong, comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of 2,019,533 and a population density of 43,033/km2 in 2006. Kowloon is located north of Hong Kong Island and south of the mainland part of the New Territories. The peninsula's area is approximately 47 km2 or 18.1 mi2. Together with Hong Kong Island, it contains 48% of Hong Kong's total population.

The systematic transcription Kau Lung or Kau-lung was often used in derived place names before World War II, for example Kau-lung Bay instead of Kowloon Bay. Other spellings include Kauloong.



Kowloon in 1915
Kowloon Peninsula at dusk

The name Kowloon came from the nine dragons represented by eight peaks and a Chinese emperor: Kowloon Peak, Tung Shan, Tate's Cairn, Temple Hill, Unicorn Ridge, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Crow's Nest and Emperor Bing.[1]

The part of Kowloon south of Boundary Street, together with Stonecutters Island, was ceded by Qing China to the United Kingdom under the Convention of Peking of 1860. For many years the area remained largely undeveloped, used by the British mainly for tiger-hunting expeditions.[citation needed]

The part of Kowloon north of Boundary Street (New Kowloon) was leased by the British as part of the New Territories in 1898 for 99 years. Within New Kowloon is the Kowloon City, which refers to an area, where the Kowloon Walled City used to be located. The Kowloon Walled City itself was demolished in 1993. The same area was called 官富場 (Pinyin: Guanfuchang) during the Song Dynasty.

Statutorily, "Kowloon" has remained to refer to the area south of Boundary Street and the Stonecutters Island. "New Kowloon" has also remained part of the New Territories.

In modern day conversations, however, New Kowloon is often not regarded as part of the New Territories, but as an integral part of the Kowloon urban area on both sides of Boundary Street. For rates tax purposes, New Kowloon is not considered part of Kowloon and remains part of the New Territories as according to the statutes. Properties in New Kowloon are subjected to pay the land leases as those in the New Territories.

Large-scale development of Kowloon began in the early 20th century, with the construction of the Kowloon-Canton Railway and the Kowloon Wharf.

Due to Kowloon's close proximity to Kai Tak Airport, building constructions were limited by flight paths. Compared to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon resulted architecturally in much lower skyline.[1] After World War II Kowloon became extremely congested when slums for refugees from the newly established People's Republic of China gave way to public housing estates, mixed with private residential, commercial and industrial areas.

West Kowloon was once home to a dockyard for the Royal Navy and is now used as a typhoon shelter. It is usually reached by boat; namely the Star Ferry. On 1 July 1997, both parts of Kowloon were transferred to the People's Republic of China along with the rest of Hong Kong.


Highrise buildings and mine in East Kowloon

It comprises the following districts:


Kowloon (including New Kowloon) is an area bounded north by a mountain range. Lion Rock in the middle is a peak among the range

Kowloon covers two geographical constituencies for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong:

City landscape

Kowloon Peninsula panorama

See also


  1. ^ a b Fallon, Steve. (2006) Hong Kong and Macau. Lonely Planet Publishing. ISBN 981-258-246-0

External links

Coordinates: 22°19′N 114°11′E / 22.317°N 114.183°E / 22.317; 114.183

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : East Asia : China : Hong Kong : Kowloon
The Kowloon waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui.
The Kowloon waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui.

Kowloon (九龍, "nine dragons" in Cantonese) is the peninsula to the north of Hong Kong Island. The mountains that overlook Kowloon account for eight of Kowloon's nine dragons while, as the story goes, the ninth dragon refers to the emperor who counted them. Of the eight mountains that overlook the crowded city, the most famous is Lion Rock, which when seen from the right angle, really does deserve its name.

With over 2.1 million people living in an area of less than 47 square kilometres, Kowloon is one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and has a matching array of places to shop, eat and sleep. Tsim Sha Tsui (尖沙咀), the tip of the peninsula, is Kowloon's main tourist drag and has a mix of backpacker and high-end hotels. Further north, Mong Kok (旺角) has a huge choice of shops and markets in an area of less than a square kilometre.

