The walled city of Kowloon is often romanticized by Western tourists because of its mysterious essence. Loosely translated into "nine dragons," the region is crowded and hectic, but the residents are friendly and the area has numerous must-see places that are sure to make your trip to Hong Kong feel complete.
The historic Shanghai Street starts at the north side of Kowloon Park and runs to Prince Edward Road. The best way to see everything in this area is on foot. As you stroll along, you will have the chance to explore numerous shops lining the street. Many of the stores have been owned by the same family for centuries and sell everything from regional teas to medicinal herbs.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel is located adjacent to the Causeway Bridge, not too far from Shanghai Street.
Sham Shui Po
The district of Sham Shui Po is a bargain shopper's paradise. The flea markets that line Apliu Street and Pei Ho Street are a goldmine of second-hand items such as cameras, clothing, toys and kitchen items. You never know what you will find at the numerous stands. Be prepared to spend a few hours shopping and haggling over the prices.
The Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel is close to the Sham Shui Po Market and approximately 35 minutes from Central.
Temple Street Night Market
When the sun starts to set, the Temple Street Night Market comes alive. The entire region is bedecked in lights and music plays from every corner. You will find a wide assortment of items and crafts for sale. Haggling is welcome, and even encouraged, so don't be afraid to offer a lower price for any item that catches your fancy.
The Eaton Hong Kong Hotel is located within walking distance to the Temple Street Night Market. The hotel has a fitness center and rooftop pool for you to relax in after a day of walking and shopping.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
Three religions converge at the Wong Tai Sin Temple: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The area is crowded, but definitely worth a visit. Have your fortune told, take a picture of the famous lion statue on the grounds and purchase a variety of incense at the temple.
Within the heart of Kowloon are numerous hotels, but if you are staying outside of the Walled City of Kowloon at a hotel in Hong Kong, ask the hotel's concierge to advise you on the best method of transportation to reach Kowloon. Some hotels are located within walking distance, but others can arrange a car and driver for transportation.
Kowloon is a place that offers a taste of the real, everyday Hong Kong and its burgeoning population. Exploring the area gives you the chance to see what everyday life is like for the city's residents.