Tsim Sha Tsui (abbreviation TST) is the most vibrant area in Kowloon, and probably in all Hong Kong. It is located in the southern part of Kowloon Peninsula facing to Hong Kong Island. Its area is surrounded from the east, south and west by Victoria Harbour, and from the north, after Austin Road, by the Yau Ma Tei area. Tsim Sha Tsui in Chinese means pointed sandy mouth.
Today it is a major tourist hub in the city with a countless number of shops, restaurants, clubs and other entertainment venues. But almost two centuries ago it was a rural area with many villages. But all has changed with the advent of the British. In 1888, the Star Ferry began a ferry service across Victoria Harbour between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central. In 1910, the Kowloon-Canton Railway was built on the reclaimed land, and later, in 1978, it was relocated to a new Hung Hom Station. Now on its former place are Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
In recent years, Tsim Sha Tsui has become grow up in height. The closure of Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon City and the opening of the new Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island led to removal of the height restriction. As a result, a number of skyscrapers were built over the last decade. Among them are International Commerce Centre, the fourth tallest building in the world; The One, the tallest retail complex in Hong Kong; the 64-storey "The Masterpiece" skyscraper, home to the new Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui.
Being a major tourist hub, Tsim Sha Tsui has the largest amount of hotels and hostels in Hong Kong. The majority of 4-5-star hotels are located along the waterfront and Nathan Road. Most of hostels and guesthouses are situated in two buildings on Nathan Road. These are Chungking Mansions and Mirador Mansion. Together they provide about a hundred of hostels and guest houses that are well known to backpackers.
What To Do & See
There are a lot of things to do and see in Tsim Sha Tsui. A few tourist spots are located right on the waterfront (Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade). The first is Avenue of Stars. It was opened to the public in 2004 and occupies a significant part of the waterfront where visitors can see the handprints of Hong Kong movie stars, the statue of Bruce Lee, the statue of McDull (cartoon star) and other objects related to the film industry of Hong Kong.
Every night at 8:00pm people from all over the world come here to watch a show named "A Symphony of Lights". The show lasts about 10-15 minutes, and attracts thousands of people daily. Located nearby, the Clock Tower is now the landmark of the city. It is the only remained part of the former Kowloon station. As wrote above, the whole station was relocated to a new Hung Hom station in 1978.
Just a few steps away is Star Ferry. It is one of the top Hong Kong's attractions. A trip across Victoria Harbour affords terrific views of both sides of the harbour; Hong Kong Island with its skyscrapers, hotels and bank towers from one side and a bustle Tsim Sha Tsui from another.
The area houses a half of major museums of the city. All are managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Two of them, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Space Museum, are located right on the waterfront, between Avenue of Stars and Salisbury Road.
The first plays an important role in preserving the cultural heritage of China, and is currently one of the best museums of Chinese art in the world. Its collection counts over 15,000 art objects, including Chinese paintings, calligraphy works and Chinese treasures. Many thematic exhibitions are held here on a constant basis.
The second, Space Museum, was built to popularise astronomy and space science education, and occupies an area of 8,000 square meters. It has a shape of egg that makes it easily recognizable. The museum comprises of a large collection of meteorites, models of space objects and provides a history of space development.
The other two: Hong Kong Museum of History and Hong Kong Science Museum are in Tsim Sha Tsui East. Museum of History is no doubt the best museum in Hong Kong. Its collection counts over 90,000 historical objects and materials, and offers to see a wide variety of archaeological objects, materials about natural history, local history, which illustrates the development of Hong Kong from its early days, a unique collection of traditional local costumes and so on.
The second, Science Museum, comprises a lot of science-related exhibits, which are based on different divisions of modern science, including robotics, transportation, simulation, light, telecommunications, sound, motion, electronics and virtual reality.
If you are tired from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a rest in Kowloon Park, which is located to the west of Nathan Road. It occupies a significant part of the Tsim Sha Tsui area (13,5 hectares). The park features beautiful gardens, walkways, and also a full spectrum of leisure and recreation facilities.
Not far away from the park, approximately 1 km to the west, is the tallest building in Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre. It is home to a brand new tourist spot, Sky100 Hong Kong, which is opened in 2011. Sky100 is an observation deck located on the 100th floor, and is the highest indoor observation deck in the world. It provides magnificent views of the Harbour and the city.
Tsim Sha Tsui has the excellent opportunities for shopping. Located in the western part, Harbour City is the largest shopping complex in Hong Kong. It comprises of over 700 retail outlets selling men's and women's clothing, shoes, kid's wear and toys, cosmetics and personal care products, underwear, bags, leather goods, jewelry, electronic goods, sportswear, furniture, optical products and gifts. Right outside the complex is Canton Road. It is mostly oriented for wealthy people, and comprises a number of brand shops, like Chanel, MontBlanc, Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Tiffany and Co., Cartier, Lane Crowford, Piaget, selling luxury products.
