• Alyssa Chen

Sheung Wan: Charisma Built on Contrasts

Updated: May 9

Having been living in Hong Kong for 10 years, I am often asked by people where the most must-visit attraction is. There are indeed many options depending on what agenda you have. However, if I am only allowed to name one, definitely Sheung Wan would be my first nomination!


Sheung Wan is an old and eclectic neighborhood with multiple faces. It can be described by many opposite adjectives: old yet new, shabby yet posh, traditional yet modern. This interesting contrast benefits from its great location: the dazzling and hip Central is just few steps walking at its east, which attracts many expats residing here given the more economic rent. The west side arrays ancient neighborhoods that still keep traditional life style. If one wants to see the versatility of Hong Kong in a nutshell, Sheung Wan shows you everything at one go: on one street, you find sleek art galleries next to un-furbished handicraft shops; modern western restaurants beside ragged Hong Kong-style tea house; expensive apartments adjacent to tenements surrounded by Chinese dried food market and with the ancient practice of Chinese medicine in action downstairs.

Being a capricious person, I am easily attracted by things with contrasting personality. Unlike the travel guides that list down must-go attractions one by one, I prefer sharing with you the charisma of Sheung Wan in my eyes.


The coffin shop next to a kindergarten. I really love this ingenious coincidence to demonstrate life- from the beginning to the end!

Many people challenge Hong Kong being a cosmopolitan lacking of culture. Well, in Sheung Wan, arts can be free everywhere as long as you keep your eyes opened.


Amazing Street Arts



Space invaders- it is a shame that a lot more has gone!



Many cute shops in hidden lanes



Peeping corners


Old is better



My most favorite tea house: For Kee Restaurant


Personally I love Hong Kong-style tea houses very much for the big variety of food choice and that rouge yet nostalgic atmosphere. For Kee has been one of my most favorite especially for the super tasty pork chop rice. It is family business and the youngest generation in the restaurant has been at their 40s already. They also have two cats welcoming (sleeping actually!) in front of the entrance all the time.



Hope my sharing gives you some idea for your weekend or vacation! 🙂


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