"Kowloon side", as it is often known, managed to escape some of the British colonial influences that characterise "Hong Kong Island" side. While prices on Kowloon side tend to be cheaper, it is also less tourist-friendly and English proficiency is not as strong as on the Hong Kong side.

Get in

By ferry

Riding the Star Ferry from Central or Wan Chai ferry piers is considered a "must-do" for any traveller to Hong Kong. Not only is this the cheapest way to traverse the harbour, it's also the finest way to go sight-seeing, particularly at night, where you're surrounded by a wall of lights and skyscrapers on both sides. If you're feeling posh, you can pay fractionally more and travel as an upper-deck passenger. Alternatively, you can travel steerage and maybe get a glimpse into the noisy engine room.

By train

The Airport Express takes you to Kowloon MTR station in just 20 minutes. Most of Hong Kong's rail lines converge on Kowloon. If you are travelling from Hong Kong island, change at Admirality on the Island Line for the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui from Hong Kong island. The MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui offers a faster service and is the most popular choice for commuters, so avoid Admiralty interchange during the rush hour (5 PM to 7 PM).

By taxi

Taking a taxi across the harbour to Kowloon is possible but can be problematic, as well as expensive. Although urban red taxis operate on both sides of Victoria Harbour, some drivers may decline your request. Expect to pay tunnel fees both ways unless you can find a taxi rank dedicated to providing a cross-harbour service.

By helicopter

Helicopter transfers can be arranged between Hong Kong International Airport and the roof-top landing pad at the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Crowded and vibrant: a colourful street in Tsim Sha Shui
Crowded and vibrant: a colourful street in Tsim Sha Shui
  • The Kowloon Waterfront offers splendid views of the Hong Kong island shore and skyline. This is the best place to experience the classic view of Hong Kong, and nobody on their first trip here should miss out on promenading along the waterfront. The best views are to be had at night when the lights of global capitalism provide a powerful spectacle. If you are not proficient with night-time photography, you can pay a modest sum for a professional to take your photograph against one of the world's most iconic backdrops. Start at the Star Ferry terminal, and begin your walk by inspecting the historic clock tower which is all that remains of a railway station that once took colonial officials back to London via the Trans-Siberian railway.
  • Cruise ships berthed at Ocean Terminal. Upon arrival at the Star Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, visitors can not help but be impressed by the spectacle, and majesty, of 40,000 tonne cruise liners parked in the heart of the city.
  • A Symphony Of Lights Every night at 8 PM there is a colourful light show that is staged atop the key buildings on both sides of the harbour. On Monday evenings, spectators can listen to the show's music and English narration live at the Avenue of Stars, on radio on FM103.4 MHz or by calling 35 665 665.
  • Avenue of the Stars. If you continue your stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront you will soon find yourself walking along Hong Kong's version of Hollywood's walk of fame. You have to look down to appreciate the Avenue of the Stars where so many local film stars have pawed the wet concrete. You might not recognise their names, but it goes to show how big Hong Kong's film industry is. The experience is targeted at tourists from mainland China and the piped music gives it a slightly cheesey feel, but the statue of film legend, Bruce Lee, provides a welcome photo opportunity even for those who might know very little about Cantonese cinema.

Thai Town

Hong Kong's Thai community is focussed on a few mundane streets in Kowloon City (九龍城寨). This area, adjacent to the old airport at Kai Tak, is off the beaten track for most tourists but it has some good Thai restaurants, indeed there are certainly plenty to choose from. Arguably, you may find a better Thai meal here than many tourist destinations in Thailand.

Kowloon City has few of the usual high-rise developments that characterise the rest of Hong Kong. Here low-rise buildings were developed to enable aircraft to scream their way across the rooftops towards Kai Tak. The MTR does not come this way, so take a taxi or bus from nearby Prince Edward MTR.

