Hong Kong is an amazing city. Downtown is clean, busy, and full of life and greenery. Kowloon on the other hand has more of an old city feel, with a little bit of rubbish, hundreds of constantly dripping AC units from towering bland/uniform apartment buildings, and pop up markets in alleyways. The whole city is a clash of elite and extreme poor, I saw my first Tesla in person being driven down the street before seeing several more (as well as a few cars by Ferrari and Porsche), before I turn the next corner to see crying squatters sobbing in the metro terminal.
Pedestrian walkways are extensive and go above traffic, below it, around buildings and through them. Skyscrapers can block out the sky in some sections and at night the whole city lights up like a bizarre county fair. The food is great, but hunting for an affordable hole-in-the-wall can be quite a challenge. On weekend nights live music echos down the streets and lost expats sell handmade trinkets on corners or ask for donations to their world travels.
- Local bakeries offer some great food for 2 or 3 USD (15 to 22 HKD)
- Use the buses over the MTR for cheaper transport, and if crossing Victoria Bay take the Star Ferry for 4 HKD (Nat Geo Top 50 Must Do Things in a Lifetime)
- Go to the the Peak, take the bus up for some great views and then the tram down (the steepest trolley in the world)
- Take the old street cars for just 2 HKD and enjoy a slow but great way to see all of the city for cheap
- One of the highest bars in the world, Ozone, is located in Kowloon (see the building top left in the above photo)
- Use Airbnb to book a closest sized apartment in Kowloon for $15-$20/night
- The second largest sitting Buddha lies at the end of the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car or a several mile hike ($30/person glass floor, $20 regular though prices change and there are sometimes deals), the trip is worth the splurge
- Visible from the air or the cable car is the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, with a several km range that goes entirely underwater so that ships can pass
- Skip the World’s Longest Covered Escalator, it is just multiple escalators end to end with not much to see along the way
- Hong Kong has some great sushi, rocky road ice cream soda floats, and snickers w/ extra cacao that are way better then a standard snickers. Visit one of the cafeteria style restaurants for cheap food with variety