he Star Ferry goes between Hong Kong and Kowloon. The ride is incredibly atmospheric, and if you go to Hong Kong, you have to do it. It is also ridiculously cheap, and caters to all budgets, as although I can't remember the exact price, it must be approx $0.50 US. The upstairs is fractionally more expensive than downstairs, and you get better views. The journey itself must take between 5-10 minutes.
A trip to Hongkong is not complete without a visit to Victoria Peak.
Victoria Peak is a good location to view HK's magnificent night scene. Being 554 meters (about 1,817.6 feet) above sea level, The Peak (what it's called now) is the highest point within Hong Kong and occupies the western part of the island. Marvel at magnificent architectural structures around the island through this place!
To reach this very high part of HK,tourists can take the Peak Tram, a pleasant ride ascending the mountain. The tram has been in operation for over one hundred years, and to date, no accidents have ever occurred. Your journey aboard the tram will take eight minutes and upon reaching the summit you will see a seven storied building in the shape of a ship.
This is the Peak Tower in which there are several attractions namely, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium ( I got a separate page for this), and the Peak Explorer Motion Simulator.
As always, there are restaurants, shops for souvenirs and usual amenities.
You must walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade at night when all the lights on the tall buildings across the harbor are turned on for a spectacular free show.
The best time to see this wonderful view is during Christmas and Chinese New Year when even more lights are added to put Hong Kong residents and tourists alike in a festive mood.
Start at TST East near the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel and walk west toward the Star Ferry Terminal for a long stroll. If you just arrived in Hong Kong and want a quick glance at what you've travelled so far to see, then simply go through the New World Centre and begin from there toward the Star Ferry Terminal.
UPDATE: An even better free show starts at 20:00 as the Symphony of Lights decorates both sides of the harbor with laser beams and colored lights. The best vantage point for this performance is next to Bruce Lee's statue at the Promenade's Avenue of Stars near the New World Centre.
This large and busy Taoist temple in the Wong Tai Sin district of New Kowloon, is dedicated to the Great Immortal Wong who lived in the 4th century A.D. Wong Tai Sin is regarded as the bringer of good luck and a healer of illnesses via a practice called Kau Cim where prayers are answered in the form of fortune telling Chi Chi Sticks. 100 sticks are placed in a bamboo cylindrical cup and the querent thinks silently or whispers it to the deity about their question. The shaking of the cylinder results in at least one stick leaving the cylinder and being dropped onto the floor. Each stick, with its designated number, represents one answer via an answer paper. The writing on the piece of paper will provide an answer to the question.
Yau Mau Tei Jade Hawker Bazaar opens daily from 0900 to 1800hrs. It is near Gascoigne Road overpass just west of Nathan Road and split into two parts by the loop formed by Battery Street, has some 400 stalls selling all varieties and grades of jade from inside two covered markets.
There are top grade to cheap glass trinkets. Genuine jade can range in colour from a milky white to a deep translucent green. Fault lines or specks lower the value and the best stones are uniform in colour and cool to the touch. Jade has many imitations so, unless you are an expert, do not worry about intrinsic worth and stick to pieces which you like for their decorative value.
Be prepared to bargain hard and compare prices or unless you really know your nephrite from your jadeite, it is probably not wise to buy any expensive pieces here.
Thousands of songbirds are displayed in intricately fashioned bamboo or elaborate wooden cages (which are also for sale and make great souvenirs) from some 70 stalls. The birds are valued not so much for their appearance but for their singing abilities. The bird garden opens daily from 0700 to 2000hrs.
This market is a wonderful place to visit, if only to marvel at how the Hong Kong Chinese (especially men) fuss and fawn over their feathered friends. The Chinese have long favoured songbirds as pets. You often see local men walking around airing their birds and feeding them tasty creepy-crawlies with chopsticks. Some birds are also considered harbingers of good fortune, which is why you will see some people carrying them to the racetrack.
