Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

We took the ferry over to the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour a couple of times during our Hong Kong trip (see here). This former outpost of the Chinese mainland in colonial times is now reinventing itself as a tourist destination. It is a fascinating place to visit though not always the prettiest.

The ferry takes you across to Tsim Sha Tsui where a bustling waterfront and new arts complex greet you. We did a questionnaire for some school children out on an excursion – they were excited to practice their English with a couple from Australia! Somewhere in a Kowloon or Hong Kong classroom there must now be a picture of Monsieur and me on the wall as part of the kids’ assignment!

 

 

We wandered up one of the main streets, Canton Road, surrounded by a myriad of people, office workers – it was packed and extremely busy. The streets were lined with all the high end shops you could possibly imagine – Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel to name just a few. However the place was in a state of flux and rebuilding – cranes and orange and white road bollards were everywhere. We didn’t have to look too far to see the poorer side of Hong Kong. Tower blocks with crumbling paint and in states of disrepair dominate the skyline. We were astonished that they were still upright.

 

 

There are numerous small streets with little shops selling all manner of food, delicacies and trinkets. The best time to come though is to see the famous night markets, the Temple Street Night Markets, which are a hive of activity after dusk. I’m reliably informed they are well worth a visit but for us this will have to wait for another day though we did explore the night markets on the Hong Kong side (see here).

 

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At the end of the high street we skirted round the remains of the infamous Kowloon Walled City. Leased to the Hong Kong British Colony by the Chinese Mainland in the late 19th century it was once an infamous maze of seedy streets, opium dens, crime and prostitution. It was virtually a no-go zone and later controlled by Triad gangs in the 1950s to 70s. After much deliberation and debate it was finally demolished in 1993 and replaced with the new Kowloon Walled City Park. Beneath the skyscrapers and flyover you can just see the old walls peaking out across the road.

 

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We didn’t go into the Kowloon Park itself but found instead the King George V Memorial Park not too far away. It was like many places we found in Hong Kong – a quiet oasis away from the noise and bustle of the city streets.

 

 

Kowloon is well connected not only by the ferry but also by road and the rail network, the MTR. It does take a bit of negotiating but is a quick and efficient way to get round Hong Kong and its environs.

All in all I was glad that we decided after some debate to stay on the Hong Kong side but it is well worth taking a look round Kowloon for another perspective. The markets and the museums that are housed in Kowloon are worth taking a trip across the harbour. Next week though we’re heading off to the Maritime Museum back on Hong Kong Island – one of the highlights of our trip!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

 

11 thoughts on “Hong Kong – A Stroll Round Kowloon

  1. Coral Waight says:

    I stayed in Kowloon for 3 days in 1989. So many people, such narrow streets, pollution. I ended up hiding in the hotel and waiting to leave. I guess everywhere is a matter of personal taste. I didn’t know there were parks escape to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh sorry to hear that would have been an such an unpleasant experience. I would have felt the same – think it has been developed since then certainly the Kowloon City Park had not been built back then. However we preferred the Hong Kong side with the Peak being a pleasant place to escape to. There are quite a few other islands, which I believe are very pretty too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    How exciting to be part of a school project! I’d have enjoyed that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would have been right up your street Anabel! It was fun to be a part of their project and hopefully we answered their questions! They were delightful children, very polite and so excited to try and practice their English skills (far better than our “Chinese”)!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Choi says:

    hehe you were near my office at harbor city!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must work on the Kowloon side then? Not sure exactly where that is but we must have walked nearby!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Choi says:

        probably! its a small world afterall.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Holdinn says:

    I’d have enjoyed that. It was fun to be a part of their project

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kayrpea61 says:

    A couple of great strollers at work 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ken! It was an interesting wander round – very different from other places we’ve visited!

      Liked by 1 person

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