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Uncovering hidden gems in Sham Shui Po

Time Out Hong Kong
  • Written by Time Out Hong Kong

Sham Shui Po’s open-air street markets are a fantastic way to experience the lively local culture. And if you’re in the mood for treasure hunting, you have to check out these places of discovery for a maze-like shopping complex or hidden stores. Aside from these time-honoured stores attractions, the neighbourhood has also become a hub for a new wave of creativity, featuring hip and happening start-ups that are well-worth visiting.


Street markets

Apliu Street

Apliu Street

This busy street is lined with shops and stalls selling all sorts of electronic gadgets. You’ll never know what bargain you might find here, from the latest mobile phone accessories to vintage typewriters and home appliances. While you’re here, be sure to check out Audio Space (Address: 1/F, 151 Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 2729 7271). Not only is this store known for its high-quality audio products, it was also featured in the iconic 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller, Infernal Affairs, starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung.

Fuk Wing Street (Toy Street)

Fuk Wing Street (Toy Street) Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

Also known as Toy Street, this spot is a go-to for those looking for children’s toys, affordable stationery, knock-offs and party accessories. With more than thirty stores, kids and grown-ups alike can experience the joys of discovering hidden gems at any one of these treasure troves. If you don’t know where to begin, check out Wong Kee Flea Market (Address: 81 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon), which sells all sorts of weird and wonderful toys.

Pei Ho Street

Pei Ho Street Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

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.


Places of discovery

Dragon Centre

Dragon Centre

The only established mall in Sham Shui Po, Dragon Centre Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info is especially popular with local teenagers as well as families with kids. The labyrinthine complex boasts a lot of tiny boutiques, eateries and snack stores selling fun and quirky items. Aside from shopping and eating, Dragon Centre also boasts an ice-skating rink if you fancy a cool spin. There’s also an indoor rollercoaster which, although no longer in operation, is still a sight to behold.

Sun Nga Shing Umbrella Store

Sun Nga Shing Umbrella Store Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

Established in 1842, Sun Nga Shing is one of the last stores in Hong Kong that still offer umbrella repair services. Aside from getting your umbrella fixed, you can also admire the numerous handcrafted umbrellas that fifth-generation owner Yau Yiu-wai has made himself (although they’re unfortunately not for sale). Incredibly friendly, Mr Yau is always happy to have a chat about the art of making umbrellas and how best to maintain them.

Vinyl Hero

Vinyl Hero

Tucked away in a residential building on busy Cheung Sha Wan Road is the treasure trove that is Paul’s record collection. In a small, cosy space, owner Paul has boxes upon boxes of vinyl records from the 1960s-1980s. The prices are low and the records span all genres, making it a must-visit for music fans. Be sure to call ahead to make sure Paul is around to let you in.

Golden Computer Centre and Arcade

Golden Computer Centre and Arcade

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, Golden Computer Centre and Arcade Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info 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.

Bo Wah Effigies

Bo Wah Effigies Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

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 Darth Vader helmet inspired by the Star Wars films.

Wah Ngai Canvas

Wah Ngai Canvas

Opened in 1954, Wah Ngai is best known as the birthplace of the red, white and blue bag. The founder Lee Wah started hand-making these nylon carryalls in the 1960s. Cheap but durable, these bags became extremely popular, especially with those who wanted to bring gifts back to relatives in Mainland China. Still widely seen throughout the city, these bags have gone on to become an icon of Hong Kong culture. Today, you can pick up this classic bag at Wah Ngai Canvas Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info , Tsuen Kee Canvas (Address: 219 Yee Kuk Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 2729 1054) or Sun Kee Canvas (Address: 37 Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 2393 5073).

Garden Hill

Garden Hill

Get a completely different perspective of Sham Shui Po from the summit of Garden Hill Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info . A quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the densely packed neighbourhood, this short urban hike also affords great views of the district below, especially during sunset and evening hours. To access, simply walk up the foot of the hill, which is the slope right by the YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel on Berwick Street.

Shop Little Two

Shop Little Two Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

Tucked away among the ribbon stalls on Nam Cheong Street is this deceptively shabby-looking shop filled with quirky treasures. Much of the original interior of the former knitting and yarn shop is left untouched. Instead of knitting supplies, though, it now boasts a dizzying collection of old Hong Kong toys, typewriters, vinyl records and even recipes from the 19th century.


New wave of creativity

Toolss

Toolss

Toolss is a lifestyle space that is part café and part stationery shop. Grab a seat at the large communal table inside, where you can browse through magazines or jot your thoughts down using the beautiful writing materials sold at the store. There are also a few stools by the open window, where you can unwind over a cup of freshly brewed coffee and watch the world go by.

Midway Shop

Midway Shop Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

This charming concept store is inspired by the people and stories that the owners have come across during their travels. The boutique stocks products from overseas artisans, such as sakura-scented soaps and printed tote bags that are crafted in Japan. Feel free to browse through all the products on offer, and ask about the stories behind each of them.

Savon Workshop

Savon Workshop Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

This fragrant shop is a great spot to visit if you want a momentary escape from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Sham Shui Po. The store sells handmade bars of soap crafted from a range of all-natural ingredients such as lavender, rose and coffee. If you have some extra time, consider signing up for one of the classes or private workshops, where you can learn how to make your own bars of soap at home. Classes are available in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Form Society

Form Society

Artist Wong Tin-yan founded Form Society Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info with the hopes of bringing the community closer together. The 1,300 sq ft space is split into five main areas, including a collaboration space and a multipurpose exhibition area. This creative space also hosts regular guest speaker sessions, workshops and pop-up events — all open to the public — so be sure to check ahead to see what they have coming up.

Siugreat Stationery

Siugreat Stationery

Fans of stationery, especially the Japanese-made variety, will surely be delighted by the remarkable selection offered at this hidden fifth-floor store. Aside from the standard supply of pens and paper, Siugreat stocks an array of lesser-seen Japanese fountain pens and more than 100 types of ink imported from Japan and Europe. Note that the shop only opens on weekends.

Openground

Openground

The two-storey Openground Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info is a café, bookstore and atelier all in one. Visitors can enjoy a smooth cup of coffee while getting acquainted with artists who are making waves in the local art scene, such as Little Thunder and Kong Kee. The concept store also hosts intimate talks and workshops with master artists in Hong Kong.

Parallel Space

Parallel Space

Founded and curated by Kim Lam, Parallel Space Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info is an independent art gallery-slash-exhibition venue that curates and organises all sorts of ’art-ivities’, including cultural workshops and artist talks. Past events include a pop-up show featuring only live plants and an Instagram photo exhibition curated by renowned photographer Wing Shya. There is simply no limit to what the gallery presents.

D2 Place

D2 Place

D2 Place Get me there {{title}} {{taRatingLabel}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info is more than just another shopping mall in Hong Kong. Instead of massive chain stores and cookie-cutter retail shops, it houses stylish boutiques and pop-up stores from indie local and regional brands. The popular weekend markets also shine a spotlight on local culture and businesses, offering shopaholics a more meaningful shopping experience than what they would otherwise find at mega malls. A world of retail therapy awaits from MTR Lai Chi Kok Station Exit D2.

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