While planning this second trip to Hong Kong, I realised that Kowloon is a real gem, full of amazing sights. Temples, night markets, parks, colourful buildings, and spots that offer great views – Kowloon has it all! We ended up exploring so much of it and we still did not see as much as we would have wanted to.
If you are heading to Hong Kong for a short amount of time and you want to check out Kowloon too, make sure you start your day early with temple & parks and finish with the vibrant streets and night markets. Don’t forget to take plenty of photos & enjoy the local food !
Nan Lian Garden & Chi Lin Nunnery
The Nan Lian Garden is like an oasis in the middle of the urban jungle (and not the only one in Hong Kong). This garden, designed in the Tang dynasty style, features beautiful water ponds, greenery, pagodas and bridges.
To get to the Chi Lin Nunnery, you just have to follow directions and cross a bridge. As soon as you get there, you will be welcomed by this view. The beautiful temple, designed also in the Tang dynasty style, with Kowloon’s skyscrapers in the background. Take your time and explore. Admire the architecture, the lotus ponds, and the views!
Both the garden and the nunnery are just a short walk from the Diamond Hill MTR station.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
The Wong Tai Sin temple is just an MTR station away – just get off at the Wong Tai Sin Station. The temple is said to make your wishes come true, and it’s home to three religions: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
This temple is also a must see attraction – and adding the Chinese New Year celebrations to that, you are bound to have an interesting experience. When we arrived there, we were welcomed not only by it’s beautiful architecture, but also by crowd of people coming to the temple to pay their respects. The temples was absolutely packed, and one has to follow a flow of directions so as so ensure smooth traffic.
Kowloon Walled City Park
The Kowloon Walled City Park is a must see in Kowloon if you want to learn more about its history. The park sits today on what once was the Kowloon Walled City, a reinforced city within a city. The Kowloon Walled City Part started out as a Chinese garrison since the 16th century, due to its strategic position. When China lease the territories to Britain, the troops were forced to vacate, but criminal gangs took over. It was a place where criminality flourished. But in 1987, this walled city was replaced with a park.
The park is now a beautiful place you can relax in, soak in the beautiful views, but also learn more about the city park. Make sure to check out the bronze sculpture of the Kowloon Walled City, and a cross-section on the wall next to it, for an insight about daily life.
Everybody is obsessed with going to the Victoria Peak for views, but have you ever wondered how it is from the other side? The Garden Hill behind Mei Ho House is easy to reach. You literally have to go behind the Mei Ho House and take the stairs up. While I do not enjoy stairs, I do enjoy getting amazing views on the way up. With each step and turn, you start to see more and more of beautiful Kowloon. Once you are at the top, make sure to take tons of photos and then wait for the sunset for breathtaking night views.
Mong Kok and its night markets
Coming down from the Garden Hill, it’s just a short walk until you are in the heart of Mong Kok and its night markets. We found ourselves every night in here, soaking up the neon lights, and the delicious foods. Make sure you visit the goldfish market, the Ladies market and the famous Temple street market. Buy some souvenirs and make sure to negotiate!
When it comes to food, Hong Kong does not disappoint. Check out the restaurants that are all over along the night markets and the other streets of Mong Kok. Fill your belly with dumplings, hot pots, egg tarts (also known as bubble waffles) and tons of milk tea.
Looking for more Instagrammable places in Kowloon? Then check out the Instagrammable places in Hong Kong blog post!