Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hipmunk City Love: Kowloon Points of Interest

Planning a visit to Hong Kong’s urban area of Kowloon? Check out these four points of interest on your vacation.

Kowloon Park

Image via Flickr by Gavin Anderson
Kowloon Park is a tranquil, peaceful spot that will wash over you, and take the stress away. The irony is that the park was originally an army fortress, but the military handed it over for public use in 1970. The Chinese Garden is the most tranquil spot. It comprises a two-tiered lotus pond linked by a rock cascade. Relax here and watch the terrapins bask in the sun. You can enjoy Kowloon Park on a rainy day, too. The sheltered walkway lets you hear the rain fall on the foliage as you take a leisurely stroll. The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is located just across the Bay, giving you a perfect spot to visit Kowloon Park over and over.

Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City was once the densest place on the planet. It was a lawless labyrinth filled with crime, grime, commerce, and hope. The city was made up of tiny houses built on top of each other, with snaking staircases connecting them underneath dangling wires. It housed 33,000 citizens in the space of only one city block. Fascinating architects all over the world, the Walled City was demolished 20 years ago.

Wong Tai Sin Temple

The Wong Tai Sin Temple is home to Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It claims to “make every wish come true upon request.” The Temple is made up of natural settings and beautifully ornamented buildings. It is as much a scenic attraction as it is a religious one. The Temple commemorates Wong Tai Sin, the famous monk of yore who was born in the 4th century and became a deity at Heng Shan (Red Pine Hill). In 1915, a Taoist priest carried a portrait of Wong Tai Sin from China to Hong Kong, and it is now housed in the Temple. Worshippers come to pray for good fortune through offerings, divine guidance, and fortune telling. The Temple is also a sanctuary to Feng Shui enthusiasts for its structures representing the five geomantic elements: the Bronze Pavilion (metal); the Archives Hall (wood); the Yuk Yik Fountain (water); the Yue Heung Shrine (fire), where the Buddha of the Lighting Lamp is worshipped; and the Earth Wall (earth).

Clock Tower Hong Kong

The Clock Tower Hong Kong is all that remains from the Kowloon-Canton Railway Terminus. It was built in 1915 and overlooked Victoria Harbor. It was the first site tourists, travelers, immigrants, and locals saw as they entered the Harbor. In 1975, the Hong Kong government moved the terminus to its present-day location in Hung Hom. The area around the Clock Tower is now a famous sightseeing and meeting point, and is often used for special occasions and decoration, particularly Chinese New Year and Christmas. The Langham, Hong Kong is nearby and can provide you an excellent view of the Tower.
These four points of interest provide you with a variety of attractions to see on your trip to Kowloon. Be sure to add them to your itinerary.