Western District / West Point, Hong Kong Island
West Point and the Western District, situated on Sulfur Channel at the northwestern corner of Hong Kong Island, were the first major areas settled by the British after their arrival in 1842, and the names of streets and buildings in this densely populated part of the city recall these early arrivals. The farther west you go, however, the more Chinese the area becomes: shops and businesses rarely have signs in English, and few Europeans are to be seen. Here too redevelopment and modernization are in progress; but there are still interesting Chinese tea-houses, medicine shops and businesses. This is not a typical tourist area, but a district which will give the stranger a good impression of traditional Chinese life.
Fung Ping Shan Museum (University Museum and Art Gallery)
This museum, founded in 1932 within the University of Hong Kong on the initiative of Professor F. S. Drake, specializes in Chinese ceramics and bronzes. It provides an interesting insight into the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, periods which were so important to China's artistic development.The collection of bronzes consists of three groups: ritual vessels of the Shang and Chou dynasties, decorative mirrors of the pre-T'ang and T'ang periods, and 966 Nestorian crosses of the Yuan dynasty (1271-1367) - the largest collection of its kind in the world.The collection of ceramics includes painted pottery of the 3rd millennium BC, ware of the Han and T'ang dynasties, the world-famed "blue-and-white" porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing periods as well as work by the Yindezhen and Shiwan potters of more recent times.The museum also has paintings from the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties as well as sculpture in stone, jade, lacquer-work and bamboo.
Address: 94 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 9:30am-6pm; Sun: 1pm-6pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Hong Kong / China- National Day (Oct 1), Chung Yeung Festival (Oct 4), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Easter Monday - Christian, Easter - Christian, Ching Ming Festival, Chinese New Year
Entrance fee: FREE
Transit: Bus 3B, 23, 40, 40M, 43, 103 or light bus 8, 10, 10A, 11, 22, 28, 31
Cat Street (Thieves' Market)
Cat Street, or more correctly Upper and Lower Lascar Row, lies below Hollywood Road. Its other name of Thieves' Market dates from the time when anyone who had had some property stolen could buy it back here on the following day at a very reasonable price! The traditional shops and street-traders have now given way to new buildings and the Cat Street Market, probably the largest collection of Chinese antiques for sale anywhere outside China itself. Bargains can be found in porcelain, rosewood and ebony furniture, curios and chinoiserie.
Ladder Street cuts across Hollywood Road at the Man Mo Temple. From here steep steps lead down to Cat Street. By the side of the steps are many Chinese craft shops, which are worth looking at, as it is often possible to find traditional Chinese products - frequently made by several generations of a family.