Hong Kong Journals

China: Hong Kong - Kowloon

A March 2001 trip to Hong Kong by kylebarber

Kowloon Photo, Hong Kong, China More Photos
Quote: The seedy and unexplored side of Hong Kong has more than enough pleasures to interest and entertain Western visitors

China: Hong Kong - Kowloon

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Kowloon Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Across the bay from Hong Kong lies the Kowloon Peninsula, home to most of the population of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. It's not as sleek and clean as the more popular tourist destination of Hong Kong Island, but Kowloon is to many people much more representative of what Hong Kong is all about. Tall buildings house both buinesses and residences in tight quarters, and visiting some of the cheap lodging options like Chungking Mansions will challenge your notions of just how spartan of accomodations you can handle. The streets below are all buzzing with activity day or night, which, once you've grown accustomed can be fun and exhilirating. For an area that was once under Briti...Read More

Utell Pearl Garden

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
I knew that Hong Kong was one of the most expensive cities in the world as far as accomodations, but I was still surprised to find no reasonable prices offered through hotel web sites and discount travel agencies. Needing a place to stay when I first arrived in this foreign city I eventually gave in to paying $89 a night at the Utell Pearl Garden hotel advertised on Travelocity. It was a large Asian chain and centrally located, so I figured it couldn''t be too bad. And in hindsight it really wasn''t such a bad hotel. Right off Nathan Road in the heart of Kowloon, it was an easy location to walk to and from many of the popular attractions in the area. But there are a few reasons I wouldn''t cho...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Utell Pearl Garden
30 Nanking Street
Hong Kong
(852) 2783-1313

Aoisen

Restaurant

Quote:
Hopefully I got the translation of the name right. This popular noodle chain has locations all over Hong Kong, and they seem to be busy day and night with eaters on the go. While you do sit at a table and are served by a waitress, the efficiency of this place matches any McDonald's in getting customers in and out the door. I had breaded chicken and thick noodles served in a simple broth. Hardly exciting Chinese cuisine, but it was one of the few things I could figure out on the Chinese only menu. With a soda my meal came to about $7 (53 Hong Kong dollars).

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Aoisen
42 Cameron
Hong Kong

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Hong Kong Museum of Art Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
This large art museum is situated right on the harbour's edge, and it's entirely possible that you're highlight from the the visit will be sitting on one of the comfortable sofas and staring across the bay at Hong Kong Island. Though I paid a mere 10 Hong Kong dollars (around $1.30) for entrance to the museum I was quite disappointed to find out after walking inside that the permanent exhibit was closed for the next half year. Why they don't tell you this before purchasing a ticket is irksome, but the few galleries that were open with travelling shows were of some interest. I saw an exhibition featuring drawings of Hong Kong and Macau that was somewhat informative on the two cities' early years....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Hong Kong Museum of Art
10 Salisbury Road
Hong Kong
+852 2734 2167

Hong Kong Space Museum

Attraction | "Hong Kong Science Museum"

Hong Kong Space Museum Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
If you can pass yourself off as a student, the Hong Kong Science Museum costs a mere 5 Hong Kong dollars (maybe 65 cents in US currency). It probably has little appeal for those who are not young students, however, and can probably be avoided unless you are toting along kids. The exhibits are not much different than what you'd have found at a science museum in the States twenty years ago. But the admission price includes some surprisingly fun virtual reality games that were intended for arcades (they still had glowing coin slots). The astronomy exhibit upstairs is not worth climbing the stairs for.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Hong Kong Space Museum
10 Salisbury Road
Hong Kong
+852 2721 0226

Nathan Road

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Nathan Road Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Maybe it's because the hotel I stayed at was located right off the street, but I imagine that I will always associate Hong Kong with Nathan Road. Walking out of the hotel my first evening in the city I was overwhelmed by just how foreign it all seemed. I think I am an adventurous traveller and have always felt comfortable jumping into new environments, but Kowloon was strikingly different than anywhere else I had previously been. Despite Hong Kong previously being a British colony, Nathan Road felt entirely unfamiliar. You can't help but notice that although there are many upscale boutique stores along the street, the apartment buildings looming above look like slums. The housing projects in N...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Nathan Road
Nathan Road
Hong Kong
+852 2807 6543 (Hong

