Our first visit to Hong Kong started with some nights in the Kowloon penisula after arriving by ferry from Macau. July is hot and humid, which we “knew” when making reservations. But the truth is, the temperatures are super exhausting and require you to take it easy, rushing around is not a good idea.
Expect tropical daily showers accompanied with thunder. The rain freshens the air, we didn’t mind getting soaked (if you do, carry an umbrella or a light weight rain coat). It is often cloudy, which is good as well – the heat is enough without direct sun.
This was our first visit to HK and as always, we wanted to find a hotel with an easy access and location near public transportation and some sights. Our home away from home, Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Tsim Sha Tsui, had exactly this very convenient location just on the corner of Nathan Road. Here is a screen shot of the Google Map we had saved at home, showing the hotel location.
Holiday Inn Golden Mile has a 3 P.M. check-in, we just left our bags for the bell desk and went for some drinks at the hotel’s Hari’s Bar before doing anything else. This bar, we noticed, is very popular in the evenings. A live band every night, a quality drinks menu and nice views to the buzzing street below.
The first day in any destination, we make sure to wander around a bit to get a better idea of our hotel’s nearby surroundings.
And Kowloon was no exeption. Where are the MRT stations and where to buy the Octopus card? What kind of restaurants & bars are within minutes walk? How to catch a taxi? Where’s a shop to buy fresh water to your room? Or the basic pharmacy products? We also wanted to find a laundry near the hotel. And we noticed our location was ideal for what ever we wanted to do.
To get a sense of Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui location opposite Hong Kong island, stroll down to the waterfront. If you go daytime, make another visit in the evening. In the evening there’s a light show 11 P.M., but the neon lights are impressive any time when sun sets.
At the time of our visit, some of the waterfront cultural landmarks were under renovation. The exhibitions of the Space Museum were closed for updating and that was somewhat dissapointing. Also the Art Museum is being remodeled, check out for details when visiting.
The iconic Avenue of the Stars opens again in 2018, it’s being repaired and improved. Until then, visit Bruce Lee and some other famous HK movie stars at the Garden of the Stars. Read more about it and get directions here. We noticed that the park offers some cool breeze from the sea, nice views and shade under the trees. A good spot for picnics.
If you only have limited time in Hong Kong, you could also fit in the Star Ferry ride for your orientation day/evening. You’ll find it’s stop near the Space Museum. This is another refreshing experience any time of the day. Use your Octopus Card if you have it or buy tokens at the pier.