As the most densely populated neighbourhood in the world, it’s no surprise that Yau Tsim Mong is jam-packed full of hidden shops and experiences. From one of Hong Kong’s first speciality coffee shops, to hidden artisan shops, and revitalised historic buildings. There’s just so much to explore in Yau Tsim Mong.
Here are some of our top picks.
Built by architect W.H. Bourne, this elegant corner tong lau shophouse is now a Declared Monument and was originally home to a bone-setting shop and the Lui family’s private residence. Its architecture is typical of the hybrid Chinese-Western style of the era, with deep verandahs that allowed for indoor-outdoor living in the days before air conditioning. The house managed to survive even as all of its neighbouring buildings were redeveloped and, in 2012, it was restored and converted into a Chinese medicine centre. Don’t miss the herbal tea shop and exhibition on the ground floor.
When they were built in the early 1930s, the row of four-storey shophouses on Prince Edward Road were top of their class, with high ceilings, deep verandahs and indoor toilets — a luxury that wasn’t required by the building codes of the era. The entire block has recently been restored and there are treasures to be found on its upper floors. GoodPoint, located in one of the shophouses, is a particularly good place to discover. Managed as a social enterprise, it is home to a teahouse, a food store selling local and organic products, and a shop supplying Chinese ceramics and textiles.
Kowloon Park sits on the site of the former Whitfield Barracks, a British military base that was closed in the 1970s. Some of the historic military buildings were preserved, including the one now home to the Heritage Discovery Centre. Behind a leafy courtyard, you’ll find a permanent exhibition on Hong Kong’s heritage conservation efforts, as well as another gallery that’s home to regular art exhibitions and other events. There’s also a reference library with resources on local history, archaeology and architecture.
Think of artisan coffee like fine wine. Instead of a perfunctory cup of bitter brew that wakes you up, high-grade beans are carefully grown, prepared and roasted to bring out the flavours of their terroir. Some are citrusy, others taste like chocolate; still others are as delicately floral as tea.was one of the first speciality coffee shops to open in Hong Kong and it is still one of the finest, with a large selection of single-origin coffee that can be brewed in a number of different ways. It also offers staple cafe meals like beans on toast and pasta.
Stylish and durable everyday objects are the focus of this upstairs design shop, which stocks products like Fedeca camping knives, Marlborough flasks and candles from Brooklyn Candle Studio. Although the focus here is on practical objects, they are the sorts of things that are long lasting enough to pass on to your children. Items like the stainless steel Aoyoshi coffee mill are hard to find elsewhere in Hong Kong, so it’s a good spot for a unique gift.
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