A lot of shops are located on an area between Nathan, Salisbury, Chatham Road South and Austin Roads. Here shoppers can see a countless number of shops selling men's and women's clothing, shoes and bags. Also, you can find a number of brand shops along Nathan Road. If you are looking for wedding dresses, visit Kimberley Road. It has a number of bridal shops.
Aside from Harbour City, there are several smaller shopping malls that were built in recent years. Located on Nathan Road right opposite the Chungking Mansions, iSquare is a massive 25+storey shopping and entertainment complex. Another mall nearby is SOGO Tsim Sha Tsui. It is the second Department Store of SOGO Hong Kong. Finally, the One, which is located at the junction of Nathan and Granville Roads, is the tallest retail complex in the city. It is a 29-storey shopping complex with more than 200 shops in it.
Tsim Sha Tsui offers to its guests a lot of dining options. A wide range of local eateries, fast food outlets and international restaurants are located throughout the area. The cuisines in these restaurants range from Chinese, local and from other provinces, Japanese, Korean to famous Western (Italian, French, Mexican) and Exotic cuisines of Thailand or Indonesia.
Kimberley Street is famous for Korean restaurants. In the restaurants on both sides of the street visitors can try almost any dish of the Korean cuisine. If you want to try a local food at a reasonable price, visit Lock Road, Hankow Road, and especially Austin Ave. Also, you can find plenty of restaurants on Mody Road, Camarvon Road, Cameron Road, Prat and Hart Aves.
Hong Kong MTR is the easiest way to get around the city. It's fast, inexpensive, with a convenient navigation in trains and on stations. There are two MTR stations in the area. The first, Tsim Sha Tsui station, is located right above the Nathan Road, the main artery of Kowloon, and is a part of the MTR Tsuen Wan Line. It is only one MTR stop from Hong Kong Island. The second station, East Tsim Sha Tsui, is located in the south-east part of the area, and is a part of the MTR West Rail Line. The stations are connected to each other by pedestrian tunnels. As the stations are connected, together they have over 20 exits, which lead to the major buildings on Nathan Road, Salisbury Road and Chatham Road South.
In order to get to Tsim Sha Tsui from Lantau Island (Tung Chung or Hong Kong Disneyland) or Tsing Yi Island, use the MTR Tung Chung Line to get to the Lai King station. At this station interchange to the Tsuen Wan Line. If you are in the New Territories, use the West Rail Line or East Rail Line.
Also, there is the Star Fery pier, which provides ferry services to Central and Wan Chai, and vice versa.
How to get to the Tsim Sha Tsui area from the Hong Kong International Airport.
Taxi is one of the common ways to get to/from the airport. The estimated fare is HK$230-240 plus HK$5 for each item of luggage in taxi boot, and each item of luggage with total dimensions (length + width + height) exceeding 140cm stored inside the cabin. The journey time is about 30-35 minutes. The fare and time depend on traffic conditions. Hong Kong taxi drivers know all the major hotels, but it is a good idea to note the address of your hotel or destination point on a piece of paper.
If you've decided to use the Airport Express, the journey to West Kowloon (Kowloon Station) takes only 21 minutes and costs HK$90. The trains run every 10 minutes from 5:50am to 1:15am daily. There are discounts up to 40% for those who travel in a group or family. HK$140 for a group of 2, HK$190 for a group of 3 and HK$220 for a group of 4. Upon arrival to the Kowloon Station, passengers have a choice of free Airport Express shuttle buses or taxis. Take the shuttle bus:
Jordan Station (Austin Road)
Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel
The Kowloon Hotel / The Peninsula Hong Kong
Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers / East Tsim Sha Tsui Station
The Langham Hotel Hong Kong
The Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers / China Ferry Terminal
Holiday Inn Golden Mile
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui
Regal Kowloon Hotel
Hotel Icon Hong Kong
Hotel Nikko Hong Kong
InterContinental Grand Stanford
Park Hotel Hong Kong
The Luxe Manor Hong Kong
Empire Hotel Kowloon
B P International Hotel
The shuttle buses run daily from 6:12am to 11:12pm with a frequency every 12 minutes.
The most favorite way among budget travelers is the Airport Route of Citybus A21 "Cityflyer". The bus stop (Ground Transportation Centre) is situated outside the Arrival Hall on the right side. Follow the direction signs. Take the Citybus A21 and get off at stops #11-18, depending of your destination point. This route runs along Nathan Road, Salisbury Road and Chatham Road South. The buses run daily from 6:00am till midnight with a frequency 10-20 minutes. The fare is only HK$33, and the journey time takes about 50-70 minutes. The buses have plenty of luggage space, and come with an announcement system, located on the upper deck, which announces in advance an upcoming bus stop in English and Chinese. The bus stops are shown on the map below.
Hotels marked with gray color are at a distance of more than 400 meters from the bus stop.
Note: This information is for reference only and is subject to change without prior notice.
- bus stops of A21 route. (from the Airport) - bus stops of A11 route. (from the Airport)