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Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong  I © Kraipitch T/Shutterstock
Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong I © Kraipitch T/Shutterstock
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The Top 10 Things To Do In Kowloon, Hong Kong

Picture of Wing Yan Chan
Updated: 9 February 2017
Hong Kong offers far more than just splendid nocturnal panoramas and shopping. Aside from the usual tourist activities, visitors are often amazed by the curious cultural blend of both the Chinese and the British. This is a place where exotic Oriental temples and chilled-out bars rub shoulders, all beneath shimmering skyscrapers and super malls, not to mention unspoiled countryside and interesting local spots to boot!

Visit Wong Tai Sin Temple

Dedicated to Wong Tai Sin (Great Immortal Wong), Wong Tai Sin Temple is home to three leading Chinese religions: Buddhism; Taoism, and Confucianism. Icons of gods from the three faiths are worshipped here, including Guanyin (Bodhisattva of Compassion) from Buddhism, Yu Di, the most superior God in Taoism, and Confucius himself. Known to make every wish come true, Wong Tai Sin Temple receives crowds of visitors every day and worshippers who pray here can learn their fortune via a process called Kau Kim, in which they shake a bamboo cylinder, receive written wisdom and consult a soothsayer. Why not head in and try your luck?

Sik Sik Yuen temple (also called Wong Tai Sin temple) in Hong Kong is home to three religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism I © Vincent St. Thomas/Shutterstock
Sik Sik Yuen temple (also called Wong Tai Sin temple) in Hong Kong is home to three religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism I | © Vincent St. Thomas/Shutterstock

Try Street Food in Mong Kok

Nestled in the most densely populated district of Hong Kong, Mong Kok offers a wide range of street food at wallet-friendly prices. The top choice is deep-fried, sticky tofu, famed for its pungent odor that spreads for miles (still, the crunchy skin and tender fillings are easy to get addicted to). Other popular options include curry fish balls, deep-fried pig intestines and sweet egg tart. If you get thirsty after having street food, give bubble tea (also named pearl milk tea) a try. It is the most popular drink among locals and goes down fantastically well with chewy tapioca balls.

Meeting Macaques in Kam Shan Country Park

Many perceive Hong Kong as a metropolis with skyscrapers scattering all around, but this super-city is also an ideal place for hiking, with 70% of its area being unspoiled countryside. Located in the north of Kowloon, Kam Shan (also named monkey hill) is famous not only because of its picturesque scenery but also because of the vast number of macaques living there. Take the 1.5 hour walk to its top, during which you can see monkeys everywhere and a wide variety of flora, since exotic species were introduced to the park some decades ago.

Two wild monkey (Rhesus Macaque) in Kam Shan Country Park, Kowloon, Hong Kong | © Yevgen Sundikov/Shutterstock
Two wild monkey (Rhesus Macaque) in Kam Shan Country Park, Kowloon, Hong Kong | © Yevgen Sundikov/Shutterstock

Fine Dining in Central

With three out of the five three-star Michelin restaurants in Hong Kong located in Kowloon’s Central district, surely no food lover can resist paying a visit? Head to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, oozing with Francophone sophistication; Lung King Heen, well known for traditional Chinese dishes; or 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, with its refined Italian food. And if that’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry: there are oodles of other hotels and fine dining restaurants in Central to choose from!

Visit Museums in Tsim Sha Tsui

The Star Avenue is a popular spot for visitors, but it’s a pity only a few travellers know about the museums just a few miles away. The Hong Kong Science Museum, Space Museum, History Museum and Art Museum are all located in Tsim Sha Tsui. Those looking for excitement should opt for the Space Museum or Science Museum; loaded as they are with interactive games and exhibitions. Meanwhile, the Art Museum and History Museum never disappoint culture buffs.

he Hong Kong Space Museum is a museum of astronomy and space science in Tsim Sha Tsui | © e X p o s e/Shutterstock
he Hong Kong Space Museum is a museum of astronomy and space science in Tsim Sha Tsui | © e X p o s e/Shutterstock

Taste Local Life in Sham Shui Po

Travellers can find traditional Chinese pawn shops concealed in old buildings following Lingnan architecture everywhere in Sham Shui Po; a fascinating insight into an age-old Hong Kong institution. Don’t miss the chance to take a look at the Sham Shui Po Wet Market either, where traditional foods like salty fish, country egg and dried shrimp burst from the stalls. Then, visit Apliu Street Flea Market to get some second hand electronic appliances and even some antique ornaments, if you’re lucky enough.

Drink in Tsim Sha Tsui East

All the best bars and clubs in Kowloon are concentrated in Tsim Sha Tsui East. Each bar and club has its own unique features and theme: Some are decorated as Shanghai in the 80s, some boast live band performances, while others offer amazing views of the Hong Kong skyline at night. Enjoying panoramas of the Victoria Harbor while having shisha and spirits with friends in a quirky environment like this is one of the most popular activities in the area!

Travel Across Victoria Harbor by Star Ferry

After exploring Tsim Sha Tsui for the whole day, why not take the Star Ferry to continue your journey in Central Hong Kong and get some seriously jaw-dropping views of the Kowloon city skyline? It costs less than 1 USD for the crossing, which takes around just 10 minutes. You can walk freely on the ferry and get some fantastic photographs of Hong Kong along the way.

Star Ferry | © Daniel Fung/Shutterstock
Star Ferry | © Daniel Fung/Shutterstock

Buy Souvenirs in Ladies Market

Many may know nothing about Tung Choi Street, but its nickname, Ladies Market, is known by most all travellers to Hong Kong. Situated in Mong Kok, Ladies Market can be easily accessed via underground railway. It’s hugely popular for its cheap prices and wide variety of goods, ranging from Chinese ornaments, to iPhone cases, fake handbags and even sex toys. This makes it a great place for a good old haggle and perfect for picking up the souvenirs.

Ladies Market |© MosayMay/Shutterstock
Ladies Market | © MosayMay/Shutterstock

Have Your Future Told in Temple Street

While fortune telling in the Western world is done by crystal ball and tarot, the Chinese way is palm reading and face reading. The Chinese believe that a person’s character and future are determined from birth, and fates can be told by reading lines on hands and features. Head down to Temple Street to get your destiny read by the soothsayers there, who often have parrots handy as side-kicks, or maybe a turtle, who knows?