Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Walking Tour: Yau Ma Tei

Welcome back to Wednesday Walking Tours! Lately we've been exploring some busy, glitzy shopping areas of Hong Kong like Central and Causeway Bay. Today I'm going to take you through my very favorite "local" area: Yau Ma Tei.


You can take either the Tsuen Wan line or the Kwun Tong line to the Yau Ma Tei MTR station.


Turn right out of the station. You'll see a shop selling all kinds of fruit.


They have sugar cane juice too.


Turn right immediately so that you are walking towards the back of the MTR entrance on your right.


Walk past the shops on the left selling all kinds of street food.


Take a look down the first street on your left. In the evening there is usually a long line on this street for a famous little place serving rice is hot clay pots.


Keep walking along Man Ming Lane.


You'll see a few nicer, newer buildings, but most of this area is quite humble.


The second street on your left is called Temple Street. Turn here.


You can see packed up evidence of the Temple Street night market, which ends here.


It's pretty quiet during the day here.


Continue along Temple Street. This area will be bustling by 7 pm.


This is a sign for that clay pot restaurant I told you about. They actually have four locations right here around this corner because it's so popular.


Keep walking down Temple Street.


Of course, I always notice the bookshops.


You'll see signs of all kinds of life here, even though it's pretty quiet now.


There are record shops...


...food shops...


...and even a few quiet shrines.


The buildings are more rundown in this area of Kowloon than they are on the Island.


Eventually, you'll reach the Tin Hau temple for which Temple Street is named.


At night, this street is filled with stalls selling antiques (real and fake), but right now there are just a few religious items.


In front of the temple you'll see a park filled with Banyan trees.


As you walk along its edge, notice the old men playing chess under the trees.


To your left the park continues and the street becomes busier.


But we're going to cross the street and continue our walk beneath the trees.


On the right hand side of the street, notice the coffee shop on the right.


Then keep walking up the street.


There will be a community center to your left.


Walk beneath the scaffolding and continue on your way.


As always, there are signs to help you find your way.


When you see the big police station turn right...


...and cross the road.


Leave the street and enter Prospherous Gardens. Walk toward the McDonalds sign.


You'll find the Broadway Cinematheque, a great little theater that regularly hosts small international film festivals.


Continue past the cinema through the patio area.


Next door to the cinema you would usually find the Kubrik Cafe and Bookshop, a great place to hang out that is currently being renovated. You can see my pictures of it featured in the Amazing Bookshops Around the World section of Andrea's Mystery Moor blog.


Keep walking through the estate patio...


...and turn right again at the 7-Eleven.


Pass a block of grimy apartments...


...then cross the first street you come to and turn right.


This street is fill of shops selling kitchen goods, though most of them are closed today (I took these pictures the day after Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a public holiday).


This is what you normally see along the whole street.


Walk past the shops.


You'll notice a few other people doing the same.


Above your head you can see the kitchen goods that were not taken in for the holiday.


You might find a few quirky little shops here.


Notice the odd colors all around you.


Don't forget to look up every once in a while as you walk along the street.


And notice the little things.


When you reach the restaurant with the potted plants at the corner...


Turn left onto Public Square Street.


Remember that little coffee shop? You've now made a full loop, and this is where we end our tour.

Thanks for joining me for another Hong Kong walking tour. I hope you've enjoyed this look at Yau Ma Tei on a quiet day. Come back next week for another walking tour!

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