  • Hong Kong Space Museum [1]. Quite a small museum, with a basic history of space flight in static exhibits, including a single exhibit on Chinese space flight. It also has interactive exhibits, allowing you to fly a hang glider, work a space motion system, and simulate walking on the moon. The museum has a planetarium attached that shows movies projected onto the planetarium roof. Plan ahead if you want to ensure you see an English session, as most are Cantonese. It is fun for kids aged around 10 to 15 years. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
  • Hong Kong Cultural Centre [2] (香港文化中心). Opened in 1989, the Cultural Centre, with its prominent position on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront is a contender for being the most famous ugly building in Hong Kong. However, if you are a lover of the arts, don't judge this building by its bland exterior, inside the architects have created a superb space that really does do justice to the sights and sounds of each performance.
  • Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, (852) 2721 0116, [3]. 10 AM to 6 PM, closed Thursdays. The objects on show include Chinese ceramics, terracotta, rhinoceros horn and Chinese paintings. There is also space for contemporary art produced by Hong Kong artists, most of whom have moved away from the traditional Chinese art forms to North American and British art. $10, concessions $5.  edit
  • After visiting the Kowloon waterfront you can take the Star Ferry [4] (it's a truly amazing experience) to Hong Kong Island, getting an excellent view of the skyline in the process.
  • Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple(嗇色園黃大仙祠) is the most popular Taoist temple in Hong Kong. This is where many people ask for divine guidance by a practice known as kau cim(求籤), a practice that has all but disappeared in mainland China. Located just next to Wong Tai Sin(黃大仙) MTR Station. Entrance is free, though voluntary donations are welcome.
  • Kowloon Walled City Park When the British returned after the war, the Walled City remained notorious for drugs, vice and many things shady and criminal. Here, triad gangs operated alongside dodgy dentists and refugees escaping the cultural revolution. In 1987, after so many years of being beyond the reach of the law, the colonial government, in consultation with the Beijing authorities, made the bold decision to raze the place to the ground. Sadly, the park that remains is very tame in comparison to its distinctive history, but it does offer a few clues and remnants from its colourful past.
  • Built in the 1950s, the Shek Kip Mei Estate is one of the few remaining places where you can grasp the living conditions of Hong Kong during the 50s and 60s. Despite the march of progress promulgated by the Urban Renewal Authority, there are still a few blocks of flats remaining from the 1950s, which are still occupied. Walk from Shek Kip Mei MTR Station.
Kowloon Park offers an oasis of calm in the midst of high density living.
Kowloon Park offers an oasis of calm in the midst of high density living.
  • Experience the Hong Kong Story at the Hong Kong Museum of History in Tsim Sha Tsui. Forget the idea that all of Hong Kong museums are frumpy and boring. The Hong Kong Story is a real must go and do, ideal for those who want to make sense of Hong Kong's vibrant past in a way that is engaging and interactive. Allow at least two hours for your visit. Take Exit B2 at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station and walk for about 10 minutes.
  • Afternoon tea in the lobby at the Peninsula Hotel is an elegant tradition that enables visitors to savour a little of the grandeur of Hong Kong's colonial past. It is one of the more affordable ways to experience the services of one of Hong Kong's most extravagant hotels. Afternoon tea is served between 2 PM and 7 PM, daily. The dress-code is smart casual.
  • Take a walk in Kowloon Park where you will find not only pleasant gardens but aviaries, museums, and sporting facilities including Hong Kong's best swimming pool complex which offers both indoor and outdoor pools. A wide-range of swimming, diving and children's play-pools will appeal to kids of all ages, and their frazzled parents who are seeking a safe place for youngsters to play away from the traffic.
  • Shanghai Street runs north-south parallel to Nathan Road and offers an easy to navigate urban transect. Start at the north-side of Kowloon Park and wander up to Langham Place, a modern shopping and hotel complex which is next to Mong Kok MTR station. Along the way you will experience Kowloon in its raw authenticity. This is not your regular tourist trail, but crumbling tenements and small-scale industrial and commercial outfits blur to form an urban landscape that will make you wish that you had brought your camera along.
  • Visit the former Marine Police Headquarters on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. Dating back to 1884, it is an attractive colonial building that has been recently renovated to become a major tourism attraction with shops and restaurants.
  • You're never too old for Tai Chi on the Avenue of the Stars. Free lessons in English M,W-F mornings from 8 AM-9 AM.
  • A section of Portland Street in Mong Kok hosts Hong Kong's unofficial red-light district, with a dizzying assortment of karaoke bars, hostess bars, saunas, brothels and restaurants. This area is frequently the scene from Hong Kong triad films. Great street food and colourful characters can also be found. It's best to go in the evenings when the street is brightly lit with neon. Despite the vice that transpires there, it is perfectly safe to visit anytime -- but be careful about taking pictures as many people will not wish to be photographed. Ride to MTR Mong Kok station and, as you emerge from exit C3, walk southward.


