Old Hong Kong Still Exists





We took a fabulous walk through Hong Kong Island's old district basically using discoverhongkong.com free self guided walk.   Travelling up the mid-level escalators, old, very steep steps, through antique streets, medicinal herb area we really got a taste of the old Hong Kong with the bustling new Hong Kong moving around us.  

We sort of followed the self guided walk given by discoverhonkong.com but skipped a few parts that didn't interest us, making serious shopping detours along the way. Stopping off at delicious coffee shops to fuel our way and ending at the refreshing bars in Soho.  A fabulous very full day out. No need to start until about 10am, as nothing is open. So relax and fill up on a delicious breakfast before starting. 

www.discoverhongkong.com
We started our fabulous tour at the Western market getting there by either the Star Ferry or MTR Sheung Wan Station, Exit B (depending where you are staying), where we walked for about 3 minutes.  We started our self guided tour here.  



We continued on to Des Voeux Road West, commonly known as Dried Seafood Street, strolling past weird and wonderful mountains of dried seafood as well as black moss, dried snakeskin, dried sausage and expensive dried scallop


Some of the shops were very flashy ranging down to smaller more everyday shops. Obviously nothing for us to buy here, as we would have no idea how to use them,  but so interesting and great photo ops! 


The nearby streets of Wing Lok and Ko Shing specialise in ancient Chinese tonic foods where you can find ginseng and bird’s nests to eat!!  



Moving up to Possession street with a number of antique and interesting shops, a very old area named after the first British landing in 1841. 



Here, at 24 Possession Street, you will find Chu Wung Kee grocery store jammed packed with odds and ends. This shop is also mentioned in my post about ceramics shopping in Hong Kong. 
Chu Wung Kee Grocery Store

Turning left onto Hollywood Road (probably named after the holly plant grown in the area, not California) take a look at the stunning art work along the way such as Uma Nota's Laughing Woman featured at 38 Peel street just off Hollywood Road at the Seoul Brothers Fusion cafe.  


Uma Nota's laughing Woman

Turn left again onto Lok Ku road and pop into Luk Kee Curio shop, 32 Lok Ku Road run by the smiley Luk Kee.


Luk Kee Curio Shop, 32 Lok Ku Road



Then wander under the awnings on the opposite side of the road up and onto Upper Lancaster Road on the right.  



Upper Lancaster Road commonly known as "Cat Street" is not open until midday at least, hold off until all the shops are open.



Getting its name from thieves who stole antiques called "rats", the "cats" being the shop owners is where you will find all sorts of antique junk, curios, second hand goods and Mao memorabilia. You bargain here too.  The dudes don't really care, but have a good go!


Clustered in a small area we found large expensive shops down to many, small, crowded garage sale type shops. 


Lots of weird and wonderful trinkets and lots of junk too. Maybe find a vintage game or an old Hong Kong post card.  Or just take fabulous pictures.  A very cute area. 
  
A lot of older dudes ran the shops, some interested in doing business with us, some couldn't care.  


Cat Street, Upper Lancaster Road

One guy, with one of the biggest collections of Mao figurines in the street, spent about 20 minutes with us explaining the history of the Mao propaganda figurines.  What a morbid but interesting talk. Especially the murderess teacher, considering we three are teachers, it was very educational!

Mao propaganda figurines.  The teacher is the pink girl!

While they were produced in their 1000's back in the 1960's, I doubt very much that these were the real deal, even though the dudes said they were.

However, very interesting in a morbid kind of way!  I ended up buying two, but not from the talking guy as they were just too expensive for concrete, possibly fake statues. I wandered down and found the same thing for a lot cheaper at shop 32 Upper Lancaster Road.  


32 Upper Lancaster Road recommended dude!
He even accepted credit card.  I paid about $25 each for these. Be warned though.  They are very heavy. (1.5kg each!) . But so worth it. Not that my friends thought so as I whinged all the way back to our apartment!


Mao propaganda figurines - Mao farmer and Mao medic
Walking back down to Hollywood Road we entered Man Mo Temple.  


Man Mo Temple Front
Surrounded by skyscrapers, a very smoky, atmospheric Taoist temple.  


Man Mo Temple

Unfortunately it was being renovated so was covered in bamboo scaffolding, but still a worthwhile stop.  

Walking along Hollywood Road were a number a cute coffee shops, selling great coffee and food. Classified was a regular breakfast fuel stop for us!


http://www.classifiedfood.com
Ending our walking tour at the fabulous mid-level escalators, we finished at Staunton Street area, filled with fabulous, but expensive, shops and bars.  


Love these escalators!! No walking up!
Don't forget to stop in 17 Staunton Street, for some great ceramics. 



Read about more ceramics shopping in my other posts.


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