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Uncovering Sham Shui Po: A Muslim-Friendly Guide On What To Do, Eat And See


Nasreen Nasir •  Oct 01, 2018


Whether you’re a first-timer or a frequent visitor, Hong Kong will welcome you with a stunning skyline, upscale retail stores and beautiful metropolitan landscapes. What’s not to love about this vibrant city? But there’s another side to Hong Kong that’s worth a visit too. A side that shows the most authentic part of the city – Sham Shui Po. Credit: Giphy Believe it or not, the district has long been housing the working-class population who still follow Hong Kong’s traditional way of life! And it’s still visible up till today where visitors can experience it first-hand ? If you’ve always been in love with the modern Hong Kong, it’s time you take a step back and get to know the old Hong Kong as well. Here’s how you do it!
What To Do
Up your Instagram game at Sham Shui Po’s picturesque spots
1) Garden Hill
Credit: @travel_with_nk on Instagram Anyone who’s up for a fantastic view of the Hong Kong skyline can take a short hike atop Garden Hill from the heart of Sham Shui Po.
Credit: @sukilalau on Instagram Once you’re up there, you’ll be greeted with an amazing view of Hong Kong. And that’s when you can start snapping Insta-worthy photos and just enjoy the cool breeze. If time permits, stay for the sunset. The locals love it too! Address: Garden Hill, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong.
2) Street Art
It’s a known fact that Hong Kong has stunning Instagrammable spots around the city and Sham Shui Po is one of them! With the concept of old-meets-new constantly thriving in the neighbourhood, it’s no doubt that you’ll find pretty interesting artwork around.
Credit: @ckc1984 on Instagram Want to update your Instagram feed? Find the Man Fung Building! A Madrid based artist had an idea to paint the entire facade of the residential building and the result: a larger-than-life mural! If you look closely, you can actually see that the colourful geometry patterns make up a dog’s face ?
Credit: Design by Drake on Facebook That’s not the only place you should go – there’s also a couple of street art you can find on the shutters of Sham Shui Po’s storefronts that reflect the store owners! While finding one can be a little challenging especially if the shutters are opened, fret not, there’s actually a trick! Just download the HK Wall app and scan the QR code of these stores and you’ll be able to check out the closed stutters in VR mode ? For more information, check out Sham Shui Po’s full walking guide! Address: 180 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po
Visit the filming locations of top blockbuster movies
3) Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction
Any Transformers fans here? We’re letting you in on a little secret - Sham Shui Po is one of the filming locations of the recent film. Yes, remember the part where civilians were seen panicking at the sight of big giant robots?
Credit: Ksionic on Flickr That was shot along Tai Nan Street. Time to visit this iconic street and reminisce your favourite scene ?
4) Rush Hour 2
Similar to Transformers, Tai Nan Street was heavily featured in Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour 2! Can’t recall? Let us help you with that.
Credit: PanoramaStreetline on Facebook It was the epic chase scene where Jackie Chan’s character climbed up the bamboo scaffolding while fighting the bad guys! It’s probably one of the best scenes in the film. #HHWT Tip: Can’t get enough of this? Check out the other films that were shot in Sham Shui Po!
Hunt for materials for a tailor-made outfit
Sham Shui Po is a treasure trove for textile shops. From fabrics to ribbons, beads and leather, locals and tourists often flock to this part of the city to find the perfect supplies for any festive activity or special occasions like weddings and birthdays. If you're keen to look for affordable materials, well you’ve found the right place!
5) Yu Chau Street (Beads Street)
Credit: @in_the_pink on Instagram For those looking to upgrade their tired old clothes with some colourful beads, there’s a street in Sham Shui Po where you can shop for all things beads and other sewing supplies. You’ll find plenty of beads ranging from wood to plastic and glass. It’s like walking in a candy store, all the colourful beads are too hard to resist ? For a start, you can pop by Mei Tat Hong or Mee Ngai Wah, both of which offer beads that can be used for jewellery and costumes. Mei Tat Hong Address: 219 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po Tel: +852 2498 8609 Mee Ngai Wah Address: 289-291 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po Tel: +852 2386 9431
6) Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street)
Credit: @lyrehcm on Instagram Walk further into the area and you’ll end at Nam Cheong Street or affectionately known as the Ribbon Street. This part of Sham Shui Po is a top tip for decorative ribbons and lace in all sizes, shapes and colours. Everyone will agree that it’s such a pretty sight when you walk by all the stores there as you’ll see colourful ribbons around. They’re also sold at wholesale prices so that’s quite a bargain, if you ask us. Address: 120, Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
7) Tai Nan Street (Fabric Street)
Credit: @margoulette on Instagram Planning to make your own dress? You can hunt for quality fabrics at Tai Nan Street, a place where you’ll find a bunch of festive materials to help with your dress. Start with Hung Tak Piece Good, a shop that carries everything – various high-quality fabrications and well-designed prints. The choices are colourful and are sure to bring some fun to your look. Hung Tak Piece GoodsAddress: G/F, A, 164 Keelung Street, Sham Shui Po Tel: +852 2391 4613
If you don’t already know, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has recently installed themed decorations around Sham Shui Po area that contain unique QR codes that will link you to the official website for more information. You can find them inside the MTR station, on lamp posts and other points of interest.