If your budget doesn't quite stretch to the Tiffanys, Guccis and Shanghai Tangs of Hong Kong Island, head to Kowloon for more affordable shopping.

  • Harbour City is an enormous shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, the largest in Hong Kong. It is next to the Star Ferry pier. There are shops of almost any description there. The goods are mostly mid price range to high price brand name goods.
  • Elements 圓方, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui. Opened in 2007, Elements is Hong Kong's latest mega-mall. Aimed at wealthy shoppers, it has five themed shopping zones: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. Owned by the MTR Corporation, the shops are located above Kowloon MTR station. Probably not worth going out of your way for, but it does have some of the most extravagant public toilets in Hong Kong.
  • Festival Walk is another excellent shopping mall in the suburb of Kowloon Tong. A very pleasant place to shop, similar to Pacific Place but catering more to locals.
  • Langham Place, located in Mong Kok, is an entertainment complex comprising of a 15-storey shopping mall, a 59-level Grade A office tower and the 5-star Langham Place Hotel. Over 300 shops where you will find everything from fashion labels to casual wear, from accessories to electronics. On special occasions, large crowds will gather under the 'Digital Sky' to celebrate festive events such as the New Year's Eve countdown. Throughout the year, there will also be live musical performances, art exhibitions, and a host of special events to keep people entertained.
  • Lok Fu Centre, next to Lok Fu MTR station, is a place for cheaper goods and food. Located in a public housing estate, goods are generally more affordable than in other places. There is also a large department store here.
  • Tsim Sha Tsui's main artery Nathan Road is packed with stores, particularly cheap electronics shops. Be careful when shopping here; these slippery guys know every trick in the book and some stores are notorious for overcharging tourists. Locals seldom go to Tsim Sha Tsui for electronic products. It is more advisible to go to Mong Kok or Sham Shui Po instead.

