While Kowloon, particularly the more northern section, is often overlooked by many travellers (including ourselves – we have always stayed on Hong Kong Island) due to the popular attractions being primarily located on Hong Kong Island and near the harbour, there are some great things to do, see and eat further north.
Here are our top 5 things to do in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
1. Eat tofu pudding at Kung Wo Dou Ban Chong
This is an amazing, hole-in-the-wall style tofu restaurant in Sham Shui Po. Take Exit B2 from the Sham Shui Po metro station and walk up the market until you see the restaurant on your right hand side, behind some market stalls.
The tofu pudding is made of sweet, silken tofu and served with optional sugar toppings – a great dessert (or any meal you choose), and for just $12 (less than $2 AUD or around $1.50 USD) for a large size. You can’t go wrong!
Address: 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po
2. Climb Lion Rock
While everyone will tell you to either hike or take the tram to Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, the hike to Lion Rock is far more rewarding in terms of the view of the city.
Take a taxi to the start point, and then a short but steep trip up to the northern border of Kowloon. After about 2km of hiking, which should take about an hour, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the entire city of Hong Kong, both Kowloon and the Island, from a height of around 500m above sea level. It’s not for the faint of heart though, as there are many points where one wrong step will send you falling down the steep cliff. There are clear warning signs to avoid this.
Address: Lion Rock Peak, Kowloon
3. Eat hand-made old style bamboo noodles at Kwan Kee
Sadly, authentic locations which make their noodles on site are becoming rare in the rapidly developing and modernising city of Hong Kong. That’s what makes a place like Kwan Kee so unique and a must-do on any Kowloon itinerary. From the moment you sit down in the cozy restaurant, walking past the workers kneading the noodles on site, you’ll be made to feel at home by the friendly proprieter and warm staff.
Order the wonton bamboo noodles, and consider the crispy bamboo noodles too if you’re feeling particularly hungry, and you’ll be highly satisfied by this delicious and authentic experience. $30-60 HKD per dish or $3.90-$7.80 USD.
Address: 1 Wing Lung Street, Cheung Sha Wan
4. Visit Nan Lian Gardens and the Chi Lin nunnery
Just a couple of kilometres away from the Lion Rock trailhead, near the Diamond Hill MTR station, is one of the most picturesque man-made locations in Hong Kong. This public garden is a beautiful contrast between nature and the modern world.
Address: 60 Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng
5. Eat Baozaifan (clay pot rice) at Hing Kee at the Temple Street Night Market
Another wonderful and cheap food experience is clay pot rice, known in Chinese as baozaifan. Rice is cooked in a clay pot over a hot flame with toppings added before serving.
Hing Kee restaurant masters the art of clay pot rice, giving customers a great mix of crispy and smokey-flavoured rice, along with the toppings of your choice. While the toppings can be a little bland, the real star here is the rice itself, which is perfected by combining it with Hing Kee’s own chili sauce and soy sauce. A must-eat dish when you’re in Hong Kong, expect to pay around $40-$50 HKD ($5.20-6.50 USD, $6.40-$8 AUD).
Address: 19 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei