Field notes

Sham Shui Po's charm offensive

Quaint but poor district in Kowloon finds new life as tourist attraction

Ask cafe owner Michael Tam, 32, about the Kowloon neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po and he will tell you childhood memories of busy streets, sidewalks lined with goods bound for, or from, China, and people flocking there for colourful beads, buttons and belt buckles.

Manufacturers may have moved to the mainland in the 1980s, but many accessory shops remain. For instance, Yu Chau Street is known for beads; for buttons you head to Ki Lung Street; and you go to Nam Cheong Street for rolls of ribbons.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Sham Shui Po's charm offensive '. Print Edition | Subscribe