If you are a book lover and like to meet other backpackers, you can try The Travellers Home Bookshop located on 2/f 55 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Kowloon street markets have something to tempt most bargain hunters.
Kowloon street markets have something to tempt most bargain hunters.
  • The Temple Street Night Market encompasses a block of streets in Kowloon barricaded at the end of each day with stalls selling almost anything until midnight. You can buy the usual touristy stuff, but there are also bargains like Chinese silk pajamas, toys, electronics and cheap leather goods. Arrive at Yau Ma Tei MTR Station Exit C, then walk up Man Ming Lane to Temple Street after nightfall. Be prepare to bargin vigorously as there are no fixed prices. Also, don’t forget to watch singers and musicians perform an aria from their favorite Peking opera (free, but donations appreciated) or get your future revealed by fortune tellers reading your palm and face or by using animals, cards or dice. Most of them can do readings in English. Professional Chinese chess players can also be found plying their trade in the public square.
  • The colourful Flower Market and the adjoining Bird Garden (Prince Edward St West) are worth a visit even if shrubs and parrots aren't high on your shopping list.
  • In Mong Kok, Tung Choi Street (通菜街), popularly known as the Ladies' Market (女人街), is Hong Kong's biggest outdoor shopping experience. Prices here may not be the cheapest, as the area is popular with tourists, but the variety, chaos and sheer number of sellers is mind-boggling and well worth the visit. It is also opened during daytime, unlike the nearby Temple Street Night Market. As with other markets lacking fixed prices, those perceived as being tourists will be quoted a higher price -- so bring your sharpest bargaining skills. Be careful as the market also sells some realistic non-authentic goods (fake Louis Vuitton bags are popular). The pedestrian zone is mostly for electronics and contains clothing stores from Hong Kong's most popular chains. The easiest way to get into the area is through Mong Kok MTR station, Exit B2 or B3.
  • Cheung Sha Wan Road is famous for garments. There are many shops selling clothes along Cheung Sha Wan Road. It is within walking distance from Sham Shui Po MTR Station. A number of bus routes also pass along Cheung Sha Wan Road.
Head to Sham Shui Po for gadgets, computer accessories and street markets.
Head to Sham Shui Po for gadgets, computer accessories and street markets.
  • Sham Shui Po has the largest number of computer and electronics shops.The Golden Computer Centre is the largest computer mall in Hong Kong, with both hardware and software vendors competing extremely vigorously. This is a Mecca for nerdy-trainspotter-types, mostly men, who salivate over the latest widget. The nearby Apliu Street has a collection of market stalls, where you can find phones, small electronic devices as well as DIY tools. Even if you are not that interested in electronic bric-à-brac, the pedestrianised streets in the area have a buzz about them that make a visit interesting. Look out for the "High Phone" which is sold at a fraction of the cost of the Californian version. Use Sham Shui Po MTR, Exit D.
  • Mong Kok is popular for consumer electronics and computers. Shops can be found along the road, but normally the shops on upper floors, which tourists may miss, often sell things cheaper. A block of famous "upper floor" electronics shops, which is popular among locals, is Fa Yuen Commercial Building (75-77 Fa Yuen Street), which is easily accessible from Mong Kok MTR Station. If you're after a new phone, the Sin Tat Shopping Centre on Argyle Street is home to many sellers with a wide selection, from iPhones to Japanese imports. When buying electronic items in Hong Kong, remember that you have limited consumer rights and a bargain may not always be such a good deal.


Kowloon is a great place to go for cheap and authentic Chinese, Indian, Nepalese and Thai food. It makes a welcome change from following the sophisticates who dine across the harbour in Soho. However, for those who seriously want to splurge, some of this SARs swankiest restaurants are to be found Kowloon-side.

