Treasure Hunt
Treasure Hunt

By Weekend Weekly

The warren of streets and alleys packed full of stores and markets in Central make it a great area for treasure hunters. Start off on Upper Lascar Row, where you will see a fascinating mix of antiques and Chinese calligraphy dealers. Walk uphill to reach Tai Ping Shan Street and the PoHo area — a young and vibrant community of businesses formed by creative minds and the style-savvy. Wrap up your stroll around the Bridges Street area — a melting pot of old and new, with second-hand books and knickknacks that feed your imagination about the city’s past.

Treasure Hunt in Old Town Central

Alexis Holm

Hong Kong-based Swedish designer Alexis Holm founded the creative workshop and store ‘squarestreet’ in 2009. The shop’s minimalist Scandinavian style blends in well with the mellow vibe of the PoHo area.

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Upper Lascar Row
Upper Lascar Row

The highlight of Upper Lascar Row is the seemingly endless row of antique stores, offering an eclectic collection of Chinese calligraphy, arts and vintage furniture. This runs parallel to stalls that sell an array of bric-à-brac collectibles, such as Mao Zedong alarm clocks and Bruce Lee posters. In recent years, local designer boutiques and vintage clothing stores have popped up nearby.

Like its offerings, the name of the street is also rich in history. In the early colonial days, ‘Lascar’ was a term used to refer to South Asians in the British military. Many Lascars came to Hong Kong to work in the police force and a small community of South Asians grew around what is now Upper Lascar Row, which was near the police headquarters.

Hipster 9
Hipster 9

Hipster 9 is a vintage fashion store which started out on Hollywood Road among elderly hawkers.

With unique designs and a European vintage store vibe, it is home to a vast collection of designer bags, brass jewellery from the 1950s, vintage leather jackets and more to intrigue even the most discerning of customers.

Address: G/F, Block A, D Part Building, 140 Wellington Street, Central
Tel: +852 2310 0688
InBetween
InBetween

Blue-clad vintage store is found on Tai Ping Shan Street, the backbone of PoHo, a bohemian neighbourhood of galleries, teahouses and design studios. It houses an international collection of vintage goods, ranging from decanters to film posters, and from vinyl to lapel pins. The store is also home to a selection of local designer products. 

Address: 6B Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 6097 1817
 
Château Zoobeetle
Château Zoobeetle

Château Zoobeetle is a cosy little stop where French sisters Elsa and Johanna who own the luxury leather goods brand, Zoobeetle, display their carefully curated clothing, accessories, CDs and furniture. Enjoy a glass of champagne and French tunes at the open kitchen and bar area of this treasure trove celebrating le joie de vivre.

Address: 38 Sai Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 9288 2472
Website: www.zoobeetle.com
L'impression du temps
L'impression du temps

At first glance, one might wonder whether L'impression du temps is a gallery or a fashion boutique. Hanging inside the well-lit store are colourful banners, alongside silk foulards and attire with exquisite prints. It might not be apparent that this is a pattern design studio until you set foot inside. The designer generates algorithmic patterns by computer to produce wallpapers, fabrics and even 3D-printed goods to construct everything from clothing to homeware.

Address: 58 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2803 2993
Website: l-impression-du-temps.com
squarestreet
squarestreet

This tiny designer shop named after its address is the brainchild of Swedish designer duo David Ericsson and Alexis Holm. Their shoe and timepiece designs feature a balance between form and function. They also stock maps and other goods envisaged by a Hong Kong-based Danish designer.

Address: 15 Square Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2362 1086
Nordic Room by Homeless
Nordic Room by Homeless

Nordic room by Homeless greets visitors with a quintessential Scandinavian vibe. This enclave houses masterpieces from legendary designer Arne Jacobsen, homeware and stationary by Danish brand Normann Copenhagen, Moomins character cutlery, crystal rainbow maker and many more.

Address: 29 Gough Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2581 1880
Website: www.homelessexpress.com
Visionaire
Visionaire

Almost all homeware and jewellery at Visionaire are sourced by the store’s three owners on their trips to Europe, Australia and Japan. Highlights, such as the bread-shaped tissue box and antique wooden blinds, can spice up any home.

Address: 26 Gough Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2745 6868
Website: www.visionaire.hk
You Wu Studio x JikSap
You Wu Studio x JikSap

You Wu Studio x JikSap is a vintage bookstore hidden away upstairs, just next to Wing Lee Street, which was made famous by the film Echoes of the Rainbow. Decades ago, it was nicknamed ‘printers’ street’  because of the traditional printers that were located here. The printing industry has left but you can still get a sense of that bygone era from the interesting collection of vintage books, newspapers, magazines, movie flyers, invoices and even job application letters in You Wu Studio x JikSap. Sylvia, one of the owners, enjoys sourcing these ordinary printed matters as they are a window to the past.

Address: 17 Shing Wong Street, Sheung Wan
Select 18
Select 18

Treasure hunters will be delighted at Select 18, a place caught up in time with a carefully curated collection of treasures ranging from vintage spectacles, bags and hats to old radios and vinyl, among other items amassed by Mido, the owner.

Mido is a Hongkonger of Indian descent, and has been an avid collector of Scandinavian furniture and eyewear since he was young. He also has a taste for vintage items, as reflected by the collectibles he personally gathered or received from relatives abroad.

Address: 18 Bridges Street, Central
Tel: +852 2858 8803

 

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This is one of five self-guided walks in Old Town Central, Hong Kong’s most quintessential neighbourhood. Be sure to check out the others here.

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