From where to find the Hong Kong crowds at their most manic to streets with a hint of colonial style, we pick the 10 streets you need to see when in Hong Kong.
It doesn’t get any better or brighter than Nathan Road. This wide boulevard is the main commercial road through Tsim Sha Tsui and is packed with honking cars and crowds of people. Step around the conmen hawking fake Rolexes and chancers trying to flog cheap suits to find shops open until the early hours, monster malls and banks of neon signs lending a glow to this shrine of capitalism.
Crowds at Yee Woo crossroads
The junction of Yee Woo Street in front of the Sogo department store is the best place to watch Hong Kong’s throngs of people. This is the main shopping district and when the lights change at Yee Woo you’ll see hundreds of people go skitling across the road. It’s best seen under the neon glow of the advertising hoardings by night.
Colonial Duddell Street
Hong Kong has an addiction to knocking stuff down and putting up taller and shinier skyscrapers. That means there aren’t many streets left that have a colonial style or atmosphere. Your best bet is Duddell Street. The granite steps here date from Victorian times and are topped by the last four working gas lamps in Hong Kong. At the top you’ll reach Ice House Street and the Foreign Correspondents Club – one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in Hong Kong.
Sneaker street (Fa Yuen Street)
Need sneakers? Look no further. Several dozen shops all cluttered together selling Nike, Puma and anything you might need before you tread on a basketball court. The shops open from mid-afternoon until 10pm-1ppm at night.
The Road to the Peak
Sure, you could take the Peak Tram up to the top of Victoria Peak, but then you wouldn’t enjoy the winding views from Old Peak Road. At the top, you’ll find the best views possible of Hong Kong’s forest of skyscrapers.
Dried Seafood Street
It’s perhaps only in Hong Kong that a street could be dedicated to dried seafood. You probably don’t want to buy black moss or dried scallops, but it’s worth a visit here to see all sorts of exotic dried out seafood spilling out on the street. Many of the shops here have been trading for fifty years, and you’ll still see delivery drivers on bikes and housewives bartering over the price of abalone. Top tip: be prepared to hold your nose.
Take the tonic on Wing Lok Street
Not far from dried seafood street, tonic street is where you come for a little pick me up. Here, experts in traditional Chinese medicine cook up batches of foul-smelling medicine to sell to bedraggled office workers. Aside from cauldrons of steaming soupy medicine, this is also where you can pick up birds nest soup, ginseng and other exotic local herbs and spices.
Antiques at Cat Street
The steps that climb up Cat Street not only offer a hell of workout for your legs but also lead to the best place in town to pick up some local gifts. The stalls here are stacked high with mini Mao statues, reproduction Ming vases and movies posters from Bruce Lee’s glory days. If you’re looking for the street on a map, it’s marked as Upper Lascar Row.
Bar crawling along Lockhart Road
Wan Chai is the best place in Hong Kong to enjoy a drink or three and Lockhart Road is in the very heart of the action. There are a couple of dozen bars stretched out along the road and you’ll find the street buzzing into the early morning.
Meet celebrities on the avenue of Stars
The stretch of waterfront walk is a homage to the great and the good of the Hong Kong movies – topped off by a statue of Bruce Lee. The avenue curves around the harbour front and affords a front row seat of the skyscrapers across the water