Second of a series of entries on gateways to Asia. Click here for my take on Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Convenient for: Vietnam, the Philippines.
Strong: Great Cantonese food. Visually stunning. Livelier than Singapore but still well organized and civilized. People speak English. The connection to/from the airport is convenient and good value. Plus, the airport is really comfy if you have to wait.
Not so strong: accommodation is pricey, and when it’s reasonable it’s insanely claustrophobic.
Top-tips: Lights at 8 pm from the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon. The History museum. I hear the outdoor pool in Kowloon Park is worth it, too. So should be the views from Victoria Peak.
Where to stay: I stayed in Tsim Tsa Tsui both times. I’d say it was OK. Well connected to the airport and all major sights.
Moments: Souvenir shopping in Mong Kok. Learning about the opium wars in the History Museum. Eating dim sum in Wan Chai, the only white person around. The views in the airport bus – quite something. Walking inside the infamous Chungkin Mansions, where I had some decent Indian food.
Overall: An amazing balance between vibrant and civilized. Stay as long as you can!