A former design student, Au-yeung Ping-chi started helping out at his father’s paper effigies store after graduating from school. Although he currently lives in Yuen Long in the New Territories, Mr Au-yeung travels to Sham Shui Po almost every day and can often be found at Bo Wah, making paper offerings in the shape of modern-day consumer goods. “Even though this neighbourhood appears old and unglamorous, there’s a lot to eat, see and do here,” he says. For visitors, he recommends Sham Shui Po’s many shopping streets, including the always bustling Pei Ho Street. Those with a creative streak will also enjoy strolling down Yu Chau Street, Ki Lung Street and Nam Cheong Street, where they can shop for all sorts of materials for fun DIY projects.
Tucked away in an alley, this tiny store has been making galvanized iron products for more than half a century. Although now a rare sight, these items were once a mainstay in homes and businesses before they were displaced by plastic and stainless steel. The wares sold here are all hand-moulded by owner Mr Ho, one of the few remaining artisans in this trade.
Nam Cheong Street was an integral part of Sham Shui Po’s textiles and manufacturing industry in the 1950s and 1960s. Even now, it’s one of the best places to find lace and ribbon in all sizes, shapes and colours. Mostly sold at wholesale prices, these ribbons and trimmings are great for DIY crafts or for brightening up any article of clothing.
This bustling wet market is the perfect place to experience Sham Shui Po like a local. The street is lined with stores and stalls that sell fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and all sorts of daily necessities. The street also houses numerous snack stalls, so you can grab a quick bite to eat while you browse through all the goods on offer.
Ki Lung Street is also known colloquially as Button Street due to the amount of wholesale vendors selling different types of garment fasteners. Aside from buttons, zippers and clasps, you’ll also find stores here that sell ready-to-wear pieces, as well as various textiles. In fact, Ki Lung Street is also home to a fabric market that’s frequented by local designers. If you want to pick up some fabric, note that most stalls start selling from the early morning and are closed over the weekends.
Yu Chau Street – also affectionately known as Bead Street – is where you can shop for all the beads and sewing supplies you’ll ever need. The stores stock everything from wood and plastic to glass, which can be used for handmade jewellery, bedazzling smartphones and even decorating gel nails. If you’re not sure where to start, try Mei Tat Hong, which offers a wide range of beads, buttons, ribbons and even high-quality Swarovski crystals. Another recommended store is Mee Ngai Wah, which specialises in costume jewellery, especially those made from sterling silver.
Not only isconsidered one of the best dim sum spots in Hong Kong, this local neighbourhood gem offers one of the cheapest Michelin-starred dining experiences in the world. Its most famous dish? The baked barbecue pork buns are mouth-watering and addictive.
Bo Wah specialises in paper effigies that are burned in traditional Chinese rituals as offerings to honour the deceased. Aside from market-standard effigies such as clothes and houses, this museum-like store also offers more modern items and custom-made products such as smartphones, electric guitars and even a Stormtrooper helmet inspired by the Star Wars films.
Originally dedicated to fashion wholesale in the 1970s, the mall eventually morphed into the mecca for gamers that it is today. Occupying the first floor and basement,is a maze of tightly packed stores that stocks the latest gear, games and gadgets. Prices vary from store to store, so be sure to visit multiple shops and compare prices before you make a purchase.
Locals come to this corner eatery for its homemade Chinese sweets. Recommended in Michelin’s street food guide, the shop is most famous for its bowl puddings – aka put chai koh in Cantonese – which are made with white or brown sugar and studded with red beans. Other traditional treats include white sugar cakes and black sesame rolls.
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