Situated on the mainland facing Hong Kong Island across Victoria Harbour, Kowloon represents Hong Kong’s jam-packed, slightly grittier side with highlights including night markets, museums, and shopping. The districts of Kowloon rank among the most interesting in the city, offering a glimpse at what working class Hong Kong is all about; the Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok districts are densely populated.
There are as many ways to explore Kowloon as there are things to do there. The night markets of the Kowloon Peninsula are famous for their street food, making a Cantonese food tour an appealing option for hungry travelers, and most city sightseeing tours include stops in Kowloon, including the blue route of the hop-on hop-off bus. Explore the museums of Tsim Sha Tsui, view the impressive Hong Kong skyline from the waterfront, visit old Buddhist temples, or indulge in some retail therapy in the collection of shops and businesses along Nathan Road’s Golden Mile.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A visit to Kowloon is essential for understanding Hong Kong.
- Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do quite a bit of walking.
- Demystify the tightly packed maze of streets with a guided Kowloon tour.
- It’s a good idea to carry a small umbrella, as sudden rainfall is frequent in Hong Kong.
How to Get There
Kowloon is well serviced by local transportation; several MTR lines service the neighborhood, including the red line that crosses beneath Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island. A more scenic option for getting to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island, especially for first time visitors, is to ride the Star Ferry across.
When to Get There
Kowloon looks completely different by day than at night, so try to visit during both times of day to get a complete picture. The area is famous for its night markets, particularly Temple Street in Jordan and the Ladies Market in Mong Kok.
Specialized Markets of Kowloon
Aside from the usual street markets selling clothes and souvenirs, Kowloon is home to some rather specific markets as well. The Jade Market comprises some 400 vendors selling jewelry and trinkets made from China’s beloved green stone, while the fragrant Flower Market caters to the city’s wholesale and retail flower trade. Goldfish Street does indeed sell goldfish, as well as a whole menagerie of reptiles and exotic critters.