Ultimate Local Indulgence in Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po

Discover Hong Kong’s living culture through the lens of an award-winning videographer

Behind the dazzling skyscrapers and shopping malls, and away from the thrilling nightlife and fine dining, there is another world to explore in Hong Kong. Look beyond the city’s established attractions and you will find Sham Shui Po – an eclectic neighbourhood where tradition and modernity embrace and where every street corner exudes the sheer essence of daily lives.

You can happily lose yourself for hours in the extraordinary and enticing bustle of Sham Shui Po. But the experience has now been compressed into a fascinating two-minute time-lapse video titled Immerse Yourself in Sham Shui Po like Locals Do. Shot by local resident and award-winning videographer Alex Rodriguez at the invitation of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), the captivating film showcases Sham Shui Po’s best-kept secrets from the perspective of a gaai fong (local inhabitant) to a global audience of potential visitors.

Immerse Yourself in Sham Shui Po like Locals Do

The film portrays a typical day in the distinctive market community and begins as parasols spring up on stalls along the streets soon after daybreak. The buzz gathers as residents venture out from tenement buildings to do their daily shop. Within the markets lies a bewildering array of goods apart from fresh produce and roasted meat, such as vintage toys and antiques, colourful fabrics, latest models of computers, and so much more. The open-air market on Apliu Street in particular has a hypnotic allure for treasure hunters from local and abroad.

Apliu Street is a playground for all walks of life,” Alex explains. “They sell all sorts of gadgets and electronic parts, second-hand items, and everything you could imagine. Even my first time-lapse gear was built from parts I bought here. After living here for six years, I still feel like a kid in a candy store in Sham Shui Po.”

Following a long line of hungry diners into the dim sum mecca of Tim Ho Wan, the film captures stacks of bamboo steamers. The culinary exploration continues through numerous Michelin-recommended local favourite eateries and street food stalls, not missing the hugely popular, silky-smooth tofu dessert at the Kung Wo Beancurd Factory, showing why Sham Shui Po is a magnet for food lovers.

The film then runs at a more leisurely pace at the entrance to the Arli Star Leather Factory, where craftsmen draw inspiration from the exuberant contrasts of the neighbourhood surrounding them. The mellow ambience injected into the classic district by young dream-chasers radiates across Tai Nan Street to Café Sausalito, where a live jazz performance provides a fitting soundtrack to the vividly creative atmosphere.

The pace of life remains just as frenetic as dusk falls. “One of my favourite parts is seeing my neighbourhood’s silhouette lights up from Garden Hill at sunset. The old buildings and skyscrapers create a vista that is beyond compare.” says Alex. His video portrait ends in style at a dai pai dong, a traditional open-air restaurant where sizzling Cantonese stir-fry food is served up and enjoyed among friends under the glow of neon-lit streets.

Self-guided Walks Recommended by Locals

Visitors can follow in Alex’s footsteps and enjoy for themselves the extraordinary and life-enhancing scenes captured in his remarkable film. The HKTB offers insiders’ insights on exploring the authentic community through a walking guide of Sham Shui Po containing personal recommendations from local personalities. For more Hong Kong travel info, visit their website and the walking guide is available here.