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Hong Kong - Around Kowloon : Kowloon – Tsim Sha Tsui (part 2) - Spots to People-Watch

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A Morning Out

Early Morning

Catch the Star Ferry to TST. As you come in, check out the vast West Kowloon Reclamation to the left. If the Mass Transit Railway Corporation has its way, a vast tower that will vie for world’s tallest building honours will stand here within four or five years.

If you’re still standing after the stampede to disembark (be wary of pyjama-clad old ladies), saunter past the old clocktower, pause to take in one of the world’s most breathtaking views, then cross Salisbury Road and stop for tea at the Peninsula Hotel.

From here, brave the crush and bustle of the Golden Mile . Unless you want a new suit or dress, do not make eye contact with the legion of touts who have never heard the word “no”. Walk straight by. They are merciless if they sense weakness.

Brunch

When you’ve had enough of the smog-shrouded streets, hawkers and being jostled, cross Haiphong Road into Kowloon Park. There is plenty of space here to pause and do some serious people-watching.

You’ll probably be getting peckish by now. Head back down Nathan Road to Joyce Café, for reasonably-priced vegetarian fare and an earful of tai-tais (wealthy housewives) comparing the morning’s purchases. The espressos and capuccinos are first-rate; the vegetable lasagna delicious.

Spots to People-Watch

  1. The Avenue

    Ask for a table near the street, preferably under the glass-roofed section of the restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows provide the perfect vantage point to look down on Nathan Road’s passing parade. (Imaginative fusion food, too.)

    • 50 Nathan Rd

    • 2315 1118

  2. Chungking Mansions

    Hours of harmless fun to be had watching the endless stream of freaks, geeks and desperados being accosted by a legion of touts.

    Chungking Mansions
  3. Mirador Mansions

    Not as famous as its above-mentioned neighbour, but entertaining nonetheless. More weirdos. More confused backpackers.

    • 54-64 Nathan Rd

  4. Kowloon Park

    Best spot is on the benches near the fountain in the centre of the park. In summer, there is a constant and colourful procession along the path .

    Kowloon Park
  5. Felix

    If the wallet won’t stand up to a meal, just drink in the bar and watch everyone watching everyone else (see Felix).

  6. Harbour City

    A people-watcher’s paradise. Massive labyrinth of interconnected malls with plenty of cafés and benches to park upon and soak up the orgy of conspicuous consumption (see Harbour City).

  7. Waterfront Promenade

    Walking east from the Star Ferry, between the museums and five-star hotels, you will meet Tai Chi adepts, culture vultures and local ladies with their tiny dogs, all taking the sea air.

    • Salisbury Rd

  8. The Langham Hotel

    Understated and elegant, the Langham attracts clientele of the same ilk, such as screen star Michelle Yeoh, perhaps on her way to T’ang Court.

    • 8 Peking Rd

    The Langham Hotel
  9. Häagen-Dazs

    A frosty oasis when the mercury soars, with a glass bar and stools to perch upon while you gaze out at the hot and harried shoppers elbowing each other along the Golden Mile.

    • Cnr Nathan Rd and Peking Rd

  10. Chaser’s Pub

    Primo people-watching along groovy Knutsford Terrace, one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets.

    • 2-3 Knutsford Terrace

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