We start our guided walk along Hong Kong's historic harbour front, where we introduce the history of Kowloon. Here, well-known Hong Kong landmarks such as the old Railway Clock tower, 1881 Heritage and the Peninsula Hotel are situated. Our guided walk then takes us through the back streets of Kowloon and into the daily lives of local residents. We walk through colourful streets and come across some of Hong Kong’s most lively markets, where you will feel first-hand the energy and soul of everyday Kowloon.
As you walk, you will be immersed in the living culture of the Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok districts - two of the most densely populated spots on earth - and where much of daily life is lived at street level. But also we explain the fascinating history of Kowloon, relating to how it is today.
The walk begins at the busy and colourful Flower Market, the centre of Hong Kong's wholesale and retail flower business. The area is chock-a-block with vendors selling all manner of flowers, pot plants, bonsais and more. Next, we walk along Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, a tranquil scene of men and their bird cages. A short walk away is the bustling and energetic Fa Yeun Street Market, selling a wide range of clothes, accessories, electrical goods and food.
You'll then visit the Goldfish Market to see the brightly coloured tropical fish and a wide range of aquarium supplies on sale. Hong Kong people believe fish bring wealth, so the market is always packed and a fun place to visit. We also walk past the many pet shops, with their miniature dogs for sale - just the right size for apartment living in Hong Kong. Walking further along we join the throngs at the Ladies Market, where bargain clothes, bags and knick-knacks are available.
Then, amid the burning incense coils, you will learn the history of the local Tin Hau temple - Our Empress of Heaven - one of the most popular deities of South China and without question the clear favourite of the boat people, of whom she must be considered the patron goddess. The temple is situated in Banyan Tree Park, where you can watch the local senior citizens playing Chinese chess under the shade of the old banyan trees. This was once the waterfront of Yau Ma Tei.
We finish our journey with a walk around the Jade Market, where around 400 stall holders sell accessories made from the revered green stone. The local belief is jade can protect you from evil spirits and calm your emotions, therefore it is often given to children in the form of jewellery. This market is also full of fresh-water pearls.
This tour is a great introduction to life in Kowloon and the back streets you may not have walked by yourself.
Cost: HK$450 per person Total tour time 3 hours Tour starts at 2pm, outside the Hong Kong Tourist Board Office, Star Ferry Terminus, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon side Facilities: Toilets en route, and refreshment stops available.