Hong Kong island is at the heart of Hong Kong. Yet, if you want to feel the soul of Hong Kong, then Kowloon is the place to go. Kowloon could be simply described as traditional. It has a certain vibe that is perhaps more reminiscent of mainland China. You will find much less tourists there and you would most likely start hearing Mandarin a lot of more the further inside the region you go.
My friend really likes photography, so he invited me to go explore Mong Kok in Kowloon. Getting there is quite easy. In fact, it is only 6-7 subway stations away. Once we emerged out of the underground, we were immediately thrown into a very hectic street with very thin roads and hordes of people walking on the pavement. Nearly all of the buildings had neon signs with Chinese characters on them that definitely look incredible during nighttime. At that point, my friend and I decided to go have some dim sum because we were a little hungry. Dim sum is a must-have dish in Hong Kong! Dim sum are small bite-sized buns that are often filled with all sorts of different foods, such as pork, shrimp, or vegetables. Spoiler alert: They taste DELICIOUS! The ones I like to get are the custard lava dim sum which are filled with a delicious custard cream that is sweet, yet not sweet enough to be considered a dessert. The ones we ordered were called Taro dim sum and they were filled a delicious Taro paste inside. Taro tastes almost like a sweet potato yet is distinctly different.
After that, we decided to go visit one of the popular Mong Kok street markets. There you can find all sorts of goods (mainly clothing) which are cheap replicas of famous brands. Bargaining is allowed, so all the prices listed are debatable. Last but not least, we went to a very interesting electronics store. The store had 4 floors with cell phones and laptops which were (legally) being sold at much cheaper prices than most other places in the world. The reason is that many of those devices are produced in Hong Kong, so there is less taxation involved, and thus it is possible to find the latest iPhone selling for say 900$ instead of 1100$. Nevertheless, the prices listed on the products could still be bargained in certain situations.
Shopping mall in Kowloon
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