  • Temple Street south of Mong Kok is a great place to eat Chinese street food. You have not been to Honkers unless you have eaten in this street. Temple Street, famously featured in Chinese cinema, is one of the few pedestrianised streets in Kowloon where you can sit, relax and watch the world pass by. Seafood is a popular choice, but most restaurants will provide you with an extensive English/Chinese menu that caters for most tastes. Frog is a tasty option, or try the oyster omelettes.
Pedestrian friendly streets offer travellers a great place to eat and people watch. Head for Temple Street and explore the surrounding roads as night falls.
Pedestrian friendly streets offer travellers a great place to eat and people watch. Head for Temple Street and explore the surrounding roads as night falls.
  • Chungking Mansions 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, houses many budget Indian and Nepalese restaurants. Touts at the front entrance will lead you to the restaurants via the small rickety lifts. Be warned that the competition between the touts can become very competitive, sometimes aggressive, so you should be prepared to make your choice as quickly as possible to avoid being dragged away to a restaurant that you did not really plan on going to. Chunking Mansions is one of the most (in)famous buildings in Kowloon. To many local people it is the very best place for cheap, honest, Indian or Nepalese food, whilst others will condemn it as a rat-infested hell-hole with a good chance of diarrhoea thrown in for free.
  • The immediate area northwest of Jordan Rd and Nathan Rd in Jordan contains a kaleidoscope of cultures and people from India, Laos, Cambodia and other southeast Asian nations. Many of them have opened restaurants with authentic cuisine of an international flavour. There are also street restaurants offering Chinese style seafood, where you can closely view fish, shrimp or crab before being slaughtered for your order. Although the neighbourhood looks rundown, it is safe and filled with pedestrian and vehicular traffic almost around-the-clock. At night, you'll likely get solicited for patronage by restaurant employees. The best way to get into this district is by using Jordan MTR, Exit A.
  • Choi Lung Restaurant (Shek Kip Mei MTR Station, B2 Exit) is a typical local Chinese Restaurant offering dim sum and a Cantonese style dinner. Dim Sum starts from $4.80. It is a nightclub after seven with contemporary music.
  • Food Court on 8/F, Dragon Centre, Sham Shui Po (near Sham Shui Po MTR Station, accessible on foot) provides a variety of Chinese, Southeast Asian and Western cuisines at attractive prices. Dishes range from $10 up.
  • Fa Yuen Street Complex, 123A Fa Yuen Street, near Mong Kok MTR Station, is a complex consisting of a wet market, cooked food centre, sports centre and a public library. It is a place where you can find cheap and genuine Hong Kong style food in Kowloon.
  • Swaget restauarant on the first floor of Chungking Mansions is, arguably, one of the best Indian restaurants in Hong Kong.
  • CitySuper is a local upscale supermarket chain with pan Asian, Western style food and has its own food court in Harbour City on Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
  • Istanbul Express, Shop F-1. G/F. Rose Mansion, 1 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, this is a place for Turkish kebabs.
  • Cafe De Coral is a Chinese fast food chain with numerous locations in Kowloon. The one on the corner of Ichang Street and Ashley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui is believed by many to offer some of the best food (for its price) in Hong Kong.
  • Jade Palace (Star House, 4th floor) is a tasty and tourist-friendly dim sum spot. Order by selecting from a card (also in English), not from a cart. Try the shrimp and chive dumplings and the tripe in ginger soup. Dim sum served from 11 AM to 3 PM daily, dishes $16-40 each.
  • Perfect Vegetarian Food, This Buddhist restaurant serves a very wide range of delicious vegetarian food. Food can be ordered by single serve or large serve (around HK$60) and dim sum is available until 4 pm. Many dishes imitate meat and are simply described as the meat dish, e.g., Beef and Noodles. Despite the taste and appearance being incredible real like, rest assured it is completely vegetarian fare. To get there, take the subway to Wong Tai Sin, exit via B3, enter the shopping center and it is immediately on the right.
  • Red Ant G/F, 27 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel. 2375-9698. A modern bistro-like restaurant with a wide selection of light meals and snacks. No alcohol is served but there is a long list of fresh juices and teas.
  • Yat Tung Heen, Eaton Hotel [5]. Cantonese dishes and dim sum, from traditional favourites to original creations.
  • Gaddi's at the Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel. 2315 3171. Arguably Hong Kong's leading restaurant that has delighted aficionados of French food and wine for over 80 years. This is the place where you can test your own command of the French language against French-speaking Chinese waiters. You will be disappointed if you are expecting great harbour views.
  • Fook Lam Moon 53-59 Kimberley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui. The Yum Cha/Dim Sum is excellent. The service and decor is also impressive. Expect to pay around ¥55 per serve for the mid range dishes. The English menu is only a small subset of the Chinese menu so take along someone who can translate to increase your choice of dishes.


Notable watering holes:

  • Felix, atop the Peninsula Hotel on Salisbury Rd, is known for its Philippe Starck interior and the views of the harbour skyline, whilst the men's bathroom has an impressive view up Nathan Road. According to legend, the world's first screwdriver was mixed up here, sampling this simple mix of orange juice and vodka will set you back around $100 a pop.
  • Aqua, nearby at the top of the 1 Peking Road office building is an alternative and less touristy spot with equally impressive views. As well as a bar, they have a Japanese and Italian restaurant for those without a budget.
  • Biergarten, 5 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. This friendly German bar is one of the few places in Kowloon where you can find a good range of quality beers. Excellent German food is served - not just sausages and sauerkraut. Use Exit N2 at East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.
  • P.J. Murphy's, a couple of blocks north on Nathan Road from Ocean Terminal between Salisbury Road and Mody Road. Murphy's Bar is a western-style Hong Kong drinking establishment. Enjoy a Guinness with a perfect pour. Throw your tips through the dart board behind the bar.
  • Hutong, 28 floor, 1 Peking Road, 3428 8342. Hutong is a great place to get a good view of Hong Kong from the top floor of a business building. The drinks are expensive, but the spectacular view is worth it.  edit

