Mongkok "旺角" is the busiest business district, and also has the highest density of population in Hong Kong. It is located in the middle of the peninsula of Kowloon, which is easily accessible to public transportation like the MTR trains, minibuses, airport bus (#33), or other regular air-con buses. It is also part of the Nathan Road, that walking south to Tsim Sha Tsui and north to Prince Edward, where shopping malls, restaurants, shops, hotels, are squeezed along the street. Within Mongkok, the street brunches out to other roads and small alleys with more shops within old and new apartment blocks.
Mongkok is a magnet to tourists and visitors to Kowloon. You can see people everywhere! The shops and the night markets like the lady market can be up active until 2-3am. If you have a lot of money to spend and a Shopaholic, you will never get bored with the area as you will never run out of places to shop.
Mongkok to me is like stepping into a real Hong Kong that I always have in mind. The rustic and tall apartment blocks, the crowded streets, the dig dig traffic lights, the street vendors selling snacks, sellers shouting loud to sell knock down price items, and so much going on in the streets of Mongkok. I enjoy the early morning walk down the street seeing the diary life of locals like going down to the market to buy fresh produces, minibuses drivers get ready for their first ride of the day, the old man having breakfast in his regular place, and the working class rushing to the train station, or queueing up for a bus.
If you are interested to see the typical middle class in Kowloon, this is the place to see it!
Nathan Road was named after Sir Matthew Nathan, former Hong Kong governor between 1904 until 1907.
It is the most prosperous street in Hong Kong, especially on the 3-KM stretch between Prince Edward to the most southern part of Kowloon peninsula of Tsim Sha Tsui. You can't miss Nathan Road while visiting HK. The 3-KM stretch long boulevard street will not only give you more opportunities to shop and dine, but it is the most realistic part of Hong Kong where you can see old apartment block buildings, the old street advertisement signboards, the crowd, the old red taxi, buses, cute little malls hide between streets, vendors selling snacks or fruit juices at the corner streets, money exchanges vendors, Indians sell fake Rolex watches, luxury car parks with driver park outside a goldsmith shop, subway stations, etc.
There are many attractions other than shopping along the neighborhood streets:
Near Jordan: King George V Memorial Park , Kowloon Park.
Near Tsim Sha Tsui: Comic World at Kowloon Park, HK Heritage Discovery Centre, Islamic Mosque, HK Museum Of Art, HK Cultural Centre, Avenue Of Star.
The shops and the crowd on Nathan Road especially around Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui can get busy until late, like 3 a.m.
Advertised as one of the most commercial streets of Hong Kong, Nathan Road is… one of the most commercial streets of Hong Kong! So what?
One Indian tout in each square meter, large and small shops side by side, scams menacing all around, and Fernanda still angry because I only gave her time to enter 489 of the .... stores*
* Sorry, I had no time to count them all!
Nathan Road is one of the main streets in Kownloon and runs North-South between Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok.
The street is lines with loads of shops, restaurants, and is a good place if you want some serious retail therapy.
It's a very nice way to soak up the atmophere of Kowloon as its abuzz with Tourist, Locals, Cars, Buses, and general hustle and bustle, but its a good things to experience one of the busy parts of this amazing city.
I would recomment having a nice walk along it, and experience another side of Hong Kong, and to see all the interesting shops its plays host to.
Hong Kong maybe a shoppers paradise, but nowhere is it more 'in your face' than Kowloon and the Jordan/Nathan Rds vicinity. Whereas HK Island is a miasma of glass, concrete and air-conditioned shopping plazas, Kowloon offers urban in extremis - traffic, people, pollution, overcrowding, street signs and tall but by HK standards old tower blocks all crowding you in. It's a real experience!
Nathan Road is the main road in Kowloon, Hong Kong and goes from Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok. It is famous for its shops, restaurants and tourists.
It was started in 1861 as the first road built in Kowloon after the land was ceded to Great Britain. It was originally named Robinson Road but was confused with a road of the same name on Hong Kong Island. Its name was changed to Nathan Road in 1909 after Sir Matthew Nathan, the 13th Governor of Hong Kong.
The shop signs are unique in the way that they are placed out over the road. This helps produce a wonderland of lights at night.
Real most cosmopolitan avenue in Hong Kong. Great at night when neon lights shine in most diverse, wild and flashy colors – in multiple characters and languages, immagine that… and Nathan doesn't feel sleepy. There may be lonely wanderers after midnight, groups of party people returning home, or other men… on unusual businesses, yet that's the globalized world and things are both nice and brutal to some.
