Could I live in Hong Kong? Absolutely. But only if it’s in Sheung Wan.
I love the vibe of this neighborhood. And my daughter loves that it’s less crowded here. And the thing about MG is she goes where I go. She trusts me. I don’t want to break that trust by moving to another city that I know she’ll be miserable in.
Why Sheung Wan? The best thing about Sheung Wan is lots of expats choose this part of Hong Kong as their base. And for good reasons. It is fairly easy to get around. The food choices are amazing. It’s very near Central which is the business sector of Hong Kong and the neighborhood is generally pretty. You can see a lot of beautiful shops on a stroll.
Sheung Wan is one of the oldest districts in Hong Kong just like my beloved Tiong Bahru. It used to be lined with antique shops and dried goods stores. These days, people come here to visit hip and unique shops, grab a bite and have a few drinks at any one of the many trendy bars and cafes around the neighborhood.
Here are some of our favorite things to do, see and eat in Sheung Wan.
Explore Gough Street. It is home to high end furniture shops, boutiques and cool cafes. Homeless is a favorite haunt. It’s a lifestyle store and one of the more popular stores in Hong Kong. Take your time here and take it all in. Everything you see is a treat for the eyes. Lots of interesting things and ideas you can adapt in your own homes.
Have a cup of flat white at Elephant Grounds which is conveniently located inside WOAW Concept Store, another shop with interesting knick knacks. Sit at the balcony which overlooks a small community park and people watch while enjoying your Flat White which is amazing here, by the way.
When you’re done with your coffee, why not head to Man Mo Temple? Man Mo Temple is the oldest temple on Hong Kong Island. Locals come here to pay respects to the God of Literature and God of War which are housed here.
Now it’s time for some refreshments. I’m quite sure you’d be parched after exploring the temple and can’t wait to just chill before dinner. Little Bao is the perfect place to do just that. It’s a small place and we were lucky to be seated inside during our visit. No tables. Just bar stools and counters. Of course, I ordered something to drink first (with alcohol) before having dinner. They serve “Asian burgers” or bao with a delicious twist along with other interesting and yummy sharing plates. I can’t recommend this place enough. In fact, I still dream about their fluffy buns filled with scrumptious and tender pork belly.
If bao isn’t something you envisioned for dinner, Yardbird is just nearby. Part of my Eat list when we visited a year ago. I love this Yakitori place so much. The concept is small (pretty small) sharing plates that you’d be “obliged” to order and try everything on the menu. Brilliant concept. The resto’s main star is the chicken and every part of the chicken including neck, tail and innards! Nothing is wasted here. My favorites are the chicken tail and Korean Fried Cauliflower (KFC). Yes, cauliflower! If you can make cauliflower tastes this good, you have my respect. Yardbird should be on top of anyone’s list when visitng Hong Kong.
Dining at Little Bao or Yardbird can be expensive. A meal can set you back 300-500 HK dollars per person. But Sheung Wan has other low-cost delicious options. There’s Tsui Wah, a popular cha chaan teng with branches all over Hong Kong. I love the Fish Ball soup. The broth is just heavenly and not at all fishy.
Another affordable option and a must when in Hong Kong is a Dai Pai Dong or a local open air food stall. In Sheung Wan, there’s one located in Gough Street just across Homeless that serves anything from noodles to bread, eggs and coffee. We got to try the noodles while sitting on stools and sharing the table with 10 other locals. No other tourists but us.
Hong Kong can never run out of cafes or coffee shops. For instance, three of my favorite coffee shops are in Sheung Wan. One of them is Lof 10 located in a not so busy area of Sheung Wan. Although not the best cup of coffee I’ve tasted, the space alone is worth a visit. The coffee shop would make anyone decide to take it slow and linger. Perfect for tourists and locals alike who seem to be in a hurry all the time.
After all that, I’m quite certain that all you want to do is head back to your hotel put your feet up and watch TV. But don’t just hail a cab or ride the MRT. For a truly authentic Hong Kong experience, ride the Ding Ding or the double-decker tram. It’s a form of transportation and has been around for like a century. It’s also the cheapest mode of getting you from east to west and vice versa.
Hong Kong is a very dynamic city. It’s hard to narrow down all the fantastic places and things to do in one post but this mini guide should get you started. Do check out our Ubud Mini-guide if you’re planning to visit Bali anytime soon or Stanley, another neighborhood in Hong Kong we also explored during this trip.
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