Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the March 2016 issue of The List.
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Happening Hoods: Shek Kip Mei
Bordering Sham Shui Po and Kowloon Tong, Shek Kip Mei is perhaps most well-known for the great fire that took place here in 1953 that left more than 53,000 people homeless. Now revitalized, the area thrives with hidden cafés and artist’s hideouts that combine the vintage with the modern. Explore some of our favorite spots in this old-school yet up and coming neighbourhood.
Be Tabula Rasa Studio
If you’re looking for a quiet way to spend an afternoon in the middle of busy Kowloon, then head to Be Tabula Rasa Studio, a little factory where artists craft dried flowers with a café space surrounded by their handicrafts. Sit among vintage travel books, the store owners’ cats and hedgehogs, and order a drink or a small snack.
1/F, 85 Fuk Wa St., 9010-9515
Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong (公和荳品廠)
Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong is a century-old known for its soybean products made the traditional way and still manually grinds its soy beans. Find a range of salty and sweet dishes such as the pan-fried tofu and its signature sweet tofu fa pudding, served with brown sugar and ginger syrup, then wash it down with their freshly made soymilk.
118 Pei Ho St., Sham Shui Po, 2386-6871
Heritage of Mei Ho House
If you want to know all about the history of Shek Kip Mei, the Heritage of Mei Ho House is a privately run museum by the YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel that will detail everything you need to know about the timeline before, during and after the blazing fire that completely changed the area.
Block 41, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Sham Shui Po, 3728-3500
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)
The most well-known art hub in in the area is the JCCAC, which is housed in a former Shek Kip Mei factory estate. The venue is not simply a nine-story converted piece of architecture, which is delightful to visit in itself, but is also an art village that provides studio facilities for Hong Kong’s artists and holds regular events, talks and design and handicraft markets for the public.
30 Pak Tin St., Shek Kip Mei, 2353-1311
Tucked away in the corner of an unsuspecting street is Toolss, a photogenic stationery store and café. Relevant to its name, it sells an interesting range of hipster stationery with quirky prints and old-fashioned materials. It has made big waves in Hong Kong as a coffee store that serves drinks and small organic bites as well.
G/F, Fook Tin Building, 38 Wai Chi St, Shek Kip Mei, 3954-5135