Hong Kong has been under British rule for 150 years until 1997. Although it is now a part of China, its political system, economy and social life resembles more West then China.
Although people think an ultra crowded city where futuristic skyscraper littered skyline meets neon sign filled narrow streets when they hear about Hong Kong, most of Hong Kong is rural. The area takes its name from Hong Kong Island which is not the largest part of Hong Kong but is the main interest area for visitors. Central Hong Kong is on the North West part of Hong Kong Island but majority lives on mainland in the northern area.
So, Where to stay in Hong Kong? For most tourists, Hong Kong means the north of Hong Kong Island and the south of Kowloon. Hong Kong Island is the cleanest part of Hong Kong and is also the most expensive. Impressive finance and business center of Hong Kong is here. Most high class shopping, night life and neighborhoods are also here.
Kowloon is one of the most population dense area on the planet. As you travel from south to north (towards New Territories), the city gets dirtier and worn-out. Still, it offers infinite food, shopping and culture shock opportunities as you travel inland.
When choosing accommodation in Hong Kong you need to know several things : Hong Kong is very safe (almost as safe as Singapore and Tokyo). It also has an excellent public transportation network which allows you to arrive any important place in the city easily. And Hong Kong hotels are very expensive. So based on your budget, you can get away from central Hong Kong to save money without sacrificing so much safety and convenience. Choose hotels near major subway stations or bus routes.
|Hong Kong map and major districts of Hong Kong. For many visitors, Hong Kong means the north of Hong Kong Island, and the south of Kowloon. You can find almost all Hong Kong tourist attractions in this central places. Map of Hong Kong is from Wikitravel Hong Kong Travel Guide.|
Central area is the north west of Hong Kong Island and is the place which comes to mind when you think Hong Kong. This is the main tourist attraction full of skyscrapers and shopping centers. Lan Kwai Fong (蘭桂坊) near Central MRT Station is one of the most popular night life center in Hong Kong. Soho (荷南美食區) is an area between Hollywood Road and Bonham Road-Caine Road and is a very famous entertainment district full of bars, night clubs, shops and art galleries. From here if you go to IFC Shopping Mall, you will see the escalators going uphill. Before Victoria Peak, you will find The Mid-Levels (半山區) and a little below it Sheung Wan (上環) with its colonial era buildings and shops.
Victoria Peak (太平山) is the most upper class area in Hong Kong. The view overlooking central and Victoria Harbour (see below) makes it a must visit place for every tourist to Hong Kong.
Central Hong Kong is the best place to stay in Hong Kong if you can afford it. If you plan to stay here, it saves a lot to check online room prices and find the best deals. For hotels in this area you can check Hong Kong Central Hotels pages.
|Hong Kong Skyline viewed from Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island. The place full of skyscrapers is Central Hong Kong and is the north of Hong Kong Island. The other side of the strait is Kowloon.|
The eastern region of Central area is Admirality. Towards east of Admirality lies Wan Chai, one of the most colorful areas in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre are here. The area to the west of Lockhart Road is one of the largest bar strips of Hong Kong. Once the area was exclusively Hong Kong’s Red Light District but now offers much extended range of entertainment. But you can still see “working women” from Thailand and Philippines in the area.
The tallest building in Hong Kong, Central Plaza, is also in Wan Chai. There are many shops and restaurants in the area for all budgets and tastes. It is a popular place to stay with its proximity to central Hong Kong. For hotels here visit Hong Kong Wan Chai Hotels pages.
Further east, you will find one of the most popular shopping areas in Hong Kong, Causeway Bay. Popular department stores of Seibu and Sogo are here with gigantic Times Square Shopping Mall. The largest green area in Hong Kong, Victoria Park is also here. If you have time and can wake up early, visit the park in very early morning to watch masses doing Tai Chi.
Causeway Bay is quite a popular area to stay in Hong Kong. For hotels and serviced apartments here, visit Hong Kong Causeway Bay Hotels pages.
Tsim Sha Tsui
To the north of Hong Kong Island, you can find Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost tip of Kowloon District. This area around Star Ferry Pier is one of the most popular tourist areas in Hong Kong and offers a fantastic view of skyscraper filled Central Hong Kong. Taking a photo here is a must. This area is the best place to watch Christmas light show on skyscrapers. The rooftop bars and restaurants here also offers fantastic Hong Kong view. Walk a little inside and you will find Nathan Road full of electronic, jewellery, clothing and tailor shops.
Tsim Sha Tsui is another central area to stay in Hong Kong. Visit our Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui Hotels page for details.
|View of Hong Kong from Tsim Sha Tsui|
If you are more adventurous from a typical tourist, head deep into Kowloon to see how actual Hong Kong residents live. Jordan is a microcosm of working class Hong Kong and offers countless shops, restaurants, hotels and residential buildings with authentic Far East city life. Jordon is also a place where you can find nice and cheap Hong Kong hotels. Fro here, it is still very easy to access Tsim Sha Tsui and Hong Kong Island. This makes Jordon one of the best places to stay in Hong Kong for budget conscious travellers.
Mong Kok has 130,000 people per square kilometer and is a tourist attraction in itself for those eager to experience the most populous area on the planet. Outside tourist regions, Mong Kok offers traditional shops and restaurants. The neon Chinese sign forests of the streets here are must visit.
For hotels in Jordan and Mong Kok, visit Hong Kong Jordon hotels and Mong Kok hotels pages.
|Hong Kong Mong Kok|