There seems to be this divide in Hong Kong between people living on the Kowloon side and those on Hong Kong Island. I constantly hear Kowloonians saying they would never venture to the other side, and vice versa. I used to live in Kowloon, but I recently moved over to the other side, so I can see things from both perspectives. While I wouldn't say I'm a fully fledged Hong Kong Islander, I am inclined to give it the upper hand.
Hong Kong Island has the sights. The iconic view that people associate with Hong Kong is the one from The Peak, showing all the tall buildings lit up against the backdrop of the night. Yes, The Peak might be a bit of a tourist trap, but it's still a great place to visit from time to time to remind yourself how beautiful this city really is. Plus, there's a great park up there.
Speaking of parks, Hong Kong Island has got beauty. And I don't mean all the pretty things in the luxury shops in Central and Causeway Bay. Hong Kong Park is a wonderful oasis to escape to - and it's right in the middle of Central. Inside, you'll find the closest thing to a zoo in Hong Kong - the Zoological and Botanical Gardens. There's a great selection of monkeys, apes and birds to see there.
If you want to see even more animals, head over to Ocean Park in Wong Chuk Hang to catch a glimpse of the cuddly pandas, cool penguins or the thousands of fish living in the aquarium. Or if you're into more exciting things, there's no better place in Hong Kong to get your thrills than Ocean Park's roller coasters and rides.
But the thing that puts Hong Kong Island over Kowloon is the tram. The ding ding has to be one of the best ways to get around the city. It's cheap, convenient and a throwback to simpler times. It might not be the quickest means of transportation, but sometimes we all need to slow down.
Kowloon Peninsula is more vibrant than Hong Kong Island. There are many new developments and redevelopments taking place there, and the government wants to develop Kowloon East as a new Central Business District.
I have been living in Kowloon since I was born. These days, I spend much more time on Hong Kong Island - for instance, I go there for work-related interviews and photo shoots, and also pop into our office in Causeway Bay - but I still think Kowloon is the better pick.
Hong Kong Island is overcrowded. Buildings are packed, the malls are always flooded with tourists, and on Sundays parks are filled with domestic helpers on their day off.
I want a comfortable, handy environment to live in. Have you noticed that it takes you a long time to get to the platform once you're inside an MTR station on Hong Kong Island? This is a big waste of our time - walking all that way just to catch a train for a few stops. In most Kowloon stations, you only have to go down one escalator to reach the platform.
Leon, it may be true that the iconic view of Hong Kong is on the Island side. Yes, it can be seen from The Peak. But most of the city's postcards are taken in Kowloon - they give a wonderful view of our skyline, and the world-famous Victoria Harbour. The tallest building in Hong Kong - the 118-storey International Commerce Centre - is also in Kowloon. You can get a better view of Hong Kong than the one from The Peak by going up to the Ssky100 observation deck at ICC.
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