Often abbreviated as TST, Tsim Sha Tsui is Kowloon's most vivid and bustling entertainment and shopping area, and one of Hong Kong's busiest districts.
It's a relatively compact area that stretches from the waterfront promenade along Victoria Harbour in the south, all the way to Austin Road in the north.
Although fairly small in size, Tsim Sha Tsui is packed with shopping and entertainment venues, as well as with tourist attractions, which means you can easily spend a couple of days here, without being able to see everything...
Naturally, the best starting point for a Tsim sha Tsui visit is at the Clock Tower, next to the Star Ferry Pier. Getting here is extremely easy: You can either use the ferry or the MTR (Drop off at MTR-Tsim sha Tsui, take exit E and continue down with Nathan Road, all the way to Salisbury Road, where you turn right and walk to the tower).
There is an outlet of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) at the Ferry Pier, where you can get information, as well as free maps and brochures.
The historical red bricks and granite Clock Tower was completed in 1915 and was part of the former Kowloon Station on the Kowloon-Canton Railway. The station was demolished in the late 1970s (and re-built in Tsim sha Tsui East) and the tower, which has been listed as a declared monument, is the only remnant of the station that remained untouched.
Rising to a height of 44 metres, the tower has become one of Tsim sha Tsui's most prominent landmark.
Almost engulfing the Clock Tower, the excellentHong Kong Cultural Centreis housed in what can be described as one of the waterfront's worst architectural misses: a soulless monolith, clad with pinkish washroom tiles... The building, however, does not necessarily reflect the qualities of its tenant... The impressive 2019 seats Concert Hall, together with the Grand Theatre and the Studio Theatre are hosting plenty of world-class performances and cultural events, and it's definitely recommended to visit their website and see what is on at the time of your visit.
You can also visit the centre during the day, especially if you want to see their impressive pipes-organ (the largest of its kind in Asia). Open daily, 9 am - 11 pm
For more information about the centre and its programme-calendar, visit their website, or give them a call on: 2734 9009 (booking / reservation).
Next in line, just at the back of the Cultural Centre, facing the waterfront, is the Hong Kong Museum of Art. This excellent museum is themed around Chinese art, both historical and contemporary, and its galleries showcase thousands of beautiful exhibits...
Ancient Chinese treasures from the Neolithic era, via the time of the famous Chinese dynasties, to present day, including a wide plethora of sculptures and artifacts made of jade, gold, gemstones, wood and what not... Chinese calligraphy and painting are also getting special attention here, and so does Hong Kong's modern art.
The Museum of Art is open daily (except Thursdays), 10 am - 6 pm (on Saturdays, it stays open until 8 pm).
Tickets cost HK$ 10 for an adult and HK$ 5 for a senior (on Wednesdays entrance is free).
For more information, visit their websiteor call them on 2721 0116
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Feel like flying a spaceship? Hop into the cockpit at the Hong Kong Space Museum...
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Right next to the Museum of Art and the Cultural Centre,Hong Kong Space Museum, with its egg-shaped dome, boasts one of the world's best planetariums, alongside some extremely interesting space-science exhibitions. In the museum's two halls, namely the Hall of Space Science and the Hall of Astronomy, you can learn a lot of stuff about the universe around us... Mainly through interactive displays and touch screens that make the educational experience more engaging...
At the Stanley Ho Space Theatre, beneath the egg-shaped dome, they present the fantastic planetarium-shows, with images taken from the mighty Hubble Space Telescope.
The Space Museum is open daily (except Tuesday), 1 pm - 9 pm (Monday - Friday) and 10 am - 9 pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays).
Tickets cost HK$ 10 for an adult and HK$ 5 for a senior (on Wednesdays entrance is free - Not including the "sky show")
To revive the splendor and charm of bygone colonial days in the Far East, opt for the English Style High Tea at the swanky Peninsula Hotel...
Across the street, on the other side of Salisbury Road, The classy Peninsula Hotel is where the rich and famous stay, while in Hong Kong... Alongside the Raffles in Singapore, the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Savoy in London, the Peninsula is considered as one of the world's most classic hotels and has long become one of Hong Kong's most prominent icons.
The famous hotel, which opened in 1928, was founded by members of the Jewish Kadoorie family, with the idea that it would be "the finest hotel east of the Suez Canal".
