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Knutsford Terrace , near the Miramar hotel is perhaps best described as the ‘Lang Kwai Fong’ of Kowloon, and has a large number of bars and restaurants of variable quality that cater for mid-range budgets. A little smaller and less phrenetic than Lan Kwai Fong, but well worth the effort to poke your nose along this narrow street on a Saturday evening. Ashley Road , between Nathan Road and the Ocean Terminal shopping mall, features many Western restaurants and bars. Mody Road/Cenntenial Garden . Close to many good hotels, this area of Tsim Sha Tsui offers a more relaxed environment for a drink. Here you will find bars and restaurants spilling out onto the pavement. Leave East Tsim Sha Tsui station at Exit P1, and head past the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel. Tung Choi Street , between Prince Edward Road and Boundary Street, is one of Kowloon’s up-and-coming bar strips. Few tourists or expats venture here, but there are nearly two dozen bars. Some specialize in karaoke while others have open fronts and extensive drink menus. Prince Edward MTR, exit A.
Be wary of entering the girlie bars scattered around the southern tip of Tsim Sha Tsui. Their entrances are usually decorated with photos of women in various stages of undress. Strip bars are not popular with locals for good reason. There are reports of these places being owned by rough people, even triads, and may place unexpected exorbitant charges on your tab (such as a fee to talk to a girl). They may even escort you to an ATM if you don’t have enough cash. The days of Suzie Wong have long passed. These places are definitely not recommended for visitors.
A large number of guesthouses are located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Jordan offering cheap, small but generally comfortable and safe accommodation licensed by the Hong Kong government. These are barebone places to stay so there will be no restaurants, souvenir shops or newspaper delivery. Most owners will only speak basic English. Chung King Mansions and Mirador Mansions, both on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui are famously home to a number of budget hotels and hostels. Having attracted western backpackers for decades, these guesthouses have become increasingly popular with budget travellers from mainland China. Staying at budget hotels is entirely at your own risk and you are advised to seek recommendations from other travellers. Please remember to post your own recommendations here.
Expect budget hotel rooms to be undecorated and small with only a bed (or beds), night stand, telephone and television. Noise from fellow travellers may be a problem, so invest in good earplugs. Most will have “in-suite” bathrooms while others have communal bathrooms. Upon check-in, you should ask the owner how to turn on the water boiler unless you want to shower with cold water. Some guesthouses will include free wireless Internet. Virtually all rooms will come with air-conditioning.
Bookings are not needed and some Wikitravellers have reported that bookings have not always been honoured. The best way to secure a room is simply by arriving at around 1:00pm, when many of last night’s guests have just checked out. Ask to see the room before paying, and you should pay for only one night. If you’re happy with the first night, the owner will almost always happily extend your stay. You should also ask if there’s 24 hour unassisted entrance (which is recommended) or if you have to ring a bell at night. Credit cards aren’t accepted, it’s cash only. Remember to ask for a receipt with check-in and check-out dates clearly printed.
Prices generally range from $150-$250 per night for a single room with en-suite bathrooms. If you are comfortable with a community bathroom, expect to pay about $120. If you know how long you are staying, negotiate in advance to get a lower rate: they want your business over several days, so they will be willing to drop their prices to even $90 a night for a four or five night stay. However some less honest managers tend to increase their prices dramatically around public holidays, in which case it will take either a reservation or a very hard bargaining to get back to the prices mentioned above (or you can simply try and pick a good one, but it can take several hours).
There are more accommodation options on the Chung King Mansion, including dormitory rooms. The building which was once an office building is over populated by the countless cheap hostels within it and is now home for lots of foreigners from poor countries all around the world. The massive amount of people creates a queue of up to 15 min to the elevators at rush hours.
Among those that have a long history are the Travellers Hostel , Block A, 16 Fl in Chungking and the Garden Hostel , 2Fl, Mirador Mansions. There are places in the Mansions however that travellers seeking fair lodging should definitely avoid. Among them are the Fortunate Guest House and Peninsula Guest House , both owned by the same shady individual who will not hesitate to put you in another, cheaper guesthouse while making you pay disproportionate fees and keeping the difference. The said individual has apparently earned himself quite a reputation among the chinese guesthouse owners, and is usually seen on the ground floor trying to attract customers.
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