Art and Craft / Culture / Hong Kong / Lifestyle / Shopping

What’s in the Hawker’s Bazaar? – Sham Shui Po

On an inconspicuous corner opposite the Sham Shui Po Police Station sits a rather unusual sight, even for this poorer part of Hong Kong.

At first glance it looks like a shanty village. Covered in tarpaulins and striped canvas there is very little to indicate what is inside or whether one SHOULD even venture inside. Dare I enter? Dare I walk inside?

This is the Yen Chow Street Hawkers Bazaar and even *I* was surprised what mystery it held within. The entrance reveals very little of what to expect except a vast array of clutter.

Inside the bazaar there are narrow walkways, shrouded on both sides by fabric. This is a fabric market. It takes the concept of maximum capacity to the extreme. An endless amount of fabric in all colours, styles and textures overload the eyes despite the musty smell of mothballs.

Vendors make full use of their small stall space, with some piling fabric layer upon layer as high as they possibly can. Samples of the fabrics poke out so you can touch and see, without having to reach into the towers of material around you.

The roof sagged as we walked the corridors due to rain that morning. It begged me to wonder how water-tight this bazaar actually is and how they keep the fabric from going rotten. Look closely in some of these photos and you’ll see the odd bucket or two so I am guessing the rain DOES get in.

Look! Candy floss material! It was so soft and fluffy and pink and sparkly!

The silks were stunning. A huge range of colour and pattern tempted me. I didn’t buy anything this day, but I am curious how much the cost of fabric is here. Friends with me speculated that even if this bazaar is more expensive than the (properly housed in a shopping mall) fabric market of Shenzhen it is probably still cheaper than going across the border.

It would have taken a good part of the day to look through the entire bazaar. I only walked down one of the pathways from end to end and was surprised at the TARDIS-like quality this bazaar seemed to possess. It looks much smaller on the outside. It really does!

On a day less rushed I intend to go back and take a prolonged look around. All I have to find now is a good reasonably priced Hong Kong tailor to take the material to. Any suggestions?

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3 thoughts on “What’s in the Hawker’s Bazaar? – Sham Shui Po

  1. My husband has been using Peter Daswani (located in Kowloon area) as his tailor for seven years and I highly recommend them for clothing. His father trained in Saville Row in England and they make beautiful clothes for my husband.
    Would love to hear people’s suggestions for upholstery tailors though, so will follow these comments myself!
    And I will definitely have to go check out these markets- if I can work up the nerve to go in 🙂

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Dee, I will keep it in mind! These markets are well worth the look just for the sheer volume of fabric housed within so I hope you too find the time and courage to have a look. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Rivers of Fabric | Olivia's Earth

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