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Discover Hong Kong’s “Old Town Central” Five New Self Guided Walking Trails

April 29, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Central is full of history and stories, and is the birthplace of colonial Hong Kong. It reflects the evolution of Hong Kong from a sleepy British colony to one of the world’s great cities. Central is well-known as a glitzy financial district, jam-packed with skyscrapers, but beneath the stunning skyline, history, art, food and culture take hold in this once colonial neighborhood, where East and West, past and present, tradition and innovation, and bustle and tranquility coexist, blend and collide.

To provide visitors with a unique perspective when exploring Central and neighbouring Sheung Wan area, five new themed walking routes have been thoughtfully designed to reveal over 100 years of Hong Kong history. The routes take visitors to colonial monuments, temples, art galleries, street art display, antique stores, hip boutiques, trending restaurants, and bars and local delicacies, with hidden gems at every turn.

Five “Old Town Central” Walking Routes
1 Heritage: Time Traveller

The Central and Sheung Wan areas were where the story of modern Hong Kong began. From Possession Point, where the British flag was first officially raised, to the Tai Ping Shan area, where many Chinese first settled in the 1840s, this journey leads you through some of the city’s oldest streets and offers glimpses of what life was like when the future world city was still in its infancy.

Chu Wing Kee, a store on Possession Street, has a 60-year history.


The Tai Kwun Complex housed the offices of the police, the magistracy and a prison in the mid-19th century.

Pak Tsz Lane Park was the site of an important historic event in 1892, involving the great Chinese revolutionary Dr Sun Yat-sen.

2 Art: Crazy for Art

Take a stroll down the Hollywood Road, one of the oldest streets in Hong Kong, lined with galleries offering a huge range of artworks, from ancient to contemporary and from Asian to Western. Enjoy the creative graffiti art on the walls of the many side alleys leading off the street.

PMQ, the former Police Married Quarters, now houses works by promising young artists and designers.

Hollywood Road, where upscale galleries meet street art.


The traditional green metal stall of Yuk Yip Desserts, a traditional dai pai dong, forms an interesting contrast with the murals of the urban pubs behind it on Elgin Street

3 Dining: Tasting Hong Kong

Central is a paradise for food lovers, offering a world of choices only steps from each other. From traditional dim sum and international and fusion cuisine to local dai pai dongs and street food, there’s something to appeal to every taste.

Traditional Chinese dim sum at the century-old
Lin Heung Tea House



Traditional dai pai dongs,
for a Hong Kong-style alfresco
dining experience.

Rooftop bars are ideal spots for taking in the intoxicating night view of Central.

4 Treasure Hunt: Hidden Gems in Back Alleys

This route takes you to Upper Lascar Row, which has a fascinating mix of antiques; a blooming creative neighborhood on Tai Ping Shan Street and in the PoHo area, where design studios are nestled between teahouses; and the Bridges Street area, where visitors can find second-hand books, knickknacks and reminders of the city’s past.

The stalls in Upper Lascar Row sell antiques, Chinese-style ornaments and jewellery

The blue-clad vintage store In Between and the green shopfront of Tallensia Floral Art on Tai Ping Shan Street in the PoHo area.


Old bookstores and vintage shops are a common feature on Staunton Street.


5 Something for Everyone

This walk covers the top landmarks and points of interests from each thematic route and is perfect for visitors who have limited time to explore the area.

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