Sham Shui Po in the 1950s and 60s is known as the heart of Hong Kong's textiles manufacturing industry and to this day, the district remains a popular haunt for designers and artisans. If you're looking for vendors specialising in different types of accessories or fabrics, or just venturing to see the historical textile areas of the district, visit Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar, a designer's fabric haven selling all kinds of textile, Ki Lung Street – also known as Button Street – featuring shops selling an array of sewing and beading items like buttons, zippers, clasps, fabrics, and various embroidery accessories, and Yu Chau Street (Bead Street), which is home to a wide selection of beads and sewing supplies. For ribbons and trimmings, Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street) has it covered; here you will find lace and ribbon in all shapes and sizes.
Ki Lung Street I Photograph: TA
As for leather goods and tools, head to Tai Nan Street (aka Leather Street) and peruse various leather crafts from old shops like Luen Cheong Leather Hong Kong – established since 1948 and specialising in locally-made lamb and cowhides – to new-generation leather stores like Alri Star Leather Factory and Brothers Leathercraft that offer leathers and crafting tools and even hosts workshops for beginners.
If you're looking to score ready-to-wear garments at bargain deals, make sure to drop by at Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road where you can peruse over 200 shops selling wholesale deals.
Apliu Street has everything from electronic devices, mobile phone accessories to vintage typewriters, home appliances, amplifiers, speakers, and audio accessories which you can get from shops like Audio Space. For all kinds of party favours and toys, head to Fuk Wing Street, also known as Toy Street, and look for Wong Kee Flea Market to spot various toys – from weird, cheap, tacky, to cute and fun.
Shop for everyday home staples at Pei Ho Street, a bustling wet market lined with stalls that sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats where locals get their daily produce. Here, you can also stop to refuel as Michelin-recommended snack spots are lined in this area.
Golden Computer Centre and Arcade is a popular destination for people looking to buy the latest gadgets, gear, and games accessories. And Dragon Centre – one of the few malls in Sham Shui Po – hosts plenty of small shops selling fun and quirky things.
Foreforehead I Photograph: Jack Wong
Once you're done with gadgets and garments, you can dig into a treasure trove of knick-knacks from various specialty stores in the neighbourhood. Siugreat Stationery is a go-to spot for Japanese stationery where they have multiple kinds of fountain pens and more than 100 types of ink imaginable. Savon Workshop offers handmade soaps, skincare products, and raw materials. It even holds regular in-store workshops in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English language for people who want to DIY natural soaps.
Zapjok is a quirky shop that sells everything from pottery items, incenses, Palo Santo sticks, jewellery, shoes, and watches, along with items crafted by local designers. Another spot is Storerooms, a lifestyle shop that sells everything from garments, designer vases, clocks and watches, umbrellas, shoes, and a lot more. Foreforehead sells various cutesy and eccentric oddities, from clothing, accessories, homeware, and various decorations. The shop also doubles as an exhibition space for young local artists and brand pop-ups.
If you're looking for quirky Japanese finds that don’t come from Don Don Donki, head to Midway Shop to buy kitchenware, sakura-scented soaps, hats, and printed tote bags by artisanal Japanese brands.
Sun Nga Shing Umbrella Store I Photograph: Calvin Sit
A trip to SSP wouldn't be complete without meeting some local fixtures like Hong Kong's most famous vinyl collector Paul Au at his shop, Vinyl Hero that sells vinyl records from the 1960s to 1980s, and fifth-generation umbrella maker Yau Yiu-wai in Sun Nga Shing Umbrella Store – standing since 1842 – one of the last stores in Hong Kong that still offers umbrella repair services.
For people with interests in independent records, drop by at White Noise Records, and browse through a selection of tunes ranging from old soul to heavy metal and electro-pop.
If you're still up for some treasure hunting, Shop Little Two – tucked among the ribbon stalls on Nam Cheong Street – showcases a dizzying array of novelty items, nostalgic Hong Kong toys, vinyl records, old cameras and typewriters, and other vintage knick-knacks.
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