When you get hungry… there will be always some shops open. If you want to dine out, evening will the busiest… as well as for shoppers. Make sure you buy wise, and don't be naive.
As we walk that road daily near our stay we learned where most likely you'll be met with men selling fake brands of otherwise 'luxurious' things. And where you'll be handed countless fliers of restaurant, saying they serve the best of their kind of food… where women will tell you to follow them and promise you to get nice real massage – and the other kind of 'massage' not worth to mention. Or countless touts to make you best suits and dresses. Well, myriad of services and things! Be wise, again. You may get yourself even in troubles. Don't let being caught in those 'tourist traps'.
But other than that, yes, Nathan road… it's like magnet, drawing masses of strangers together, feed their drive for consumption and for nice facade… it's eye catching and multicultural, highly populated and comes in all colors and hues you ask for. Your camera will love it.
Nathan Road is a main road that roads straight through the middle of Kowloon and Mongkok, from north to south. It was the first road to be built in Kowloon, in 1861, after the land was ceded to the British following the second Opium War. The road runs for about 4km (2.5 miles) from the Peninsula and Sheraton hotels on Salisbury Road past the infamous Chungking and Mirador Mansions, Kowloon Park (this first section is known as the Golden Mile) before heading on up into Mongkok. It's a real mixture of glitzy posh hotels and crumbling apartments but is lit up with non-stop neon-lit signs and is best viewed at night when walking from the nearby Temple Street Market.
Chungking Mansions, built in 1961, has been synonymous in Hong Kong for cheap accommodation, shops and curry restaurants for years. It's a 17-storey, five block, crumbling, ugly heap of a building that certainly won't win any awards for being aesthetically pleasing on the eye. But somehow it's because of all this that it endears you to visit and take a look to see just what it's like (I'll let you draw your own conclusions if you do decide to visit). It sits on near the southern end of the long Nathan Road in Kowloon, right in the heart of where everything happens in the area. Mirador Mansions, just along the road, is of a similar standard.
Nathan Road is “recognized the world over” as being a cheap shopping street in Kowloon. With shops lining both sides of the road, and side streets throbbing with crowds, I believe that you would have your work cut out for you to actually grab yourself a bargain in this part of town.
Most of the tree lines street is full of chick and trendy stores that are full expensive items. This made me feel that I could have been in any city in the world, purchasing the same name brands at inflated “tourist prices.”
The street is an interesting walk though and a great way to spend a couple of hours looking around.
Good luck, I hope you have more success than I did.
Because we were backpacking we found that the majority of the cheap accommodations were located in Kowloon. This is still a major part of Hong Kong so don't be put off. In fact I prefered to be in Kowloon - at night it's really busy, whereas Hong Kong Island is busy during the day because it is essentially the financial district, but not so much at night.
In Kowloon you will find noisy, busy streets, markets of all kinds, cheap shops, cheap accommodation, street food and plenty going on all of the time.
To get to HK Island is easy - you can take the underground of the ferry - see my transport tips for that info.
Nathan Road is the Golden Mile of Asian full of retail shops, many of which sell at below wholesale prices. You'll find everything from souvenirs to jewelry, electronics, clothing and much more. Beware however of the street hawkers asking if you want tailors or leather goods in this area. They target tourists and should be avoided at all costs. If you want a tailor there are many reputable tailors within the malls such as Harbour City and Star house. Nathan Road is a sight to see and place to shop.
When I have a little more energy I will come and write
about my 9 months stay in HK..
TST area in Kowloon is a vibrant area with Nathan Road
as it's main artery. Tourists, triads, hawkers, resident Indians
with turbans, back packers, brokers, pensioners, police, shop keepers,
office workers, civil servants, smugglers, scammers, families, babies,
house wives, grand fathers, bar workers, kitchen workers, hoteliers,
taxi drivers, teachers,
The best thing to do in HK is go shopping until your feet ache. That's what we do from the start of the morning until the evening. We just go around and look for discount stores to shop and evening markets.We also went to Shatin, HK and went to Snoopy's world.
The Nathan Road is the main commercial street of Kowloon, beginning just a few metres off Victoria Harbour. I like it best in the evening hours, when the giant billboards are illuminated and there is still so much life going on in Kowloon.