Drinking areas:

  • Knutsford Terrace, near the Miramar hotel is perhaps best described as the 'Lang Kwai Fong' of Kowloon, and has a large number of bars and restaurants of variable quality that cater for mid-range budgets. A little smaller and less phrenetic than Lan Kwai Fong, but well worth the effort to poke your nose along this narrow street on a Saturday evening.
  • Ashley Road, between Nathan Road and the Ocean Terminal shopping mall, features many Western restaurants and bars.
  • Mody Road/Centenial Garden. Close to many good hotels, this area of Tsim Sha Tsui offers a more relaxed environment for a drink. Here you will find bars and restaurants spilling out onto the pavement. Leave East Tsim Sha Tsui station at Exit P1, and head past the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel.

Be wary of entering the girlie bars scattered around the southern tip of Tsim Sha Tsui. Their entrances are usually decorated with photos of women in various stages of undress. Strip bars are not popular with locals for good reason. There are reports of these places being owned by rough people, even triads, and may place unexpected exorbitant charges on your tab (such as a fee to talk to a girl). They may even escort you to an ATM if you don't have enough cash. The days of Suzie Wong has long passed. Entering these places is highly not-recommended.



A large number of guesthouses are located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Jordan offering cheap, small but generally comfortable and safe accommodation licensed by the Hong Kong government. These are barebone places to stay so there will be no restaurants, souvenir shops or newspaper delivery. Most owners will only speak basic English. Chung King Mansions and Mirador Mansions, both on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui are famously home to a number of budget hotels and hostels. Having attracted western backpackers for decades, these guesthouses have become increasingly popular with budget travellers from mainland China. Staying at budget hotels is entirely at your own risk and you are advised to seek recommendations from other travellers. Please remember to post your own recommendations here.

Expect budget hotel rooms to be undecorated and small with only a bed (or beds), night stand, telephone and television. Noise from fellow travellers may be a problem, so invest in good earplugs. Most will have "in-suite" bathrooms while others have communal bathrooms. Upon check-in, you should ask the owner how to turn on the water boiler unless you want to shower with cold water. Some guesthouses will include free wireless Internet. Virtually all rooms will come with air-conditioning.

Bookings are not needed and some Wikitravellers have reported that bookings have not always been honoured. The best way to secure a room is simply by arriving at around 1:00pm, when many of last night's guests have just checked out. Ask to see the room before paying, and you should pay for only one night. If you're happy with the first night, the owner will almost always happily extend your stay. You should also ask if there's 24 hour unassisted entrance (which is recommended) or if you have to ring a bell at night. Credit cards aren't accepted, it's cash only. Remember to ask for a receipt with check-in and check-out dates clearly printed.

Prices generally range from $150-$250 per night for a single room with en-suite bathrooms.