If you want up-to-date tourist information of Hong Kong and Kowloon, I suggest that you visit the official tourism website at http://www.tourism.gov.hk/english/visitors/visitors.html
With modern internet technology, it is possible to see day-to-day photos of Hong Kong and Kowloon via webcams so that you will know what the weather is like. For the webcams in Hong Kong and Kowloon, you can visit the webpage stated below.
If you find that you are needing a bit of peace from all of the hustle and bustle in Hong Kong, try heading for Kowloon Park. It's conveniently situated between Canton Road and Nathan Road, and is surprisingly large and goes on a lot further than you expect.
There's a lake with birds swimming around on it, an aviary an a totem pole. You can also see people practising their yoga - the early morning seems best for this.
OK, so this is a blatant rip-off of Hollywood, and unless you are Chinese, you will probably not of heard of most of the names on the stars (Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan being exceptions), but it is a good place to people watch and see the locals. They seem to get quite excited by a lot of them.
wong tai shin temple is the oldest and the biggest taoism temple in kowloon tong. it's nice to be here watching pilgrimage and enjoy the wood carving with interiors that dominated by red and gold colours.
This is really four temples in one. Tin Hau is worshipped in the large temple behind the main entrance, with spirals of incense suspended from the ceiling, an ornate altar with golden effigies and fanciful Chinese lanterns. Fortune tellers ply their ancient trade at the south end of the complex. Old men play cards and board games in the park outside.
If you happen to wake up early in the morning and wonder what to do, head down to Yin Chong Street Market and experience what the locals do for their daily marketing.
You will find all kinds of food and fruits available for sale, from dried food to fresh ones. My mum bought quite a bit of salted vegetables back because she found them cheap and nice to eat.
This is the place for cheap food and fruits!
It was built on the site of a barrack for Indian soldiers in the colonial army, Kowloon Park is an oasis of greenery and a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of Tsim Sha Tsui. Pathways and walls crisscross the grass, birds hop around in cages, towers and ancient banyan trees dot the landscape.
There is an aviary, opens from 0630 to 1845hrs (March to October), 0630 to 1745hrs (November to February) and a Chinese Garden and Sculphuere Walk, featuring works by local artists.
Kung Fu Corner, a display of traditional Chinese martial arts, takes place here from 1430 to 1630hrs on Sunday.
The renovated Kowloon Park Swimming Complex opens from 0630 to 2200hrs with 1 hour close at noon and 1700hrs (April to October), indoor 0630 to 2130hrs with 1 hour close at noon and 1700hrs (November to March) is complete with four pools and waterfalls.
Try to visit on a weekday because on weekends, there are so many bathers and it is difficult to find the water.
The Chi Lin Nunnery is a Buddhist nunnery in Diamond Hill, New Kowloon and located in amongst several high-rise apartments blocks. But that doesn't spoil the beauty of it as it is exceptionally beautiful with courtyards containing lotus ponds full of Choy carp whilst the complex buildings have been built out of wood in the style of Tang architecture (AD618-907) without the use of a single nail. A gem of Chinese monastic architecture, it has 16 Buddhist halls, a Zen-style rock garden and a magnificent Ten Thousand Buddha’s Pagoda. The nunnery was founded in the 1930s and a massive renovation was undertaken in the 1980s. It's a wonderful peaceful place to visit and one of my favourite places to visit whilst I was in Hong Kong. Opposite is a lovely garden that was opened in 2006.
Open: 7am-5pm Thur-Tue.
The Chungking Mansions feel seedy. Even when you are walking on the other side of the street and look across Nathan Road at them they look seedy. If you cross the road and go into the market area underneath you will be hassled by all sorts of dodgy looking people trying to seel you tailor made suits, accommodation, or other things altogether more sordid and possibly illegal.
When you are around this area watch your possessions with great care. The area is worth seeing but hide all valuables away and make sure they can't easily be pickpocketed.
I wouldn't recommend you stay in either (the House is supposedly better than the Mansions) unless you are on an extremely tight budget, or want to boast of having stayed there. The only thing going for them other than the price is the location. They are extremely close to the Harbour in Kowloon.