Shop for bargains at the fashion streets
8) Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road
Credit: @tanya.mcgovern on Instagram For ready-to-wear clothes, you can walk along Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road and find an eclectic array of clothes and embellishments sold at wholesale prices. It’s the perfect place to get your shopping on and upgrade your wardrobe with new outfits and accessories. Trust us, you’ll spend hours just sifting through the range of products there! Don’t say we didn’t warn you ? Address: Cheung Sha Wan, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
9) Hong Kong Industrial Centre
Primarily a wholesale market, the clothes sold at Hong Kong Industrial Centre are heavily influenced by the many styles of Japan and Korea! But as with most wholesale centers, the vendors are quick to move with new trends so you might see a different collection each time you visit.
Credit: @mb123hk on Instagram The best time to visit this place is on Saturday as every store opens its doors to the public. Do note that you can’t purchase singular items (mostly) and fitting is not allowed. Quality-wise? Don’t be surprised, most of the items’ qualities are on par with that of Zara and H&M so if you’re a regular customer of these brands, you’ll most likely enjoy the quality! Another thing to note is that since wholesalers aren’t exactly retailers, returns are not allowed so do inspect the items first before you pay! #HHWT Tip: For more information, there’s a full walking guide on Sham Shui Po that you can refer to when you plan your trip! Address: No.489-491 Castle Peak Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Shop for your travel essentials at Sham Shui Po’s quirky shops
10) Doughnut Backpack
In an attempt to connect the old and new, Sham Shui Po has recently given birth to hipster-esque shops around. Doughnut is no exception. If you’re looking to upgrade your travel backpack, this quaint store is the place to be.
Credit: Doughnut Official on Facebook Not to be mistaken as an eatery, this local designer backpack label offers one-of-a-kind backpacks and luggage that come in different colours and sizes so whether you’re an outdoor person or a light traveler, you’ll find what you need. Address: 68 Fuk Wa St, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2386 3279
11)Alri Star Leather Factory
Alri Star Leather Factory is a specialty store that offers everything that you need to make leather handicrafts.
Credit: Alri Star Leather Factory on Facebook From custom made handbags to wallets and pouches, you’ll find yourself bringing home a little piece of this store ? So if you’re around the area, we definitely recommend dropping by and check out the products. #HHWT Tip: If you’ve never made any leather goods before, Alri offers workshops too so you can definitely learn a thing (or two!) about the wonderful world of leather! While these two stores may strike your fancy, we recommend that you explore the other iconic attractions too! Address: 236 Tai Nan St, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong Tel: +852 3791 2217
What To Eat
12) A1 Tofu Factory
For a taste of sweet treats, a visit to A1 Tofu Company is a must. And this is not just any ordinary bean curd place – it has been operating for more than 50 years! :O The texture of its bean curd is so silky smooth you’ll find yourself ordering more ? There’s a wide variety of flavours to choose from but the locals particularly love the black sesame, horlicks and almond paste.
Address: 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong Opening Hours: Daily, 7:00am – 9:00pm.
13) Kwan Kee Store
Credit: @strangertalk on Instagram Ever wanted to try authentic traditional Hong Kong snacks? Sham Shui Po is home to many of them, including the scrumptious put chai gou or bowl puddings ? And you can find one at Kwan Kee Store, a corner eatery that’s known for its put chai gou (pudding with red beans)!
Credit: @goldilock84 on Instagram You can choose to have the pudding on a stick but for big eaters, you should definitely get the bowl. This is probably one of the few places you can find this snack so don’t forget to pay a visit!Address: 115-117 Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 8:00am – 8.30pm. Tel: +852 2360 0328
14) Café Sausalito
Credit: Cafe Sausalito on Facebook Need a break after all that walking? Unwind at Café Sausalito, a charming café that specializes in Java coffee. Yes, you can count on them for excellent brews. Be sure to try the Cucumberano – a Cucumber flavoured Americano. We kid you not, the guys at Café Sausalito sure knows how to whip up interesting and unique drinks that leaves customers coming back for more! Address: 201 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po Opening Hours: Mon – Fri, 10:00am – 7:00pm, Sat, 9:00am – 7:00pm, Sun, 9:00am – 6:00pm. Tel: +852 3689 3292 Website | Facebook#HHWT Tip: For more information, there’s a full walking guide on Sham Shui Po that you can refer to when you plan your trip!
