Chatteris’ own Jemma Davies takes us on a leisurely stroll through the vibrant, trendy neighbourhood of Sai Ying Pun.
Hong Kong Island has a plethora of incredible neighbourhoods. We have all seen the glitz and glam of Central, experienced the shopping of Causeway Bay, and enjoyed the tram across the Island at its languid pace. Well, lend me your ear, and let me introduce you to your new favourite Hong Kong Island stop: Sai Ying Pun.
Find Sai Ying Pun in Sai Wan – the western part of the island. The trek from Kowloon is worth the cute cafes – they would have even Jessica Day from New Girl spinning. Hop on the MTR and head west on the blue line with me!
Where to start
Once you zoom over, leave the Sai Ying Pun MTR station and take exit B to find yourself in an artistic oasis. Artlane is an area in Sai Ying Pun composed of old buildings and alleyways that are covered in gorgeous murals painted by a variety of international artists. Perfect if you are needing a new Instagram photo!
Sai Ying Pun is primarily made up of the parallel streets of First Street to Third Street which are neatly cut by Centre Street. Leave Artlane and begin your clamber up Centre Street to be bombarded with delicious, international eateries. I was recently told that Centre Street is the steepest street in Hong Kong– I believe it! Enjoy a light workout and the views as you make your way up. No worries if you are like me– there are escalators.
Eating, drinking and shopping
Want a coffee? Fineprint is a favourite. The third location to open in Hong Kong, this Fineprint is as deluxe as the others, found on Peel Street and in Tai Hang. A flat white and avocado on toast? My Gen Z dream.
Nearby is Live Zero, Hong Kong’s first zero waste store, selling food, beauty necessities, and plastic-free products. Are you looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Bring your own container to buy dry food in bulk here!
If you are feeling peckish, you have come to the right neighbourhood. Following a self-defined “elevated grab-and-go” concept, Fat Chad’s is a bodega inspired sandwich shop (that also sells salted caramel banana fritters!). There is always a massive queue, which is a good sign, right?
A restaurant also worth mentioning is El Macho, a delicious Mexican place with the most unique way to serve nachos (I will give you a clue: individually).
Good Good is a phenomenal vegetarian restaurant for our non-meat eaters. Try their delicious mushroom and egg lunch set with sides of potato, ginger, miso, and grapes! I like to follow this with a coffee jelly for dessert. Yum!
Speaking of dessert, for a real treat, head to Books & Co – an eclectic shop full of piles and piles of cheap, secondhand books. The catch? There is no Dewey Decimal System, alphabetising or any sort of order. You must hunt for the book of your dreams!
Ending with a walk
I love to round up an afternoon with a nice wander. My favourite walk in Sai Ying Pun begins at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park. From there, you are able to meander west along the water, past a number of redeveloped piers and parks to Kennedy Town. You see some spectacular views of Kowloon. I enjoy doing this walk at night when the tide is high, it somehow feels very quiet and far away from the hubbub of the city.
There you have a lovely afternoon in Sai Ying Pun! Happy exploring!
Would you like to explore hidden gems in your Hong Kong neighbourhood like Jemma? Join us as a Chatteris Tutor.