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Sham Shui Po

In the heart of Hong Kong is Sham Shui Po, an unpretentious haven for street artists, fashion designers, and big-hearted philanthropists: a.k.a. our kind of people. Here, you’ll find markets for just about anything, from vintage cameras to futuristic gadgets, vinyl records, reams of fine cloth, glittering beads, and wholesale fish. Following local street art collective HK Walls’ most recent festival, the district’s become just a little brighter, with murals of all shapes and sizes nestled amongst the daily hustle and bustle… the most visually arresting of which is a huge, rainbow-coloured bear painted in geometric trompe-l’oeil. One of our favourite attractions in Sham Shui Po is the wonderfully quirky Wontonmeen, an artsy 11-storey building with a vintage furniture showroom, a bike rental store, an artisanal coffeeshop, a comfy hostel, and perhaps most importantly, hammocks. Mei Ho House, a nearby converted housing estate, also offers young travellers a cool and colourful place to stay the night. On paper, the part-youth hostel part-heritage museum combo might not sound like it would work, but the cheap and cheerful cultural experience is an absolute winner in our books. While Sham Shui Po is the poorest of all 18 districts, it has given rise to some of the territory’s most vocally pro-grassroots political figures. And who could forget Hong Kong’s most famous salt-of-the-earth humanitarian, Brother Ming? This generous restaurateur is a Sham Shui Po fixture, and is beloved by the community for his efforts to feed the needy, whether they’re refugees, homeless, elderly, or unable to afford a hot meal. Now that’s what we call community spirit.

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