When most people imagine Hong Kong they likely envision a mega-city, but it actually consists of 18 geographically divided districts. Kowloon is one of the largest, home to over 2 million residents, and is divided into an additional 30 odd neighborhoods. If you book a hotel in Hong Kong, chances are that you may end up in this area. For a little trip planning inspiration, here are five fun things to see and do in Kowloon.
See Cantonese Opera at the Yau Ma Tei Theatre
The Yau Ma Tei Theatre is the oldest theatre in Hong Kong, and the only one that remains from the pre-war era. Built in 1930, Yau Ma Tei has been the best place in the city to enjoy Cantonese Opera for almost 100 years. For English speakers, there are occasionally shows with English surtitles, allowing visitors without Cantonese knowledge to enjoy and understand the shows as well. You can book guided tours, view opening hours and show schedules on the Yau Ma Tei website.
Visiting Info: 6 Waterloo Road, Kowloon
Go Pumping at the Red Brick Building
Across the street from the Yau Ma Tei Theatre sits a red brick building which happens to be the oldest former pumping station in Hong Kong. The pumping station ceased operations in 1911, but many of its original features are still intact to this day. This Grade 1 historic building is well worth passing by for a picture or two.
Visiting Info: 8 Waterloo Road, Kowloon
Take the World-Famous Star Ferry
The Star Ferry, linking Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, is one of the city’s most famous attractions. National Geographic rated the ferry route as one of 50 “Best Places of a Lifetime”. Sit back on-board one of the 1920’s style ferries and enjoy sailing through the picturesque Hong Kong Harbour. You can view up-to-date ferry schedules and rates on the Star Ferry website.
Visiting Info: Star Ferry Pier, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Bargain Hunt at Chungking Mansions
If you are looking for budget hotels in Kowloon Tong, the 17-story Chungking Mansions is renowned for its budget hotels and hostels, as well as the large amounts of restaurants and shops inside. Whether you are after saris or cheap electronics, you’ll likely find it here. Chungking Mansions is also one of the best places in Hong Kong for people watching as it serves as a popular meeting place for ethnic minority groups living in the city.
Visiting Info: 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Get Spiritual at Tin Hau Temple
Tina Hau is the goddess of the sea, and many coastal communities in China with ties to the water have built temples in her honor. The odd thing about this Tin Hau Temple is that it is located in the middle of a bustling metropolis, rather than the typical location by the sea. At one point in history the temple actually sat on the waterfront but due to massive land reclamation over the years this is no longer the case.
Visiting Info: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon