Locals use a number of designations for Hong Kong’s major areas. To make Hong Kong geography easy to understand, check out this guide, which explains the names for each of Hong Kong’s major areas.
Hong Kong Side
When you hear this name used, it is referring to the Island of Hong Kong. You may also hear Hong Kong Island simply referred to as Hong Kong, unfortunately you can only decipher whether it is the region of Hong Kong or simply the island by context – if in doubt ask.
Hong Kong Island is the heart of the city, containing as it does, the area Central. Most people both live and work on the north waterfront, as a general rule most expats can be found on Hong Kong Island - many wryly refer to Kowloon as the ‘Dark Side’.
The Island Line MTR runs across the entirety of the waterfront, East-West, and it takes less than an hour to cover the whole distance. Travel to the south side of the Island is less predictable, as there is no MTR, and transport is therefore less direct.
Main Hong Kong Island Attractions
Kowloon is on the opposite side of the harbor and is attached to the Chinese mainland. Kowloon has undergone an economic boom since the British left and the old Kai Tak Airport was closed, and although it remains visibly poorer and run-down, its prospects, and with them its skyline, are growing.
A number of MTR lines serve Kowloon, as well as the KCR, the regional rail which brings commuters into the New Territories.
Of most interest to tourists is the Tsim Sha Tsui area, which is Hong Kong’s main tourist area and contains the majority of the citys hotels.
Main Kowloon Attractions
Technically part of Kowloon, the New Territories are the rural areas north of Kowloon proper. Unfortunately, tourists have little contact with Hong Kong’s green oasis, despite a growing movement to reveal ‘the other side’ of Hong Kong.
To reach the New Territories and its many nature reserves and traditional villages you’ll need to take the KCR.
Main New Territories Attractions