Kowloon’s main thoroughfare is bustling Nathan Road, which stretches from Tsim Sha Tsui to Sham Shui Po. In the years following World War II it became commonly known as the “Golden Mile”, and is today packed with shops, restaurants and a diverse array of accommodation that have made it a centre for tourism in Hong Kong.
Whether visitors want to eat cheap street food or splurge at a Michelin-star restaurant, Nathan Road is a foodie’s paradise with an abundance of choices at all hours of the day and night attracting throngs of tourists and locals alike. Nathan Road also overflows with shops and markets, including the high-end designer boutiques and large-scale malls at the southern end of the street and a lively Ladies Market and Apliu Street in the Mongkok area. For a unique shopping experience with a dose of local history, head to 1881 Heritage where original colonial buildings like the old Signal Tower have been preserved alongside modern shops to create a truly distinctive mall. Not only is Nathan Road home to attractions like the egg-shaped Hong Kong Space Museum, a planetarium, and Omnimax cinema, but also a few religious sights that include the Tin Hau Temple, the Kowloon Mosque and St Andrew’s Church, which dates back to 1906 as Kowloon’s first Anglican church. Nathan Road’s main allure, however, is the huge range of accommodation on offer to suit all styles of travellers, from the budget guesthouses of the Chungking Mansions to luxury 5-star establishments like the iconic Peninsula Hotel.
Kowloon’s main MTR line runs directly beneath Nathan Road, with five different stops where passengers can alight along the way and connect with other destinations across the city. There’s also plenty of different bus routes, although the best way to experience all the action, sights, and culinary offerings of Nathan Road is to explore on foot.
Nathan Road was the first to be built in Kowloon after the area was ceded by the Qing Dynasty and became part of the British crown colony in 1860. Although originally named Robinson Road after the 5th Governor of Hong Kong, it was later changed to Nathan Road in honour of the 13th Governor and became home to grand colonial houses and the Whitfield Barracks.