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Here’s How to Explore Sham Shui Po Like a Local in 12 Hours

Hong Kong’s sights and sounds often read like a convenient checklist — grab mouthwatering street snacks from famous legacy stores, complete one of the city’s many nature trails, take OOTDs at the wall murals and the like. Hong Kong likes to move fast, and keeping things easy and organised is a way of life not just for the locals, but travellers too.

But Sham Shui Po is where Hong Kong’s local style and flavor exist. Hong Kong’s hippest place to be is very spontaneous and edgy. Even half a day just won’t cut it at Sham Shui Po, because there’s simply so much to take in.

Sham Shui Po is full of energy and opportunity, and here are just 5 out of many things you should do at Sham Shui Po in 12 hours!

Check out unique local designs

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Many local creatives in Hong Kong call Sham Shui Po home. Indie design studios, artsy cafes and boutique fashion outlets are ubiquitous sights throughout the district. Here in Sham Shui Po, creative expression abounds.

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Some, like Sun Nga Shing Umbrella Store, are time-tested stalwarts. Currently run by Mr. Yau Yiuwau, Sun Nga Shing has prided itself in bringing out the beauty of umbrellas since 1842. His knack of creativity can also be found in the many interesting handicrafts made from leftover materials.

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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The newer kids on the block may not have as rich a heritage, but brands like Doughnut insist on setting the bar equally high. Founded in 2010, Doughnut’s designer backpacks are often cited as an example of fashion-meets-functionality.

Sift through a treasure trove of electronics

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Ask any Hongkonger where to get cheap electronics and you’ll most likely be told to head over to Sham Shui Po. Vast numbers of second-hand hardware and electronics are sold here, and one can easily find any size, shape and brand of electronics in the district.

If the thrill of bargain – hunting excites you, be sure to drop by Apliu Street Flea Market. Open daily between 10 to 11 a.m. till around 8 p.m, all sorts of electronic devices — A/V equipment, personal computers, handphone accessories among the like — can be found in this literal sea of second hand electronics. The place is also one of Hong Kong’s oldest street markets, and nostalgic sights like gramophones, analog camera and tape recorders often intermingle with more recent electronics.

Folks who are only interested in PCs may prefer to check out Golden Computer Centre instead. A mecca for tech geeks looking for a bootstrapped solution, Golden Computer Centre is home not only to the widest array of low-cost PCs, but computer peripherals, gaming consoles and video games too.

Make your fashion statement here

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Fashion and Sham Shui Po are synonymous — as Hong Kong’s former fabrics and textiles hub, the district is best remembered for the sheer variety of beautiful, high-quality fabrics sold here.

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Sham Shui Po’s fashion offerings are perfect for any aspiring fashionista, and the district has specialty markets that exclusively sell a single fashion accessory, making it extremely convenient to browse and buy. All sorts of buttons can be found on Ki Lung Street or “Button Street”; Lace is in abundance over at Nam Cheong Street or “Lace Street”, Tai Nam Street or “Leather Street” is leather galore and Yu Chau Street, better known as  “bead street”, has everything you need to put together that beautiful necklace.

Not quite sure what to get? Have a go at Cheung Sha Wan Road wholesale markets, which boasts an impressive collection of stores selling just about anything to get you started.

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

Image credit: Alri Star Leather Factory

Fans of leather should absolutely drop by Alri Star Leather Factory. Wearing leather is one thing, but workshops conducted by the good folks here will have you pulling off leather fashion DIY in no time.

Dig into mouthwatering local dishes

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Old ways thrive and flourish in Sham Shui Po, and that means many of the district’s time-tested dishes continue to bear the same beloved home-cooked flavour that made them famous from the start. Authenticity is a trademark in Sham Shui Po, and it’s all about good food done right.

Praised as the best place to have rice noodles or “cheong fun” in Hong Kong, Hop Yik Tai’s signature “cheong fun” is unpretentious but oh-so-mouthwateringly delicious.

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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For a truly authentic grassroots dining experience, be sure to check in with Keung Kee Dai Pai Dong. Literally “stall with big license plate”, Dai Pai Dong’s are a fast-fading breed; what won’t fade away though, is how delicious their signature dishes like tomato noodles and fried oyster omelette

Take a self-guided street art tour

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

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Even loitering around in Sham Shui Po can create an interesting experience. Street art litters the old spaces throughout the district, breathing new life into them and evoking a beautiful marriage between Sham Shui Po’s past legacies and future designs.

All forms of street art have since transformed Sham Shui Po into one huge art gallery, and visitors who wish to take a self-guided tour of the impressive wall art should definitely check out the HK Walls 2016 Map.

Some of these sights stand out in particular:

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

The creative brainchild of Filipino street artists Egg Fiasco at Po Leung Kuk Siu Ching Mansion, Yu Chau Street. Image credit: Wailok – HK Walls – Egg Fiasco

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

The collaborative work of Hong Kong creative group Parent’s Parents and British graffiti artist Dilk. Image credit: HK Walls – Parent’s Parents

explore, travel, how to, here’s how to explore sham shui po like a local in 12 hours

The ubiquitous “Rainbow Thief” over at Man Fung Building, done by Madrid-based artist Okuda San Miguel. Image credit: okudart.es

As one of Hong Kong’s oldest yet paradoxically newest districts, Sham Shui Po has lots more to offer for any visitor.  For a complete guide of all things Sham Shui Po, be sure to check out Discover Hong Kong’s guide to self-guided walks in Sham Sui Po.  Sham Shui Po is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be uncovered, so why not stay a little longer? Even better, make it a 3-day or week-long trip and get more from your Hong Kong escapade.

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