“You sir, yes you sir, how about a suit” as the tailor pushed his business card in front of my face ” for you very cheap “
I didn’t stop or even blink but they are persistent as soon as you pass they are onto the next person “How about a suit for you, good price” If it’s not the tailor trying to sell his threads to you it’s another type, the watch man or the bag man as I like to call them trying to sell you a great fake Rolex or a bag for the lady. The touts are amazing and a unique bunch of ethnic groups, one even manages to proposition me while chatting on his mobile with not only a suit, a watch but also a bag see it is good to be able to multitask. It is not just on the pavement outside that you have to be weary of but also the camera shops that run their own scams too often ripping off customers if you do need to buy a camera I suggest buying it in Central.
This is what to expect though on Nathan road, the heart of Kowloon, a vibrant lively street that runs from the top of Tsim Sha Tsui all the way south to Mongkok. Nathan road is the oldest street in Kowloon, named after the 13th Governor Sir Mathew Nathan.
Nathan road is a special place, high end boutiques, hotels stand next to old tea shops or chinese medicine shops. The Peninsula, Hong Kong’s most historical hotel opened in 1928 and is still one of the most luxurious hotels in Hong Kong is just a stones throw away from the infamous Chungking Mansions, a run down fire trap building with 80 of the cheapest guest houses in Hong Kong. It is a sleazy, lively street that lures people from all over the world to venture down.
A plethora of cheap dining is found everywhere along Nathan road but there is none better than Tim Ho Wan located a 15 minute walk from Yau Ma Tei station. A simple 20 seat restaurant is as popular as it is simple serving up a succulent meal of juicy shrimp and pork dumplings and rich flour rolls. You can’t miss it by the queue of people waiting outside but the wait is definitely worth it when you can dine in the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world.
Further into Mongkok at the Yuen Po bird market is a great place just to relax and watch the locals with their song birds. The owners carry their birds in intricate carved bamboo cages, another market just nearby is the gold fish market, the fish bobbing up and down in small plastic bags waiting to be sold to Hongkanese. Aquariums bring luck and natural beauty to many living rooms in HongKong. For me Mongkok felt like the real Hong Kong where many of the blue collar workers live. It offers a good contrast in people compared to other parts of Hong Kong.
In the evening,there is no better market than temple street market just off Nathan road near Yau Ma Tei station. Be prepared to bargain, the market is long and caters for tourists and locals. The market sells everything from clothes, watches to toys. It’s another great place to sit on the plastic chairs watch people go by their normal life while you eat great street food and after you are done with the food you can also watch some Cantonese opera or have your palm read from the many booths.
Nathan road, a place you either love or hate but you will always return time and time again.
What was your experience on Nathan Road? We would love to hear it.