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The mile of Nathan Road from the harbor to about Yau Ma Tei Station is such an iconic shopping street that it is called the "Golden Mile of Nathan Road."
Since most tourists arrive at Tsim Sha Tsui via MTR, they are bound to arrive at this part of Nathan Road on a visit to Tsim Sha Tsui. So it is good to know about the street. This mile of Nathan Road throngs with tourists. It is known for its shopping, and it also has several tourist attractions.
If you enjoy art, art history, and Chinese art and culture, the Museum of Art is recommended. It is quite good.
It is hard to imagine, until you see it, the strange contrast between the luxury hotel and Hong Kong's cheapest hotel building sitting side-by-side. If you walk into one, you see a plush lobby. If you walk into the other, you see crowds of people of all races, currency exchanges and further down mixed piles of food, clothing, shoes.....
The Peninsula has some of the highest room rates in Hong Kong. It is located about the corner of Salisbury Road and overlooks Victoria Harbor.
In marked contrast, Chungking Mansions that is only 200 meters up the street is known for the lowest hotel and hostel rates in the whole city and ethnically managed cheap hotels. Chungking Mansions is a huge building and houses thousands of people every night night.
There are a lot of South Asian hotel managers, and if you are walking near the building, you'll probably meet a South Asian person somewhat covertly hawking a hotel. It is a favorite place for African merchants to purchase products and stay during their trips to the area.
Crowds and the many hawkers selling watches and illegal things or trying to talk about cheap rooms can make spending even an hour on this part of the street tiring.
Food: Relatively inexpensive Indian and Pakistani restaurants and even African restaurants are in Chungking. But don't expect posh conditions. Chungking offers the opposite.
Caution: It is recommended that you be careful with your belongings in the area around Chungking Mansions. The small shops in the Miramar and Chungking Mansions have a reputation for selling fake products and substandard goods to foreign tourists. This is especially true of the electronics stores.
Two big malls are the iSquare and the Miramar. This is where you can do middle and high-end shopping.
iSquare Mall: The iSquare is a favorite of Chinese shoppers and foreign expats who live in the area. It is right above the Tsim Sha Tsui Station and across the street from Chungking Mansions.
What is distinctive about it is that it is a vertical high rise mall 31 stories tall. The proximity to the harbor gives the fine restaurants at the top a fine view. You'll find luxury brands here.
Miramar: This big building is set up somewhat similar to Chungking. It is across the side street. It has 400,000 square feet of shopping space and 100 stores. It is considered one of the smaller malls in the area, and is known for mid-priced clothing.
It was once, about 8 years ago, a twin of Chungking, but Chinese owners and cross-border cargo carrying groups and Chinese tour groups have taken over the hotel rooms over, so foreign tourists are less welcomed than previously.
About a quarter mile up from the Peninsula is Tsim Sha Tsui Station next to the Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Center.
The mosque attracts South Asians and Africans in the area. Entry is prohibited to non-Muslims except by special permission.
Besides the mosque, there are stairs leading up to Kowloon Park. If you have the time to tour, it is almost a must-see in the area for the aviary, small animals, gardens, and facilities. It is one of Hong Kong's best public parks.
Park Lane is a row of luxury shops on the left side of Nathan Road as you look north.
Further up on the other side of the street, St. Andrews is a small cathedral that was built early in the last century during the British colonial days. It is beautiful inside. Take a look. It is open to the public and is generally left open during the day for tourists to see and for prayer and meditation for the public.
Next to it is a church office building, and underneath the small plaza in front is a large auditorium and other rooms. This part might not be open.
Jordan Station marks the end of the most interesting part of the Golden Mile, but you could walk up another half mile or so to Yau Ma Tei Station if you wish.
The whole street past Jordan Station to Yau Ma Tei Station is still interesting. It grows more Chinese and local the further up you go.
The Ladies Market which is famous for women's clothing and everything from pets to plants to electronics is near Yau Ma Tei Station.
Nathan Road (彌敦道) was the first road built in Kowloon. The British government built the road when they took over Kowloon in 1860. St. Andrews Church was built along it in 1906.
After WWII, the two mile stretch of Nathan Road between Boundary Street and Salisbury Road became known as the Golden Mile. It was famous as a major shopping street in Hong Kong. It was a favorite stop for international tourists, and the Peninsula Hotel anchored its reputation at one end.
But time changes things, and Hong Kong grew, and now other places in Hong Kong are recognized as the main shopping areas.
Now the mile between Salisbury Road and Yau Ma Tei Station is generally thought of as the Golden Mile.
The Temple Street Night Market about a 10 minute walk from Jordon Station offers perhaps better bargains. Harbour City Mall next to the Star Ferry is Hong Kong’s biggest mall.
The Avenue of Stars that is about a 10 minute walk away near the Star Ferry is another tourist must-see area if you have the time. Not only will you see a beautiful view of Victoria Harbor, but the handprints and plaques of Hong Kong entertainment professionals are interesting.
Above all though, it is the best vantage point of the Symphony of Lights/3D Pulse light show at 8pm.
MTR: Getting there is easy. Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Jordan Station and Yau Ma Tei Station are directly under it. At the Tsim Sha Tsui East Station, you'll see signs directing people to the Golden Mile via the pedestrian underpasses.
On foot: Walking to Nathan Road from the Star Ferry takes about 7 minutes.
Bus: Bus 6 an Bus 7 that both go down Nathan Road to the Star Ferry pier is ideal for sightseeing Nathan Road. The fare is about 4.2 HKD (0.54 USD).
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