The name Kowloon refers to the nine dragons associated with eight mountains and a Chinese emperor. Situated north of Hong Kong Island and south of the mainland part of the New Territories, it is an urban area constituting Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is surrounded by the mountain range as well as Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north and Victoria Harbour in the south and the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west.
Hong Kong has excellent mediums of public transport. Almost all parts of the island are covered by different bus routes. Citybus Cityflyer offers many bus routes from Airport terminal plus A21, A22, and also has cheaper fare than MTR Airport Express. However, the Airport Express has frequent bus stops, including Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and takes lesser time than Citybus Cityflyer. Many buses run though different areas of Kowloon, Hong Kong island and New Territories. If you reach Hong Kong in the mid-night, then prefer the N21 night bus. The Star Ferry connects Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. It's the cheapest mode to cross the harbour, and the routes are overwhelmingly surrounded by skyscrapers and a wall of lights on both sides. There are a number of rail lines connected to Kowloon by Hong Kong, and vice versa. Use the Airport Express to reach Kowloon MTR Station in just 20 minutes. It's a bit expensive to hire a taxi or rent a car because of chaotic traffic, and slow journey across the harbour to Kowloon. Helicopter transfers are also available, but it isn't everyone's cup of tea.
Tipping is expected in Kowloon as a few extra dollars make any server happy. You need to pay $2-3 per piece of luggage to bellboys. Many restaurants charge 10% service charge, which is mostly included in the final bill. It's customary to leave coins if you pay in cash. If bills are paid by credit, then the round up to the nearest dollar amount. Taxi drivers usually keep small changes as a tip. Sometimes, big restaurants and hotels also charge 15% as a service charge.
Hong Kong is a safe city, but petty crimes do exist here. No worries for solo woman and other travellers whether it's night or day. However, it's advisable to keep your valuables and expensive possessions in the hotel safe before going out. Be alert while going to farther north in Kowloon and into the new territories. Police often patrol, but it's better if you don't flash your cash and valuables. Like other big cities, pickpockets can happen in the crowded areas, star ferry waiting lines and street markets.
Kowloon enjoys subtropical climate. It's dominated by monsoons in summer and warm air flows from the Pacific because of low pressure in the north. The best times to visit Kowloon are in autumn and winter (from October to January) when the weather is comfortable and sunny. Otherwise, the weather is quite hot and damp throughout the year, especially in summers. February is the coldest month with an average temperature of 17°C, while the hottest month is July with an average temperature of around 31°C. Kowloon weather is completely miserable from February to May, which is accompanied with frequent cloudiness, rain and fog. Torrential downpours and high humidity can be expected from June to September.
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