Travel Through Time

Central and Sheung Wan – Travel Through Time Central and Sheung Wan – Travel Through Time

Catch intriguing glimpses of daily life in Hong Kong with a stroll through time in the historical yet modernised areas of Central and Sheung Wan.

Travel Through Time
Central and Sheung Wan mapSurrounded by a constantly evolving landscape, be transported through time in some of the oldest and newest sections of town.

Beginning in the Western District of Hong Kong Island, you’ll discover a world of wonder where the hustle and bustle of this modern metropolis mingle with the colourful age-old traditions of yesteryear. Here, among the dried seafood and Chinese herb shops, you’ll see traditions of the past still bursting with life today. As the walk continues you’ll travel forward in time to energetic Central, the financial heart of Hong Kong, which boasts modern towers of steel symbolising Hong Kong’s international success.

Please note: Sections of this tour involve walks up steep hills which may be strenuous for some people.

1. Western Market and Sheung Wan Fong

Like the city that surrounds it, the Edwardian-style Western Market has seen many transformations. It was built in 1906 to house Hong Kong’s Harbour Office and became a food market for some time before closing in 1988. Two years later it was preserved as a Declared Monument, renovated and then re-opened in 1991 with themed shops. Next to it is a compass-like piazza named Sheung Wan Fong, which is a good spot from which to set off on your discovery voyage around the surrounding Sheung Wan area.

How to get there

MTR Sheung Wan Station, Exit B. Turn right and walk for approximately three minutes until you reach Western Market.

2. Ginseng and Bird’s Nest Street, Dried Seafood Street

Wing Lok Street and Bonham Strand West are lined with specialty shops selling such traditional Chinese medicine favourites as ginseng and bird’s nest. At the end of Wing Lok Street, turn left onto Des Voeux Road West to what's commonly referred to as Dried Seafood Street and discover rare and expensive varieties of exotic dried seafood gathered from around the world. Continue along Des Voeux Road West and turn left onto Ko Shing Street. This is the wholesale centre of Hong Kong’s thriving herbal medicine trade, renowned for its wide selection of herbal medicine shops with highly knowledgeable staff. Keep in mind that most of these shops will be closed on Sundays and public holidays.

How to get there

Walk along Morrison Street and then turn right onto Wing Lok Street.

Did you Know

Possession Street, also known as ‘Shui Hang Hau’, is where the British first landed when they arrived in Hong Kong in 1841, calling the spot Possession Cape. As the population grew in the area, a road was built and named Possession Street.

3. Hollywood Road (Antiques Street) and Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street)
Hollywood Road (Antiques Street) and Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street)

Hollywood Road, which links Sheung Wan with Central, and the nearby Upper Lascar Row (often referred to as Cat Street) are best known for their curio and antiques shops. Sellers are happy to assist buyers in transporting large items internationally.

How to get there

Walk back to Des Voeux Road West and turn right onto Bonham Strand West. Continue along Bonham Strand West and turn right onto Possession Street, continuing up the sloping street before turning left onto Hollywood Road. Turn left at Lok Ku Road and then right onto Upper Lascar Row.

4. Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple

One of the first traditional-style temples built during Hong Kong’s colonial era, the Man Mo Temple pays homage to the Taoist God of Literature (Man) and God of War (Mo). The temple also houses statues of Pau Kung, God of Justice, and Shing Wong, God of the City. The plaques near the entrance offer an interesting perspective on the history of the temple and its gods. The Man Mo Temple’s historical relics include a bronze bell dating back to 1847 and imperial sedan chairs made in 1862. It was preserved as a Declared Monument in 2010.

How to get there

Walk back uphill to Hollywood Road, then turn left and walk to the Man Mo Temple.

Did you Know

If you want to know what the future holds, you can shake a fortune stick out of a bamboo cylinder available inside the Man Mo Temple. Then, read an English translation of the old sayings inscribed on the sticks in the book Man Mo Temple, which is for sale inside the temple.

5. SoHo

The lively little dining spot of SoHo takes its name from its location, which is south of Hollywood Road. The entire area is made up of Shelley Street, Elgin Street, Peel Street, Staunton Street and Old Bailey Street. It has an appealing mix of creative shops, funky bars and hip restaurants serving up a huge range of international cuisine, including Nepalese, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese and East-West fusion.

How to get there

Continue walking east along Hollywood Road until you reach the outdoor Central–Mid-Levels Escalator. Take the escalator up to Staunton Street to reach the SoHo area.

Did you Know

At 800 metres long, the Central–Mid-Levels Escalator is the world's longest covered outdoor escalator. It links Des Voeux Road Central near the harbour to Conduit Road in the Mid-Levels. Travelling its entire length takes around 20 minutes and it's a convenient and fun way to check out the bustling city hillside which contains great restaurants and shops. The escalator runs one-way downhill from 6–10am and then changes to uphill from 10am to midnight. As it's used as a transport link for many Mid-Levels residents in the mornings, it's best to avoid it until after 9am when the morning rush hour is over.


  • The escalator stops at Conduit Road and does not lead directly to The Peak. For ways to get to The Peak, click here.
  • Refurbishment works on the escalator will be carried out in phases between 2018 and 2022. Pedestrians can continue to use the staircases and walkways next to the escalator to travel to nearby areas. Click here for details.

6. Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong

When the lights go down in Hong Kong, the ‘in crowd’ heads to Lan Kwai Fong, a buzzing hub of clubs, bars and restaurants, and an absolute must for night owls and people watchers.

How to get there

Walk down the steps beside the escalator and turn right onto Hollywood Road, which will merge into Wyndham Street. Follow the signs into Lan Kwai Fong.

7. Duddell Street Steps and Gas Lamps
Duddell Street Steps and Gas Lamps

These wide stone steps connect Ice House Street with Duddell Street and Queen’s Road Central. The old-style lamps at the head and feet of the steps were built between 1875 and 1889, and are the only four original gas lamps remaining in Hong Kong.

How to get there

Walk up D’Aguilar Street, cross Wyndham Street and turn left into Lower Albert Road past the Fringe Club, and follow the directional signs to Duddell Street.

8. Court of Final Appeal
Court of Final Appeal

The Court of Final Appeal was opened by Governor Lugard in 1912 and was home to the Supreme Court until 1985 when it was converted into the Former Legislative Council. This Neoclassical two-storey granite structure is not currently open to the public.


How to get there

Walk along Duddell Street, cross Queen’s Road Central and then turn onto Ice House Street. Turn right at Des Voeux Road Central and walk to the Court of Final Appeal.

Did you Know

Chater Road, Pedder Street, Des Voeux Road Central and Ice House Street are collectively known as ‘luxury brand streets’ and are a mecca for luxury lovers.

9. Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Hong Kong Maritime Museum

The Hong Kong Maritime Museum, located at Central Pier 8, tells the rich story of the connection between the people of Hong Kong and the sea through exhibits, interactive displays, presentations and tours. With more than 2,000 years of seafaring history, there is something for everyone.

How to get there

Walk along Jackson Road to Chater Road and then turn to Man Yiu Street. Walk to the Central Pier 8 along Man Yiu Street for around 10-15 minutes to the Museum.