The Peak, from Kowloon
Kowloon peninsula is the southern tip of the mainland in Hong Kong, jutting out into Victoria Harbour it houses some of the most built up places in the world, including Mongkok, as well as the shoppers paradise of the "Golden Mile" on Nathan Road.
Whether you are staying in a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East, visiting the museums, looking for details in street markets. Or simply come to explore the other-side of the harbour, every visitor to Hong Kong will spend some time in Kowloon.
Today the area seems very flat, but it is actually named after the 8 hills in the district. According to ledged a young prince said that there should be eight dragons, one for each hill, but his tutor corrected him and said 9 dragons as the prince was himself a dragon. Hence the area became known as Nine Dragons, or in the local languages "Gou Lung" which became corrupted to "Kowloon".
Bisected by the north-south avenue of Nathan Road the district is large, wide, and varied. Some areas are residential, others are commercial, many are mixed and the budget ranges from the lowest to the highest. Whether you want top-of-the-line branded goods, factory seconds, or cheap trinkets, they are all available within a few streets of one another.
While mostly built-up there are a few parks that form green lungs within Kowloon, the most well known of which is Kowloon Park itself. With a range of activates from a hedge maze, a bird lake to an aviary and a statue garden the park is a quiet break from the activity of the city.
The most northern part of the peninsula, Kowloon Tong, is a plush residential area of low-rise villas and well provided with prestigious schools. While the eastern extreme of Kowloon Bay has some light industry, and also the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.
Well served by public transport, and dissected by a regular grid of streets, the district is easy to reach. And generally easy to walk, though there are some areas in Tsimshatsui were underground pedestrian subways form a bit of a maze that confuses even locals.
Getting to Victoria Peak from Kowloon means of course crossing Victoria Harbour, and as there are no pedestrian crossing this will mean a ferry or some transport through a tunnel.
The best options depend on where you start, if you are in Mongkok then follow our specific instructions for there. Otherwise read down for some great choices.
Option 1 - Northern Kowloon - MTR and Peak Tram
From the Northern areas such as Kowloon Tong the transport options are little more restricted. As the distance is a little longer it's good to make use of the excellent Mass Transit Railway system, known to all as the MTR, which provides both underground and regular train services.
- Follow signs for the Kowloon Tong MTR station
- Take the Kwun Tong Line, the green line, southward
- Change trains at Mong Kok MTR station to the Tsuen Wan towards Central
- Alight at Admiralty MTR station
- Leave the station by following signs for Pacific Place
- When you enter the Pacific Place mall take escalators up and follow signs for the Island Shangri-la hotel
- Go to the lobby level in the hotel and exit by the front door onto Supreme Court Road
- Cross the road into Hong Kong Park
- Turn right, walk along past the fountains, past the ponds
- Follow signs to Cotton Tree Drive
- Exit park onto Cotton Tree drive, turn left and then right
- Follow signs to Lower Peak Tram Terminus, at this point you can see the small round cornered glass building above you.
- Take the Peak Tram to the Peak Tower
This route is long to describe, and will take about an hour to complete, but is fast through the built up city, using the MTR, and has the pleasant walk through the park to break it up.
Option 2 - Southern - Tsim Sha Tsui - Ferry and Bus
Already at the southern end of Kowloon? In Tsim Sha Tsui or on the lower part of Nathan Road? Then there is a great option available, via the iconic Star Ferry and using the cheap and excellent bus service. This option is great if you want to see the sights as you go and turn the journey into an experience in itself.
Follow signs to Star Ferry, it is 5 minutes walk from the end of Nathan Road
Or, if in the eastern or northern part of TST, take a taxi to Star Ferry pier
Cross Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry, make sure you select the ferry to Central
On arrival in Central at pier 8, turn right and walk along the seafront to pier 5
Cross to the traffic island where there is a bus stop and get bus 15 to the peak
Sit at the top at the front of the bus for the best views, but not if you have vertigo as the route involves some steep drops beside the road!
If you take this route you will have missed out on the Peak Tram, consider taking the tram down later in the day to get that experience. It may have shorter queues as well as people leave the peak at all times and so the rush is spread out.
Option 3 - Kai Tak Cruise Terminal - Taxi
Arriving in Hong Kong at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal? Then you'll be in Kowloon, but at the far eastern side known as Kowloon Bay. This is one of the more difficult parts of the district as far as transport is concerned, and making use of a taxi is a great option particularly if you are in a group.
Option 4 - Kowloon Walled City Park - by Bus
Been to the modern yet historic styled Kowloon Walled City Park? It's a nice place to visit, but getting from there to Victoria Peak is best done by Bus
Walk to the Regal Oriental Hotel
Catch bus 101 or 111 to Garden Road
Walk up Garden road to the lower Peak Tram Terminus
Take the Peak tram to the Peak Tower
Option 4 - West Kowloon - Elements, Austin - MTR, Green Minibus
There are not many things of interest on the Western side of Kowloon, but perhaps you have been to the observation tower at ICC, or an event in the Western Kowloon Cultural district. From there it is best to use the MTR back to Central and then take a GMB or Green Minibus.
- Follow signs within Elements to the MTR
- Take the Tung Chung Line one stop to Hong Kong station, crossing the harbour
- Exit the station into IFC Mall
- Go out onto the walkway past the City'Super shop, take the escalator immediately down
On Finance Street catch the #1 Green Minibus which goes all the way to Victoria Peak, stopping at the Peak Tower