Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok

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February 2nd 2010
Published: February 2nd 2010
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Bruce Lee at the Hong Kong Walk of FameBruce Lee at the Hong Kong Walk of FameBruce Lee at the Hong Kong Walk of Fame

As we were walking to the Star Ferry, we came across Bruce Lee's statue. He is still a hero here.
Tsim Sha Tsui, pronounced "jim-saa-jeui" means Sharp, Sandy Point, is the tourist ghetto of Hong Kong. Obviously, this is probably where we will spend our time. It is full of hotels, inexpensive and seedy guesthouses, drinking and dining options, and is also a shopping destination.

Clothing and shoes tend to dominate, followed by restaurants, camera and electronic stores, and a nightlife area around Knutsford Tee and Minden Avenue. Tsimsy as the locals call it, lies at the very southern tip of the Kowloon Peninsula, south of Austin Road.

The best things to do here are: Star Ferry, Avenue of the Stars evening lightshow, High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel, the East Promenade, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. I would add to that list: dim sun almost anywhere, a cold beer, and a half day City tour. They really know how to serve beer here. It is always cold, and always in a cold mug or glass.

Nathan Road is Kowloon's main thoroughfare, named for Sir Matthew Nathan, the governor of Hong Kong from 1904 to 1907. It is a wide boulevard, lined with Banyan trees. The lower end of the Road is called the "Golden Mile".
Lunar New YearLunar New YearLunar New Year

Decorations at the ready for the Lunar New Year.
Hardly opulent as the name would imply, it is a chaotic blend of high end hotels and seedy guesthouses. Touts selling faux watches are as plentiful as cheap wine in Chile.

The Temple Night Market is the liveliest night market in Hong Kong. The famous smells and tastes, along with the bustling atmosphere make up for what could be better bargains elsewhere. Open air street food is cheap and plentiful. We are hoping to get our fair share of good, fresh, inexpensive seafood here. I also would not mind picking up some pirated CD's of a few TV series.

Also prevalent here are fortune tellers, herbalists, and free open air Cantonese opera. Street food ranges from hot noodles. fish balls, liverwurst sausage, to a full meal. Set up begins around 6pm, and shuts around 11pm. If we get really crazy, we can hit the Jade Market near Gascoigne Road, with 400 stalls selling jade.

Mong Kok is Hong Kong's most congested working class residential area, as well as its busiest shopping district. Locals buy their every day items here, like computer accessories, kitchen supplies, jeans, and tennis shoes. Seedy brothels are also found here. And lots of
The famous Peninsula Hotel lobbyThe famous Peninsula Hotel lobbyThe famous Peninsula Hotel lobby

Getting ready for high tea at the famous Peninsula Hotel at Nathan Road and Salisbury Road.
street food dominates the smells of the area.

It is a sea of humanity, much like Tokyo's Harajuku or New York City's Times Square. Every type and shape of knock off can be found here. The real Rolexes are sold just a block away on upper Nathan Road. It is true sensory overload for us boys from the country and the suburbs.

Here is the verbiage from the website:

Known as 'the paradise of shoppers', Hong Kong is famous for its fast developing economy. Visiting this modern metropolis, you could feel its vibrancy and have a good understanding of the local culture. In Hong Kong, there are many prosperous areas, and among them, Tsim Sha Tsui, located in the south of Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong, is one of the most famous.

As one sentence describes, Tsim Sha Tsui is a concentration of stores, shopping malls, restaurants and office buildings. Whenever you walk in the street, you will be confronted by heavy traffic and the crowd of citizens and tourist. But everything is very orderly.

Nathan Road is the leading road of Tsim Sha Tsui. Meanwhile, other streets radiate from there. Many international brands are grouped
Ladies MarketLadies MarketLadies Market

One extreme of Hong Kong shopping, and it is not the designer end.
in those streets. Especially, the Park Lane Shopper's Boulevard which is intended for shopping, and young people like to roam there to buy some fashionable clothes. For those tourists who like to buy cosmetics, going to the cosmetic stores in Granville Road and Harbor City will bring them more surprise.

Also you can have a full vision of the Victoria Harbor in this area, and the recommended attractions are the Avenue of Stars and Tsim Sha Tsui Beach. The Avenue of Stars was designed according to the one built in American Hollywood. The list of honored stars of Hong Long was inlaid into the surface of avenue. The Tsim Sha Tsui Beach seems more charming in the evening. Varied neon lights mingle together to make the night become another colorful world.

While the prediction is rain, I am sure we will find a nice dry spot in a mega mall or bar somewhere in this busy and fascinating city. By the way, last night, Friday night or date night, the city was teeming with young people headed out for food, bar, and nightclubs. The pedestrians seem to take over the streets. We love it!

We found a great place for lunch, a huge plate of sushi, with a hot bowl of udon (noodles) for less than $5 US. Mike tried a scone at a nearby bakery, but it was rather doughy compared to ours. It was right in the middle of the Ladies Market.

There are way too many designer stores, as we have counted at least six Cartier stores just in our neighborhood. Who buys this stuff?

We also took the MTR or subway for the first time. It is a color coded system, so we did just fine. Three stops to Mong Kok, and three stops back to Tsimsy. We are almost locals now.


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