August 17, 2015 | talktraveltome | Leave a comment When we were originally planning our round the world trip Hong Kong and China were not places we were expecting to be visiting, but several weeks ago we started thinking that this might be an area of the world we won’t have a chance to visit again for some time. After all, we were only a few hour plane ride away as opposed to being half a planet away that we typically are back home. Needless to say, we saw this as an opportunity that we needed to take advantage of and Hong Kong did not disappoint. After doing some quick research we realized that Hong Kong is split into three major sections; Hong Kong Island, The Kowloon Peninsula and The New Territories. We had four days to spend exploring The Pearl of the Orient and decided to split our time between Hong Kong Island and The Kowloon Peninsula. Both areas have their own character and exciting things to do, so we thought it would be best to separate our posts into two parts as well. First up, Kowloon Peninsula! Getting Around Like most major cities, Hong Kong offers an MTR system which is almost always our preferred mode of transportation. The MTR is very clean and efficient, running throughout most of Hong Kong and making it easy to get around. Also, if you’re not going too far the city cabs are very affordable. It’s only $22 HKD (about $3 USD) for the first 2 km of your journey, so you can get around easily for just a few bucks. Top Attractions: Our Must See and Do 1. Jade Market: The Jade Market is truly a unique place in Kowloon. We’ve shopped at a number of markets throughout our travels and the Jade Market is one of a kind. It specializes in selling a variety of jade products from jewelry to other trinkets. Besides standing for beauty, grace and purity, jade is also an integral part of the Chinese culture and you will see many locals wearing some sort of jade jewelry. As the Chinese proverb goes, “Gold has a value; jade is invaluable”, so while you’re a the Jade Market go ahead and pick-up something special. Quick Tip: Don’t forget to bargain! You can get a lot of the items for less than half of the original asking price. 2. Avenue of Stars: Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Avenue of Stars pays tribute to outstanding professionals in the film industry. Although we aren’t Chinese film buffs, and didn’t recognize most of the names on the avenue, it still was an interesting way to spend time on the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and take in some views of the Hong Kong’s city skyline. 3. Ladies Market: Surprise, surprise! We listed another outdoor market on our things to do. We don’t know what it is about outdoor markets, but we really can’t get enough of them, and the Ladies Market in Hong Kong will not let you down! Located in the Mongkok, the most populated area in the world (yes the world!), the Ladies Market is one-kilometer in length and is lined with inexpensive souvenirs, clothing, accessories, electronics and toys. Per usual, be prepared to bargain and take your time wandering through the endless stalls. 4. Symphony of Lights: The name alone just sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? A Symphony of Lights is a multimedia show that occurs everyday on the Victoria Harbor. Although the show doesn’t take place on the Kowloon side, the best view can be seen from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. It incorporates 40 buildings while using light and music to tell a story everyday at 8pm. The show lasts 13 minutes and is packed most nights. If you’re near the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade around 8pm we’d suggest hanging around to see Hong Kong’s cityscape light up the night! 5. Hong Kong Museum of Art and Space Museum: We visited both the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Space Museum on a rainy day and they made for a great way to pass the time as we waited for the clouds to clear. These aren’t the largest museums but they offer enough exhibits for an interesting afternoon. Quick Tip: Both museums are free on Wednesdays with the exception of certain exhibits. Nick having some fun at the Space Museum 6. Kowloon Park: Exploring Kowloon Park was one of the highlights of this part of town. Although it is located in a busy area you can slip away for some peace and quite. There are plenty of areas to check out while visiting Kowloon Park, including the maze garden, color garden, banyan court, sculpture gardens and more. You could easily spend an afternoon walking around this 33 acre park. 7. Eat at the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant: Tim Ho Wan is a Michelin-starred restaurant and is actually affordable… say what!? We didn’t even know that was possible. We tried a bit of everything, but our hands down favorite was the sweet barbecue pork bun! We’d eat a plateful right now if you put them down in front of us. We spent a total of $100 HKD (about $15 USD), on a delicious dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant… not too shabby! Accommodation Kowloon is definitely an area that has it’s own personality, and we wanted to stay at a hotel that was an extension of this vibrant part of town. This lead us to PentaHotel. When we first arrived at PentaHotel we could immediately tell that this was not your typical hotel, and it was bursting with it’s own unique personality. We were greeted by hotel employees wearing black hoodies and converse, a refreshing change from your standard formal hotel uniforms. In keeping with the theme of unconventional, as we checked in the music playing ranged from Snoop Dog to Counting Crows… now that’s the kind of music to get you excited about your hotel stay! Besides the great music, PentaHotel is in every sense of the word a social hotel. The lobby area is filled with pool tables, foosball, Nintendo Wii games and they encourage their guests to get to know each other while having some fun. Sometimes we felt we were at a bar in downtown Brooklyn rather then in a hotel. Speaking of Brooklyn, if you hadn’t pick up on this yet, PentaHotel definitely has and underlying hipster feel. From the hand painted graffiti on the walls to the comedic signs leading to the gym, PentaHotel strays away from the norm and is effortlessly cool. While we’re on the topic of effortlessly cool, PentaHotel has two restaurants including an in-house pizzeria that delivers to the room… how cool is that?! We were pretty exhausted at the end of our first day so we ordered a large pizza to the room. There’s nothing better than eating some great pizza in your bed after a long day. PentaHotel offers an experience and atmosphere that you just can’t find at other hotels and we were very happy to have enjoyed it for ourselves. Thank you PentaHotel for hosting us during our stay on the Kowloon Peninsula. As always, our opinions are our own as we Talk Travel.