Our guide to the districts of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a city of two halves. Off the coast, Hong Kong Island is the shiny, modern, Westernized half; on the mainland, Kowloon is the scrappier, more “authentic”, more traditionally Chinese quarter.
These distinctions have become more and more blurred over the years, and today you’ll find grimy authenticity mixed with flashy modernity on both sides of Victoria Harbor. Nevertheless, the two halves still have their different flavors.
Kowloon is the place to browse markets brimming with birds, flowers, electronics and trinkets, to revel in Wong Kar-Wai’s old Hong Kong at Chungking Mansions, and to gaze across the bay at the skyline with a cocktail in hand. Hong Kong Island is where you’ll get to experience the city’s iconic double-decker trams, to ride the longest outdoor covered escalator in the world, and head to Victoria Peak for even more incredible views of the city below.
You could be forgiven for thinking that was it — but Hong Kong is much more than just the city. It’s actually remarkable how quickly you can go from tightly packed apartment buildings to wild surroundings that feel a million miles away — whether that’s on the Dragon’s Back Trail, the clan villages and wetlands in the New Territories, or the beach towns and pirate caves of the outlying islands. Hong Kong’s outer reaches are where the adventure really begins.
“You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.” – Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong: The City of Dreams