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Discovering gems in Sheung Wan

Sheung Wan has always been depicted as Central’s little sister. However, with the addition of new eateries and cafes, trendy stores and street art, Sheung Wan holds its own ground, embodying a much cooler and free-spirited vibe. This urban evolution bridges with the area’s retained elements of traditional Hong Kong with street vendors, dried seafood shops and historical buildings. With its eclectic mix of life and heritage, Sheung Wan is never short of a dose of culture.


Sheung Wan


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Gough Street

Gough Street is an up and coming street with vibrant atmosphere. The relatively short street is filled with boutique shops, small vendors, and some great eats.

On any given day, you’ll notice the long queue outside Kau Kee. Famous for its braised beef with noodles, the small hole-in-the-wall has minimal seating so make sure you get in early as it draws long queues to the end of the street. Opposite Kau Kee is Sing Heung Yuen. The dai pai dong-style eatery is renowned for its tomato-based soup with macaroni and toppings of your choice. On the other end of Gough Street, you’ll see a ramen joint, Shugetsu, and further along, you’ll reach Agnès b. Café L.P.G as well as the hipster cross over between concept store and café, Elephant Grounds. All of which are full over the weekend.

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If you’re looking for bits and pieces to spruce up your home, check out British homeware designer store, Timothy Oulton, which opened on Gough Street earlier this year, with trendy furniture shop HOMELESS, Lovers & Friends, and Ms. B Bakery forming the rest of the street.


Gough Street


Gough Street

Man Mo Temple

Just a short five-minute walk from Gough Street, you’ll reach Hollywood Road. Plotted towards the end of Hollywood Road, Man Mo Temple stands out from the rest of its neighbours which are mostly hip bars and restaurants. The Taoist temple was built in 1847 in the Qing Dynasty and has become a tourist hotspot for visitors and locals alike. Listed as a Grade I historic building in 2009 and is preserved as a Declared Monument, Man Mo Temple worships two gods, God of Literature (Man Tai) and the God of War (Mo Tai).

Inside the temple, it’s a delight to the eyes. The interiors have remained largely the same over the years with several traditional features still visible in the temple. There are donation boxes lined against the walls and large incense coils drop down from the ceiling. If you want to see whether love will blossom for you or whether your career path will change, palm readings and fortune sticks are available at a small cost.


Man Mo Temple

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PMQ

Up from Hollywood Road is creative hub, PMQ. Revitalized by the Hong Kong government for creative industry uses in 2014, PMQ now houses over 100 local and international enterprises showcasing their creative flair. Sitting on Hollywood Road, the building is rich in history, dating back to 1862. The original building was the campus grounds for Central School, which was later relocated. It was then severely damaged during World War II and was subsequently demolished. PMQ was rebuilt in 1951 as the Police Married Quarters but it was left unused since 2000 until PMQ was listed as one of eight projects under “Conserving Central” by the Development Bureau.

Walk through the maze of shops selling homeware, fashion and accessories with the hub being home to several established brands like Vivienne Tam, Goods of Desire and more. You’ll be able to find a handful of restaurants and cafes such as Aberdeen Street Social and SOHOFAMA, both of which provide plenty of outdoor seating. There are a few design studios hidden on the floors of PMQ which hold regular educational workshops that ranges from art to cooking. Plus, it hosts monthly art exhibitions and night food markets.


PMQ

Western Market

Its red brick exterior and white arches present a grand façade at the end of Sheung Wan on Des Voeux Road. The Edwardian-style building was completed in 1906 and was refurbished in 1991, making it the oldest market building in Hong Kong.

Transformed into a shopping complex, the ground floor has a few food establishments with The Grand Stage, a large yum cha house on the second floor. The first and third floor sells mainly textiles and fabrics from merchants who had stalls on the old alleyways of Central. Although the building is in a relatively good condition, the interior has been fitted with modern furnishings and decor.


Western Market

Cat Street – Upper Lascar Row

Nicknamed Cat Street, Upper Lascar Row is renowned for its treasures of antiques. Resting in the heart of Sheung Wan, the area has over 100 years of history of antique dealers and merchants selling historical, hand-crafted and quirky modern pieces such as posters, pins, and even bigger items like telescopes for the budding astronomers. Other products such as jade, silk, embroidery and wooden items can also be found on Cat Street.

Upper Lascar Row’s nickname, Cat Street, derived from its profile, as it was previously known as a place that sold stolen items. Stolen items are called “rat goods” in Cantonese, and people who bought items from this area were called “cats”, and thus the area earned its name “Cat Street”.

With the area attracting interest from local and international buyers, more and more modern art galleries have moved into Upper Lascar Row, fitting in perfectly with its arty and trendy vibe. In recent years, Cat Street has transformed into a collector’s paradise.


Cat Street


Cat Street

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