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Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui

It comes as a surprise to some visitors to Hong Kong that the region has actually great green spaces in between and surrounding the built up areas. Even in built up commercial and business districts there are great parks, on Hong Kong Island the Victoria Park is the lung of the city, while in Kowloon there are several parks but the most important to Tsim Sha Tsui is Kowloon Park.

The district is lucky to have this large green space due to an accident of history.  The prime space right next to the busy Nathan Road was originally a British Army Barracks, from 1861 it was Whitfield Barracks and stayed a reserved space for over a hundred years.

Since the redevelopment in 1970 it has been a public park, Kowloon Park, and it has retained a few interesting souvenirs of it's days as an Army place including historic buildings  including several buildings and a gun emplacements that previously looked out over Stonecutters Channel as part of the defense of Hong Kong has been turned into a children's playground.

Other facilities include a swimming pool, aviary (though this may be closed when there are Bird Flu fears), Maze Garden Sculpture Walk and Sculpture Garden.

The park is open every day from 6:30am until late in the evening.

It is mostly easily accessed via the entrance next to the Kowloon Mosque, on Nathan Road just next to the MTR.



Tsim Sha Tsui Tsimshatsui?

In Chinese the district is called 尖沙嘴, which literally means Tip Sand Mouth, and is a reference to the sandy river which once flowed here, long since covered by land reclamation.  The pronunciation is impossible to describe using Roman letters alone, some attempts include Jim Shar Joy and Chim Sa Choi but none are of course accurate, and it is very hard for a non Chinese native to pronounce the words correctly.  Hence the common abriviation into TST - sounded out as "tee-ess-tee".  Everybody in Hong Kong will understand if you say TST.

When it comes to writing you will see Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsimshatsui used equally, both are acceptable.  But not Tsimsha Tsui or Tsim Shatsui, that would be incorrect.  However you say or write it, TST is a fascinating place to be.


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