Hong Kong Travel Guide -> Sightseeing -> Kowloon

Kowloon (the name means "Nine Dragons") is the large peninsula on the Chinese mainland north of Hong Kong Island that became part of Hong Kong in 1860. (Hong Kong, by the way, means "Fragrant Harbour"). Most popular among tourists is Tsim Sha Tsui ("Elephant`s Trunk") on the southern tip of Kowloon. Tsim Sha Tsui is mainly known for the shopping opportunities it offers; and there are indeed many of them
Nathan Road

Famous Nathan Road

If you arrive with the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island, just walk down the gangway and you find yourself on Salisbury Road. Next to the Star Ferry Terminal steps and escalators lead up into one of the immense shopping centres of Tsim Sha Tsui, Ocean Terminal. It is a veritable shopping palace full of marble and fountains, and shops, of course. While most shops are exclusive boutiques that  sell fashion or shoes or jewellery (mostly the upmarket variety), shops with traditional Chinese herbs and medicines can also be found. The Ocean Terminal is interconnected with the Ocean Centre and Harbour City, which offer more of the same and together take up almost the whole western waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui. If you want to get back to street level out, just follow the signs to Canton Road. If you continue there and walk past Harbour City you reach the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal, where the ferries to the Chinese Mainland and to Macao leave. You can sit down in one of the departure lounges and just watch the people around you.

Nathan Road (in case you are still not tired of shopping), you walk back on Canton Road to the intersection with Haiphong Street and follow it until you reachNathan Road. Nathan Road, the Golden Mile of Kowloon, is lined with luxury hotels, lots of shops, and fast food stalls. On you way to Nathan Road you come across Kowloon Park which is a welcome change  after all the noise in the busy streets outside.


Wong Tai Sin Tempel

Main Hall of Wong Tai Sin Temple

Your next stop is the Wong Tai Sin Temple. It is easy to reach with the MTR (Hong Kong subway). The station in Tsim Sha Tsui is located directly at the intersection of Nathan Road and Haiphong Street. Take a train to Quarry Bay and exit at the Wong Tai Sin Temple (the station is named after it). Wong Tai Sin is one of the most important and most frequently visited temples of Hong Kong. Wong Tai Sin was a hermit who had healing powers and could also make predictions about the future and accordingly, a lot of fortune tellers and a big Chinese pharmacy have established their business in the temple complex. You can always see a lot of people burning incense and bring flower offerings in front of the main hall and the incense sellers in front of the temple can always count on good business.

The temple also has a nice little park, the "Good Wish Gardens"  full of plants, rocks, artificial waterfalls,etc. The garden is closed on mondays. 

Fruit Market in Yau Ma Tei

The next stop on this tour is Yau Ma Tei where you can visit a Tin HauTemple and typical Chinese shopping areas. You take at Wong Tai Sin Temple the MTR back to Tsim Sha Tsui and exit at Yau Ma Tei station (the correct exit in Yau Ma Tei is C, named "Jade Market") From station you just walk west along Waterloo Road and take the third road to the left, Shanghai Street. There are countless typically Chinese shops on both sides of Shanghai Street, that sell everything from roasted ducks or pots to devotional articles like shrines or incense. If you continue along Shanghai Street you reach Public Square Street and turn left to a temple complex. The main temple is dedicated to Tin Hau (the temple in the middle), the one to the left is the Shin Wong Temple (dedicated to the local protector, who reports good or bad behaviour to the lords of heaven and hell). After your visit to the temples the next stop on this tour is the Jade Market. From the temples you walk back to Shanghai Street and follow it south until you reach Kansu Street, the location of the Jade Market with a large number of stalls that display an enormous selection of jade; earrings and jewellery as well as animal representations, e.g. dragons, tigers, or deer (all of them are believed to bring good luck). However, among the genuine pieces are also many fakes and  if you do not really know jade and its varieties very well, you should better think twice before you buy anything expensive.

If you want to go back to Hong Kong Island, you can walk to the left, back to Nathan Road, and take the MTR.

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Last Updated 10.02.2008