Kowloon Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Kowloon Park Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
One of the most frustrating things about Asian cities is the thick air pollution. Thankfully Hong Kong has a number of parks that offer a respite from the haze as well as the constant buzz of car horns and Cantonese pop music. Kowloon Park is a fairly large tract of land that houses zoological exhibits, a few gardens, fountains, art displays and playground areas for children. All of the attractions are free and open during the park's operational hours. The aviary exhibits were noteworthy, and climbing up the hill near the northen edge of the park afforded me pleasant views of the surounding area. When I stopped by in the early morning the place was overrun by older folks practicing their e...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Kowloon Park
Nathan Road
Hong Kong

Quote:
A number of the guide books I read in preparation for my trip talked up how the wonders of the Temple Street Night market, but there relatively few surprises or pleasures to be had. Row after row of the exact same toys, trinkets, counterfeit compact discs, clothink knock-offs and luggage sets were presented to eager Western shoppers. Nowhere to be found were the unusual food stuffs, streetside doctors and destists, or spontaneous Chinese opera performances. While there were countless stores that I missed along the road, and I was shopping during an off-season, I was still underwhelmed by the homogenous and lackluster display of goods. The hotel staff encouraged me to try visiting the market again ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Temple Street Night Market
Temple Street
Hong Kong
+852 2807 6543 (HK T

Whampoa Plaza

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa"

Quote:
Lots of people visit Hong Kong primarily to shop, which has made the Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa a top tourist attraction. I don't get it, as there is really nothing special about this overgrown outdoor shopping mall. Situated firmly in the center is a gigantic cruise ship themed building, housing multiple stores and a well-reviewed restaurant. I checked out the prices and opted to forgo the nearly $40 prix fix lunch. Surrounding this bizarre ship are a number of satellite shopping malls, each with a merchandise theme. You have Book World, Music World, Fashion World, Sports World, etc. It didn't seem like the theme was too prevalent in determining which merchandisers were selected as tenants,...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Whampoa Plaza
Tak On Street
Hong Kong

New Wally Matt Lounge

Attraction | "New Wally Matt"

Quote:
The New Wally Matt bar may not be too exciting compared to happening gay bars I'm used to in New York City, but it was a lifesaver on my first day in Hong Kong as they provide free high speed internet access once you purchase a drink. Granted there is only one terminal for the whole place, but I arrived early and there was no one waiting for a turn. The drinks were fair in price and strong enough to merit a repeat order. But the local fellows (and it is a local bar I would gather) seemed rather unsocial and low-key. Perhaps it was my being foreign, but other bars in Hong Kong proved to have friendly, outgoing guys who were happy to strike up a conversation.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

New Wally Matt Lounge
5a Hunphrey's Avenue
Hong Kong
+852 2721 2568

New Wally Matt Lounge

Attraction | "Wally Matt"

Quote:
The atmosphere in the original Wally Matt bar is less bare bones beer stop than the New Wally Matt bar; in fact it could be argued that it's in a European cabaret style. But that didn't draw the boys into the place, and after an akward cocktail listening to Cantonese pop karaoke with four or five other fellows, I took off to search for more happening bars and clubs. It might be a good idea to ask at the New Wally Matt when is the best night to visit either location. If you do choose to visit the original Wally Matt bar, it can be a challenge to locate. Granville Street is located behind the rear of the Ramada hotel in Kowloon, so just keep walking until you see the decorated door.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

New Wally Matt Lounge
5a Hunphrey's Avenue
Hong Kong
+852 2721 2568

Bird Market

Attraction

Quote:
So many of the street markets in Kowloon seemed interchangeable, and I was disappointed that my visions of shopping in Hong Kong were completely off the mark. But I had read that the bird market was noteworthy in that many exotic species that are not so commonly viewed in the United States were on display or for sale. While the market is now more of an outdoor show and tell session for proud birdowners, there were still some beautiful creatures on display. The market would be a good place to visit with a Chinese speaker, as I kept wanting to ask questions about the birds. I had a tough time finding the place, but it is just north of the stadium across a busy intersection. If you get lost and no o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 1, 2001

Bird Market
North of the stadium in Mung Kok
Hong Kong