From the moment the hotel opened its doors to the first guest, the Peninsula name has been synonymous with welcoming the rich, the famous, the titled and the titans of industry to a place of unsurpassed luxury and service. The hotel is also distinguished by its fleet of signature Rolls-Royces, which can be rented by guests. These cars are painted in a distinctive shade of green, known as the "Peninsula green".
Even if you don't plan to spend the kind of money it takes to stay here, the impressive hotel is certainly worth a visit... The elegant lobby revives the splendorous charm of bygone colonial days, and is one of Hong Kong's most highly valued meeting places...
A drink at the Felix is also a Hong Kong must-do. Occupying the hotel's top floors, this uber-stylish resto-bar is an excellent spot to see and to be seen... with stunning décor created by internationally known avant-garde designer, Philippe Starck, and floor-to-ceiling glass wall that offers unmatched views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island.
The Avenue of Stars, right on Victoria Harbour's waterfront, between Hong Kong Museum of Art and the InterContinental, is Hong Kong's answer to Hollywood Walk of Fame and boasts floor plaques of celebrities of the city's thriving film industry, including legends like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. It is also one of the best places to watch the "Symphony of Lights" from.
The "Symphony of Lights"is a nightly orchestrated light, sound and laser show featured on 37 key buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbour.
It has been awarded the world's "Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" by Guinness World Records. This spectacle is staged every night at 8:00 pm and, as already mentioned, one of the best places to see it from is the Avenue of stars and the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Another recommended vantage point is the promenade at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island.
Use the underpass to cross Salisbury Road (from SOGO), turn right, pass near the Sheraton and you will almost immediately see, on your left, a flight of stairs that leads to Signal Hill Garden (also known as Blackhead Point):A small public garden where you can see the historical Signal Hill Tower. Erected in 1908, this Edwardian style tower served as the time-ball-tower of the nearby Hong Kong Observatory. The garden was temporarily closed at the time of writing this website, because of some public works. (But it should be re-opened by the time you visit).
From Salisbury Road, turn left to Chatham Road South. You will need to get to the right side of Chatham, so use the pedestrians bridge/rooftop piazza, walk down near the corner of Mody Road and continue walking along Chatham Road South for a few minutes, until you see the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Historyon your right.
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Hong Kong Science Museumcomprises 16 galleries, with hundreds of exciting exhibits that cover almost every aspect of science and technology:Light, sound, motion, electricity & magnetism... you name it... Most exhibits are interactive, which makes the visit to the museum very interesting, especially for the young ones.
The museum's "jewel in the crown" is its colossal Energy Machine, a 22 meters high twin-tower machine (the biggest of its kind in the world) which occupies most of the museum's inner space and demonstrates how the potential energy of a dropped ball converts into other forms of energy throughout the track.
The Science Museum is open daily (except Thursdays), 1 pm - 9 pm (on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, 10 am - 9 pm).
Tickets cost HK$ 25 for an adult and HK$ 12.5 for a senior (on Wednesdays entrance is free)
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A visit totheHong Kong Museum of History, next door, is really recommended for those of you who have some interest in history and archaeology, as well as for those who want to know a bit more about the history of this part of the world...
Eight tastefully designed galleries tell "the story of Hong Kong"... From the geological changes that took place hundreds of millions of years ago, through prehistoric eras, notable historical events and until present day.
The museum is fairly rich, with plenty of archaeological exhibits, old paraphernalia and costumes, as well as interactive exhibits, touch screens, interesting documentaries and so on... Try to allow at least 2 hours for the visit.
The Museum of History is open daily (except Tuesdays and on the first two days of the Chinese New Year ): 10am - 6pm (Till 7pm on Sundays and public holidays).
Tickets cost HK$ 10 for an adult and HK$ 5 for a senior (on Wednesdays entrance is free)
TheHong Kong Observatoryis just a few minutes walk from the museums: cross Chatham Road to the other side with the pedestrian bridge, turn left to Observatory Road (a few meters from the bridge) and walk along it till you get there.
The "Symphony of Lights", Hong Kong's world-famous nightly spectacle, is well worth watching.
Established in 1883, the observatory doesn't have much to offer to tourists,other than to see the classic-colonial building in which it dwells, with its arches and long corridors.
Just before reaching the observatory, you can turn left to Knutsford Terrace, a small terrace street, packed with bars, pubs and restaurants (and a good place for lunch or a coffee break). The street is strictly for pedestrians and so, instead of vehicles, it is full of tables and chairs for the restaurants.
You can also access the Terrace from Nathan Road: turn right to Kimberley Road and left to Knutsford Terrace (There's a short ascent, approximately opposite Carnarvon Road).