  • Among those that have a long history are the Travellers Hostel, Block A, 16 Fl in Chungking and the Garden Hostel, 2Fl, Mirador Mansions[6].
  • USA Hostel Hong Kong, 58 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. (852) 2311 2523 [7]. Located in an old building, but the design is contemporary and (usually) it's clean. Ask to see the room first, or you'll get a really small one. Also don't be surprised to see the television and shower not function properly. It is right beside Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.
  • Cosmic Guest House, 12/F, Block A1, Mirador Mansion. (852) 2369 6669 [8] A clean hostel with mostly friendly staff, you can get clean dorms here for $60, or bargain for a good deal on one of the tiny private rooms with air-conditioning and cable TV.
  • Dragon Hostel, 83 Argyle St, Mong Kok (852) 2395 0577[9]. Tiny but clean rooms with aircon and free Internet at reception. Located on the 7th floor and a short walking distance from Mong Kok MTR Station.
  • Hop Inn (樸樸旅舍), 2A Hanyee Building, Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui district on Hankow Road), (852) 2881 7331 (), [10]. A clean & stylish hostel with friendly staff, one of the best in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. Each room was designed by a different local artist / illustrator (Very interesting).  edit
  • Lee Garden Guest House, 36 Cameron Road, Kowloon. Tiny but clean rooms, this hostel is in a great location in Kowloon, near the MTR station and just a few blocks from Nathan Road.
  • Hakkas Guest House, Flat l 3/f., new lucky house, 300 Nathan Road.(852) 2771 3656. This well-maintained guesthouse is home to 10 immaculate rooms and is one of the best budget deals at the Yau Ma Tei end of Nathan Rd.
  • Eaton Hotel Hong Kong [11]. This four-star hotel is located in Jordan overlooking Nathan Road and is a short-stop from the MTR station.
  • Evergreen Hotel Hong Kong,48 Woo Sung Street, Jordan. [12]. It is a reasonable hotel with clean rooms, friendly staff and good location near Jordan MTR station, Temple Street night market and Nathan Road. Special internet rates available.
  • Harbour Plaza Hong Kong [13]. Located in Hung Hom with roooms overlooking Victoria Harbour. Phone: (852) 2621 3188.
  • Hotel Benito Hong Kong, [14] 7-7B Cameron Road, Tsimshatsui. phone (852) 3653 0388, fax (852) 2369 1969. This is a new hotel (opened late 2007) with rates at around the $800 up. It has a very good location in Tsim Sha Tsui and is 2-minutes from the MTR station.
  • Novotel Kowloon Hotel (香港九龙诺富特酒店), 348 Nathan Road, (852) 3965 8888, [15]. Standard, Superior and Deluxe rooms with air-conditioning and minibars. $800 and up.  edit
  • Regal Kowloon Hotel, 71 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, (852) 2722 1818 (), [16].  edit MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit D2.
  • The Salisbury YMCA- The Salisbury is Hong Kong's main YMCA and is a well regarded hotel. All rooms have private bathrooms and some have good views of the harbour. The location, next to the Peninsula hotel and near the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station can't be beaten. Rooms start around $900 per night, making this a very popular choice with budget minded families. Other Y services (swimming pool, gym, restaurants, etc.) are available to hotel guests either free or at reasonable rates. Location: 41 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong. Phone 852-2268-7000.
  • Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Rd [17]. Hong Kong's grand old historic hotel has a commanding presence with some of Hong Kong's best bars, restaurants and luxury boutiques (and equally commanding prices starting at around $2,500 per night). Or how about the $50,000 honeymoon suite package including a helicopter tour of the city? The hotel was taken over as a military headquarter during the Japanese occupation in World War II.
  • Langham Hotel Hong Kong[18]. This hotel is an elegant European-Style Hotel located in the heart of Kowloon's busiest commercial and entertainment district - Tsim Sha Tsui, with superb designer boutiques and entertainment on its doorstep. It is just a few minutes' walk from Star Ferry and Victoria Harbour, Tsimshatsui MTR underground station.
  • Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok [19]. Newly built in 2004, this five-star technological trend setter provides an oasis of tranquility in the bustle of Mongkok, the heart of 'real' Hong Kong. Adjacent to an ultra-modern trendy shopping mall, the hotel is also a stone's throw from traditional street markets selling everything from dried sea cucumber to 'Rolex' watches. The MTR is in the basement so you can reach many of Hong Kong's best tourist sights without leaving air-conditioned comfort. Just a few blocks south is Hong Kong's unofficial red-light district along neon-lit Portland Street.
  • InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Located right on the Kowloon waterfront, this hotel offers some of the very best views of the harbour and the Hong Kong skyline.
  • Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, tel. +852 2721 2111 [20]. Accessible through East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, Exit P1. From airport to hotel: It takes 20 minutes by the Airport Express train [21]. Airport Express passengers can take the free Airport Express shuttle bus (route K4) from Kowloon Station to the hotel (duration: 15 minutes).
  • Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, + 852 2311 1234 (), [22]. 381 rooms and suites with views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon skyline, Sky Garden and outdoor pool. Guestroom amenities: work area, marble bath, wireless internet access. Regency Club Lounge for free continental breakfast, private concierge and secretarial services.  edit
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Simple English

Kowloon is one of the 3 main parts of Hong Kong. About 2 million people live there.

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