Highly comparable to Hong Kong Island - but flourishing with its own distinct personality - is the Kowloon Peninsula, that forms the southern part of the main landmass in Hong Kong's territory. Prior to its expansion through land reclamation, it first served as a destination for escape during China's dynastic times, such as when the last emperor of the Song Dynasty, Emperor Bing, fled from the Mongol leader Kublai Khan and took refuge in a cave in the Kowloon Peninsula. Also in the 17th century, many followers of the Ming Dynasty's Emperor found shelter in Kowloon after its fall. At present, Kowloon covers 5 of the 18 districts of Hong Kong, accommodating more than 2 million people in its 47 square kilometres.
Set in between Hong Kong Island and New Territories, Kowloon Peninsula enjoys high foot traffic everyday as people pass through it to reach the other territories of Hong Kong for work or school. This makes it an important part of the bustling city. Like Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula has its share of the most attractive shopping, eating, entertainment and cultural attractions. The most popular districts of Kowloon are Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, and Yau Ma Tei. Tsim Sha Tsui is famous for its hotels, restaurants, shopping centers (such as The Harbour City which has 700 shops, and Granville Road where clothing and cosmetic shops are found) and cultural attractions (such as the Cultural Centre, History Museum and Space Museum). In Mong Kok, there are plenty of small shopping centers, and street markets offering a wide variety of products from clothing and jewellery to mobile phones and electronics. Don't be surprised to see that one street is dedicated to goldfish for sale, and one to a Flower Market. Lastly, Yau Ma Tei boasts the famous Temple Street where stalls sell all sorts of bargain merchandise, food stalls, and even offer fortune-telling services. It also has a Jade Market.
The Kwun Tong Line of the MTR travels around Kowloon. If you'd like to see more of the territory, there are many ways of doing so. The Tsuen Wan Line has stops at New Territories, Kowloon and finally in Hong Kong Island. On the other hand, the West and East Rail lines link the New Territories with Kowloon. The East Rail line also connects the Hong Kong/China border to Hung Hom in Kowloon. While it is true that the extensive subway helps to connect Kowloon to Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, Lantau Island and the airport, there are still many parts of the territory that are not serviced by the MTR. To overcome this hurdle, ride a ferry instead and experience a more relaxed atmosphere while sight-seeing along the waterscape. The Star Ferry Pier, located just at the boundary of Tsim Sha Tsui (near the Harbour City shopping complex) provides ferry service covering two routes, one between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, and one between Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai. Taxis, buses and minibuses are also available to tour you around the peninsula.