From Knutsford Terrace, walk along Kimberley Road to Nathan Road.
If you turn right and walk a few steps up Nathan Road, you can visit two interesting historic buildings: Namely St. Andrew's Church and The Former Kowloon British School (on 136 and 138 Nathan Road). Built in the early 1900s, those impressive structures are built of red bricks and feature fine Victorian and Gothic architectural styles....
Cross Nathan Road to the other side and you are in Kowloon Park: An island of sanity and serenity right in the middle of Tsim sha Tsui's never-ending shopping madness. The park is not humongous in terms of size, but it has so many lovely attractions and beautifully landscaped corners... From the Aviary and the Bird-lake, to the magnificent Chinese Garden, the Sculptures walk, the Rose garden, the Tree walk and what not...
Also within the park, the historic 1910 buildings of the former Whitfield Barracks (which occupied this area before the park came about) are now housing the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, a small museum dedicated to Hong Kong's cultural heritage (admission is free - phone: 2208 4400).
A Kung Fu Corner is set up every Sunday, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm (at the Sculpture Walk), providing free demonstration of lion/dragon dance and different disciplines of martial arts.
From the park's Bird-Lake and the Viewing Cone you can take the footbridge to China HK City: An immensecommercial complex that includes a shopping centre, office buildings, a hotel and a ferry terminal,providing ferry services to destinations in Mainland China and Macau.
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Harbour City, right next toChina HK City,is a huge shopping mall and entertainment complex, comprising four parts:Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Ocean Terminal, Ocean Centre (with 1980s retro decor), and the Gateway.
The mall boasts more than 700 shops of different types and styles, from branded boutiques, such as Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Polo,Ralph Lauren, Versace, Burberry and Hugo Boss to prestigious department stores, such as Lane Crawford and supermarkets, like City Super.
There are two cinemas at both ends of the mall, namely the Grand Ocean and the Grand Gateway.
The 3rd floor of Ocean Terminal was converted in the early 2000s into LCX: A collection of retailers targeted at the younger generation.
Other than that, there is a great choice of restaurants, cafés and food outlets.
Harbor City is open daily, from 10 am to 9 pm.
To get there: You can either take exit A-1 of MTR-Tsim sha Tsui (towards the mosque) and walk along Haiphong Road, or take exit E towards Kowloon Hotel and proceed along Peking Road. It is also a short walking distance from the Star Ferry Pier, next to the clock tower.
At the bottom of Canton Road, right opposite Star Ferry Pier, the impressive Victorian buildings of the former Marine Police Headquarters were beautifully converted into a stylish shopping and entertainment centre, called "1881 heritage" (after the year at which this historical compound was built). The centre is really worth a visit... If not for the swanky shops, then at least for the great photo ops (if you like architectural shots, go for it).
Sky100, Hong Kong highest man-made observation deck, overlooks the city from the 100th floor of Hong Kong's highest skyscraper, International Commerce Centre, 393m above sea level, and gives tough competition to Victoria Peak(The upper terminus of the famous "Peak Tram" and the observation decks are also perched 400m above sea level, more or less...)
Bullet elevators take you in just 60 seconds from the 2nd floor to the 100th floor, where you can get stunning 360o panoramic views of most of the metropolis, and enjoy a whole range of other activities, such as a multimedia tour of Hong Kong's history and culture (including 3D projections and touch screens which show you interesting stuff about HK's history), Audio-visual guided tour devices, with commentaries in several languages, and cutting-edge telescopes which can re-create day and night views and fireworks scenes with special effects…
At the time of writing, the observation deck is opened daily, 10am – 10pm (last entry at 9pm) and ticket costs HK$ 150 for an adult, or HK$ 105 for a child (3-12) / senior (HK$ 125 / 90 respectively if you order online, which is advisable anyway, because it saves you the hassle of standing in the sometimes long queue lines), and there is also a "family combo ticket" which is even cheaper .
Getting there: The entrance to the lifts is from the Elements Shopping Mall, 2nd floor (Metal Zone, near the escalators): The mall is directly connected to MTR Kowloon Station, along the orange marked Tung Chung Line (Exit C).
If coming from Tsim sha Tsui: take the MTR from East Tsim sha Tsui station to Austin (one station away), exit through D-2, turn left and immediately right, to Austin Road West, and walk for something like five minutes, till you see the vividly painted Elements Mall on your right.
100/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Customer Hotline: (852) 2613 3888