A Guide to Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po
Hong Kong isn’t just about its urbanised landscape and mafia clashes. That’s what we usually see in films, at least. Despite being heavily urbanised, there are actually pockets of Hong Kong that still exude a traditional vibe, such as Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po.
Sham Shui Po is located in Kowloon and is known among the locals for its shopping (not of the Gucci and Yeezy types) and traditional food. It is very convenient to go via public transport. Simply hop on the Tsuen Wan Line (red line) and alight at Sham Shui Po station. The Metroplace Boutique hotel is also just a minute away from the train station! If you’re new to Sham Shui Po, here’s a handy guide to where you can eat and the must-sees you should include in your itinerary.
1. Go vintage with Wah Ngai Canvas
If these striped rolls of plastic from Wah Ngai look familiar, it’s because they’re commonly used as temporary roof covers. More recently though, they served as the inspiration for French label Balenciaga’s F/W ‘16 collection. In Hong Kong, a Sham Shui Po tailor took it to the next level and converted the iconic striped canvas into regular market bags. These durable bags were a hit with locals when they first came out and have since become synonymous with many other Asian countries such as Thailand and China. You’ll see a lot of these bags being used in Sham Shui Po to this day.
2. Taste one of Hong Kong’s best beancurd at Kung Wo
Kung Wo’s signature beancurd pudding is renowned for its smooth texture and rich soybean flavour. If you’re a huge fan of soy, don’t forget to get some fried beancurd and wash it all down with a glass of soy milk.
3. Set your shopping cart on fire at Dragon Centre
Dragon Centre is an established mall in the area and it boasts of a variety of enterprises ranging from tech to fashion and to restaurants. This is indeed the ultimate shopping hub in the area! With nine levels to explore, Dragon Centre does not only meet the entertainment needs of adults but of children as well! There are arcades and ice-skating rinks to keep your children occupied while you shop worry-free.
4. Have a filling lunch at Wai Kee Noodle Café
Even if pig’s liver noodle isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, this cha chaan teng is famous for it! If you’re not a fan of offal, you can always pair the noodles with ham, beef, sausage, or egg instead. Fair warning: Be prepared for a long queue!
5. Enjoy Kedai Kopi Semua Semua’s version of Nasi Lemak
In the mood for some spice? You will definitely find it at Kedai Kopi Semua Semua, whose nasi lemak(coconut rice with fried anchovies and chilli paste) is called at sei nei ma, which literally means “so spicy it kills your mum”. Besides being a spectacle of a dish, lat sei nei ma is also unique because you’re expected to eat it with chopsticks! Only in Hong Kong!
6. Be spoilt for choice at Apliu Street
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Audio Space. Aside from having a wide range of audio products, it was featured in the blockbuster Hong Kong crime thriller, Infernal Affairs!
7. Shop at Doughnut
8. Kickstart your day at Tools
Wake yourself up with a cup of coffee in this café-stationery shop while flipping through their magazines. Toolss also has a charming display of writing materials for you to pen down your thoughts.
9. Marvel at the Man Fung building
One of the most visually striking buildings in the neighbourhood, the Man Fung Building was transformed by Madrid-based street artist Okuda. He covered the entire building with colourful patterns and an attractive mural of a dog, making it quite the standout amid the concrete jungle’s dreary grey. Included in the HKwalls’ 2016 city-wide street art festival, Man Fung Building has become an Instagrammable go-to for tourists and locals alike.
10. Decorate yourself at Yu Chau Street (Bead Street)
Commonly known as Bead Street, Yu Chau Street offers an array of handmade jewellery and decorative gel nails. Scour the area for hours so you can get every bead, ribbon, and button you need! You can also stock up on sewing supplies. Each store here has something different to offer and apart from retail, wholesale supplies are also available.