Out of the PRC and into TST (and Stanley)
Affectionately known as TST (or maybe it’s just an acronym created for American’s with bad accents like myself), Tsim Sha Tsui is in Kowloon and is in the heart of Hong Kong city proper. Chock full of great restaurants, bars, and more shopping than you could hope for in your lifetime, TST is a great city destination.
It’s fairly flat, so exploring with young kids is a bit less strenous than on Hong Kong Island, though it’s no less crowded, so it’s still quite exhausting; it is not easy to navigate with two toddlers and a double stroller. Let me tell you, NOT easy. Add to that some humidity and you better hope you brought your sweat rag cause hunny, you gonna be sweatin’. Nonetheless, it’s nothing short of lovely and the double stroller is nothing short of necessary. Part of the reason I’m so drawn to Hong Kong proper is no doubt because of the British flavor interspersed throughout (it was a British colony until 1998) and I feel quite nostalgic about anything that reminds me of London (I studied there a decade ago and haven’t been back since). Full of red double-decker buses, pubs, and left sided driving, the remnants of colonial Hong Kong are everywhere.
Just walking around TST is entertainment enough in itself (though you won’t be able to stay out of stores for long. Because shopping. And air conditioning.). The kids will be dizzied with the amount of eye-candy and you won’t be able to turn down street treats for long (waffles and bubble tea and such). While a stroller can definitely be challenging to get through crowds, it’s also a nice way to keep the kids wrangled close (as in most Chinese cities, the population density makes for an INTENSE human experience). And the shopping. Yes, I’m well aware that shopping with kids turns into a not-so-fun chore, so do what you can to shlep them into someone else’ supervision while you…SHOP. Or, if you’re as lucky as I, your significant other will take them for a few hours.
As far as accommodations go, surprise, surprise, we’ve only stayed at the Hyatt TST (read here for my Hyatt Disclaimer). With quite a hefty price-tag, I’m not sure that the location justifies the expense. Though it’s no more expensive than other large hotel chains in the area, there are cheaper options that I think are better value (unless of course, you’re traveling for business, need just one more night to qualify for the coveted Diamond Status for the year, or simply aren’t concerned about money). That said, the location is fairly ideal. There are restaurants, bars, and shopping a-plenty, just out your doorstep (and it’s very close to the TST MTR Station). The rooms are very well appointed but are small, which may or may not be a big deal to you. And there are GREAT views from the Regency Club, which is a perfect spot to catch the evening lights.