When people picture Hong Kong, it’s Yau Tsim Mong that often comes to mind. This is where you’ll find neon-drenched streets, packed night markets and an endless amount of shopping. It’s also one of the oldest and most diverse parts of Hong Kong, with some surprising historic attractions in between the shopping malls.
Named for its three main neighbourhoods, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok, Yau Tsim Mong is among the densest places in the world, with 343,000 people crammed into just 6.5 square kilometres. But that wasn’t always the case. The Kowloon Peninsula was home to a few small fishing and farming communities when it was ceded to Britain in 1860.
These days, things couldn’t be more different. While other parts of Hong Kong nod off early, Yau Tsim Mong sleeps late, with the Temple Street Night Market and hundreds of bars and restaurants open well after midnight. New hotels and shopping malls are transforming the landscape in every corner of the district. Even the land itself has changed, with the shoreline extended for projects like the West Kowloon Cultural District and the vast shopping, office and entertainment complex above Kowloon Station.
It’s a district that encapsulates all the extremes of Hong Kong. Chanel and Gucci sit just a few hundred metres from a market selling halal meat and noodle soups. Tourists on a shopping spree wheel suitcases full of cosmetics and fashion past streetside stalls selling kitschy souvenirs. You can buy high, low and everything in between.
With a huge number of hotels, many visitors to Hong Kong find themselves staying in Yau Tsim Mong, and it’s a place that leaves a deep impression. It’s loud, crowded and sometimes chaotic — but always exciting.
Eat spicy crab, claypot rice and shop for souvenirs at the Temple Street Night Market.
Shop at Macha in Mong Kok, one of a new generation of market stalls in the area.
Chat with a parrot at the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden.
Watch the sunset from the new observation decks at Ocean Terminal.
Hunt for vintage collectibles at In’s Point in Mong Kok.
Take in the world’s most amazing skyline from an al fresco bar in iSquare or in The ONE.
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