When it comes to Hong Kong, most Filipinos choose to visit popular spots like Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Causeway Bay. But there’s plenty of things to do in Hong Kong, whether you’re looking for history, shopping, or food. One of the most underrated places is Sham Shui Po, an old district filled with shopping opportunities, Michelin-recommended restaurants, and an experience that the glitzy parts of Hong Kong can’t offer.
If you want to try something new, check out these alternative spots you can check out on your next visit:
Eat Michelin recommended food
Hong Kong is overflowing with restaurants with Michelin stars and recommendations, and Sham Shui Po does not disappoint. Top of the list is Tim Ho Wan in Fuk Wing Street, a simple restaurant that’s far from the well-designed spaces we have here. Tim Ho Wan is one of the best dim sum spots in Hong Kong and is known as the “world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant.” We’re sure you know how good the baked barbecue pork buns are, but Hong Kong’s version has a softer bun and the baked barbecue is not as sweet.
Sham Shui Po is also home to restaurants that don’t have Michelin stars but are highly recommended by the guide. One is Hing Kee Claypot Rice (Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei), which has a mix of classic and adventurous dishes. Another is Kung Wo Beancurd Factory (Pei Ho Street), a simple store that has been around since 1960 selling all sorts of soy products. For more sweet treats, Kwan Kee Store in Fuk Wa Street has white sugar cake and Hong Kong-style glutinous rice pudding.
Bonus: if you’re adventurous, you can have snake soup at Shia Wong Hip Snake Restaurant in Apliu Street, which serves a thick broth filled with five types of snakes. It tasted like chicken.
Sham Shui Po is known for its extensive clothing market. Designers come to this district to shop for fabrics while fashionistas visit to find the latest styles. If you’re on the lookout for a wardrobe overhaul, head on over to Cheung Sha Wan to find casual streetwear. If you’d like to design your own clothes or make your own accessories, you can visit Ki Lung, Nam Cheung, and Yu Chau to buy fabrics, as well as sewing and crafting accessories. Hong Kong is known as Asia’s fashion capital so you know you’re in the right place when you want something new.
See history at the Mei Ho House
For a dose of history, you can check out Mei Ho House, the only remaining six-story H-shaped resettlement block. It was built in 1954 after the Shek Kip Mei fire in 1953, which left nearly 58,000 people homeless. The Mei Ho House also started Hong Kong’s public housing policy. It now has a museum that shows what life was like, and the rest of the building is a hip hostel for travelers.
Buy electronics at Apliu Street
Techies will love Apliu Street, a haven for bargain-priced new and secondhand electronics. If you’re a hawk-eyed shopper, you’ll also find antique watches, old coins, and other memorabilia. For more vintage finds, you can also check out Shop Little Two in Nam Cheung Street, which has old Hong Kong toys, typewriters, vinyl records, and even recipes from the 19th century.
Support young businesses
There’s new energy springing in this old district, with younger citizens setting up their own businesses. One example is Doughnut, a backpack and accessories brand founded by two young Hongkongers while they were still in school. They now have four stores across Hong Kong and even distribution deals in the Philippines! Their Fuk Wa Street store in Sham Shui Po is beautifully designed.
Another interesting business is Brothers Leather, a leather shop that makes all sorts of goods like bags, shoes, belts, and keychains. The store is brimming with the stuff and you can pick from all kinds of textures, colors, and feels.
Climb Tai Mo Shan’s peak
If you’re up for something adventurous, why not try climbing Tai Mo Shan (Tsuen Wan)? The mountain is the highest peak in Hong Kong and you can catch glimpses of the city between the sea of clouds. The peak is accessible by foot and you can reach the top by two hours.
Visit Hong Kong Disneyland
For Christmas, Mickey and his friends set up a magical wonderland with the Fantasy Gardens Wintertime Market, Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball, A Magical Twilight Snowfall, a Holiday Wish Comes True tree lighting ceremony with carols, and the chance to meet your favorite Disney characters. Geeks will love the Iron Man Experience where you can greet and have a photo with Tony Stark!
Check out Harbour City
You’re probably going to check out the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbour, so might as well see what nearby Harbour City has to offer. For Christmas, they have a 40-meter-long Christmas Bridge at Ocean Terminal Forecourt, which will be the venue of the Original Festive Music Light Show. There will be close to 100,000 LED lights, a 60-foot tall Christmas tree, and other Instagrammable installations. During the weekends, the internationally-acclaimed and award-winning The Pegasus Vanguard will perform for guests.
Pro-tip: for the best view of the Symphony of Lights, head on over to the Ocean Terminal Deck for a 270-degree panorama view of the light show.
Stay at Penta Hotel
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Hong Kong, we recommend Penta Hotel in Kowloon. The place offers lush and hip interiors with a comfortable bed that’s perfect after a long day of touring and shopping. The hotel is a 40-minute drive from the airport and is a few minutes walk to the Diamond Hill MTR Station. Nearby are eateries, the Kowloon Walled City Park, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, the Wong Tai Si Temple, the Chi Lin Nunnery, and the Nan Lian Garden.
Check this out for deals and promos on your next trip to Hong Kong!
WE’RE GIVING AWAY A FLIGHT FOR TWO TO HONG KONG!
Simply tell us why you want to go to Hong Kong via an Instagram photo of what you want to see there. Explain why on your caption and we’ll pick the best answer! Each post must have the hashtag #DiscoverHongKong. The participant’s Instagram account must also be set to public and should follow @wheninmanila and @discoverhongkong on Instagram. The contest ends on November 30, 2018 and we’ll announce the winner on this post on December 1, 2018.
The winner will receive a pair of economy class roundtrip airfare tickets to Hong Kong, with the trip to take place during the first quarter (January-March) of 2019.
Terms and Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the Republic of the Philippines aged 18 years or over.
2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this contest.
3. By entering this contest, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. Route to entry for the contest and details of how to join are via When in Manila’s official website, www.wheninmanila.com, and its Facebook account, @wheninmanila.
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
6. Closing date for entry will be at 11:59PM of 30 November 2018. After this date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
8. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
9. Winners will be chosen by When in Manila and our partner influencers, Bea Marin, Chinchin Obcena, and Katt Valdez and will be announced on When in Manila’s official Facebook page at 11:59 PM of 01 December 2018.
10. The winner will be notified by email and/or DM on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within one week of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
11. We will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected/is delivered.
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The last time I was in Hong Kong, I was with my friends. The next time I go there, I want to be with my mom. She deserves the break and the mother-daughter bonding that I have failed to give her because I was busy with schoolwork. Pictured above is Tai O Fishing Village from when I went there. I would take her there to show her that Hong Kong is not just for shopping and for Disneyland. Hong Kong is so much more, from the sights to the food and culture, and I want my mom to #DiscoverHongKong so she can fall in love with the place as much as I did.
Hong Kong Tourism Board