Kowloon is the peninsula to the N of Hong Kong Island. With over 2.1 million people living in an area of less than 47 square kilometres, Kowloon is one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and has a matching array of places to shop, eat and sleep. Tsim Sha Tsui, the tip of the peninsula, is Kowloon's main tourist drag and has a mix of backpacker and high-end hotels. Further N, Mong Kok has a huge choice of shops and markets in an area of less than a square kilometre. "Kowloon side", as it is often known, managed to escape some of the British colonial influences that characterise the "Hong Kong Island" side. While prices on Kowloon side tend to be cheaper, it is also less tourist-friendly and English proficiency is not as strong as on the Hong Kong Island side.
The New Territories, so named when the British took more land from China in 1898, lie north of Kowloon. Often ignored by travellers who have little time to spare, the New Territories offers a diverse landscape that takes time to get to know. Mountainous country parks overlook New Towns that have a clinical form of modernity that has attracted many to move here from mainland China. Public transport and taxis make this area surprisingly accessible if you dare to get out and explore this offbeat place. You will not find many idyllic villages, but once you get over the stray dogs and the ramshackle buildings you will doubtlessly find something that will surprise you and cause you to reach for your camera.
The Outlying Islands are a generic label for the islands, islets and rocks in the south of the territory. Lantau is by far the largest of them and therefore often considered its own district. Most people arrive here, as Hong Kong International Airport is located on a small island just north of Lantau. Lantau hosts some of the territory's most idyllic beaches as well as major attractions such as Disneyland and the Ngong Ping cable car. Other islands include Lamma, well known for its seafood, and Cheung Chau, a small island that used to be a pirates' den, but now houses mostly windsurfers and sunbathing day trippers.