What to See
Experience the lively local culture at Sham Shui Po’s street markets
Over the last few years, independent coffee shops and creative communities have called Sham Shui Po home, resulting in a perfect mix of the old and new. But there’s one thing that truly stands the test of time – street markets.
Credit: shumei_there on Flickr  The best part about the street market here is the fact that it's always bustling with energy, with shoppers bargaining with vendors for lower prices and shop owners doing deliveries. It's where you can see and feel how the locals live, and that's the beauty of Sham Shui Po.
15) Fuk Wing Street (Toys)
Credit: @bfgbff on Instagram Known as Toy Street by the locals, families with kids (and even the young-at-heart) will definitely enjoy Fuk Wing Street for it is the ultimate toy haven. Take a trip down memory lane and relive your childhood with everything that the street offers! You never know you might find that toy you’ve always wanted when you were a kid ? Or if you’re looking for those cute (and affordable) Pokémon plushies, then you know where to go. Address: 81 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po.
16) Apliu Street (Electronics and Vintage Goods)
Credit: @paulhogwoodphotography on Instagram Looking for smartphone covers? You’re at the right place. This bustling street is lined with stalls selling all sorts of gadgets, watches and mobile phone accessories. You’ll also find some vintage gadgets and home appliances. Basically things that you never knew you needed can be found here and you can get them at a bargain!
Audio Space
For any audiophile out there, Audio Space is worth a visit. An internationally recognized store, Audio Space might just be the perfect place for anyone who’s looking for high-end and high-quality audio equipment. That’s right, we’re talking amplifiers, loudspeakers and CD players. *Bonus: If you're a fan of Hong Kong movies, you'll be surprised that the popular local movie 'Infernal Affairs' starring heartthrobs Andy Lau and Tony Leung was filmed here! ? Address: 1/F, 151 Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po Tel: +852 2729 7271
Vinyl Hero
Credit: Duso Dash on Facebook For a little something from the past, look for Vinyl Hero – a homegrown store specializing in vinyl collection. It seems that the vinyl phenomenon hasn’t really died in Hong Kong. Don’t be put off by the boxy interior, for the store is a treat to behold! There are no categories, only piles and stacks of records for you to just browse away and feel the nostalgia. Address: 239 Cheung Sha Wan Rd, Lo Wai, Hong Kong Tel: +852 9841 7136
Immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s rich history
17) Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
Credit: @cdxa on Instagram History buffs, hands up! The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum is the perfect place for you. The mysterious four-chambered tomb was discovered in the 50s during a building construction. The locals also discovered ancient inscriptions all over the relic, believing that they could be from the Eastern Han dynasty (AD25-220)!
Credit: @design88furniture on Instagram Today, the tomb is closed for conservation reasons but visitors can still catch a glimpse of the relic from a glass panel inside the museum and also learn the overall history. Once you’re done, walk over to the Han Garden! This garden was built in December 1993 and drew inspiration from the Han Dynasty. Be sure to snap some photos with the rock sculptures around!Address: 41 Tonkin Street, Sham Shui Po Opening Hours:Tel: +852 2386 2863 #HHWT Tip: To uncover more places, there’s a full walking guide on Sham Shui Po that you can refer to when you plan your trip!
18) SCAD Hong Kong
Credit: SCAD Hong Kong on Facebook If you’re wondering why a university is considered an attraction, SCAD Hong Kong was once a magistrate building. For many years, this UNESCO award-winning building was one of the busiest magistracies handling all cases in the Kowloon District until it officially closed in 2005.
Credit: SCAD Hong Kong on Facebook Though much of the interior was modernised afterwards, some of its original aspects like jail cells and courtrooms still remained the same and are now used as offices and lecture halls. If you’d like to know more about the building, you can take part in a guided heritage tour that SCAD Hong Kong offers in both English and Chinese. #HHWT Tip: Do register online if you’d like a tour at least 3 days in advanceAddress: 292 Tai Po Road, Sham Shui Po Tel: +852 2253 8022 Website Despite the high density of modern skyscrapers around, Sham Shui Po is determined to keep the traditional culture alive. Are you tempted to visit this side of Hong Kong? We know you are. It’s never too late to book a ticket now and experience a different Hong Kong. This article is brought to you by Hong Kong Tourism Board.