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A Step by Step Look Over Sham Shui Po.

A walk up Garden Hill.

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Sham Shui Po.

Sham Shui Po.

Today I returned to Sham Shui Po with two goals in mind: I wanted to look at Sham Shui Po Park and I planned to climb Garden Hill.

I began with the park. To get there I walked past a shopping mall called the Dragon Centre and the old-style Sham Shui Po Police Station which dates from 1924. There were lots of murals outside the police station.

The Dragon Centre.

The Dragon Centre.

The Dragon Centre.

The Dragon Centre.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Mural near police station.

Sham Shui Po Police Station.

Sham Shui Po Police Station.

In front of the police station.

In front of the police station.

Through the police station archway.

Through the police station archway.

I passed these baskets on the way to the park.

I passed these baskets on the way to the park.

My reason for wanting to go to the park was more to do with its history than its present incarnation. Historically this was the site of a British military barracks. Then between 1941 and 1945, when the Japanese occupied Hong Kong, they turned this into a prison-of-war camp for military prisoners. Later, following the Vietnam War, the barracks became the extremely overcrowded Jubilee Transit Centre for Vietnamese refugees. The old barracks have long since been completely demolished and this park now stands in their place. It was opened in 1984.

Apparently there are two small memorials in memory of the prisoners who lost their lives here and two maple trees planted specifically to remember the Canadian soldiers who died in the war. These were what I wanted to see, but unfortunately, the park was being completely refurbished and half of it was shut down and hidden behind barriers. That half was where the memorials were, so I could not get to see them.

The present park is actually really two parks separated by Lai Chi Kok Road. I had a look at both parts of the park. The bigger one was filled with people performing their morning exercises and there was a colourful kindergarten next to the smaller park.

Plan of the bigger park.

Plan of the bigger park.

Shelters to sit in.

Shelters to sit in.

Shelters to sit in.

Shelters to sit in.

Shelters to sit in.

Shelters to sit in.

Sculpture in the park.

Sculpture in the park.

Map of the small park.

Map of the small park.

Colourful housing next to smaller park.

Colourful housing next to smaller park.

Art outside the kindergarten.

Art outside the kindergarten.

Art outside the kindergarten.

Art outside the kindergarten.

I knew the walk up Garden Hill would just be a short one, so I decided to spend some time wandering around Sham Shui Po first. Sham Shui Po translates as Deep Water Pier, though now due to land reclamation it is no longer right next to the sea. It's an old area, very working class and has not been gentrified in the way many parts of Hong Kong have. Sham Shui Po is famous for markets and different streets specialise in different goods.

Last time I went to Sham Shui Po I wandered around looking for specific sights or streets. This time I just decided to wander and see what I could find. This is a much better policy here. You won't get lost, you'll hit an MTR sign somewhere and you can enjoy the place without getting frustrated by it.

At first I passed many streets filled with stalls selling food. I photographed the fruit and vegetable ones. The meat ones were a bit too gory. There were streets selling clothes, shoes, cloth, kitchenware, all sorts of stuff.

I love fruit and veg shops.

I love fruit and veg shops.

Everything is so colourful.

Everything is so colourful.

Busy Streets.

Busy Streets.

One street specialises in craft materials and fashion accessories.

One street specialises in craft materials and fashion accessories.

This is more to do with kitchenware.

This is more to do with kitchenware.

Cloth Shop. Near the park there was a whole collection of cloth shops all squeezed into a tiny space.

Cloth Shop. Near the park there was a whole collection of cloth shops all squeezed into a tiny space.

Clothes Shops.

Clothes Shops.

A bit of this, a bit of that.

A bit of this, a bit of that.

LED devices.

LED devices.

Obviously the roast goose is good here.

Obviously the roast goose is good here.

And here.

And here.

Food Shops.

Food Shops.

Entrance to a restaurant.

Entrance to a restaurant.

As Chinese New Year is coming up soon, there were many shops selling Chinese New Year decorations. One street, Fuk Wing Street, seemed to specialise in these. As you can see from my photos, red is the main lucky colour here. At Chinese New Year houses are decorated with red decorations and unmarried people are given red packets with money in them. Traditionally brides wear red clothes on their wedding day. It's only recently that some people have started having white weddings here, as white traditionally symbolises death. Yellow is also a lucky colour and is associated with royalty. Green is mixed. If a man wears a green hat, it means his wife is being unfaithful!!

Getting ready for Chinese New Year.

Getting ready for Chinese New Year.

Lanterns for Chinese New Year.

Lanterns for Chinese New Year.

Getting ready for Chinese New Year.

Getting ready for Chinese New Year.

Everywhere is red.

Everywhere is red.

Getting ready for Chinese New Year.

Getting ready for Chinese New Year.

I like that one.

I like that one.

Shopping for decorations for Chinese New Year.

Shopping for decorations for Chinese New Year.

Lanterns and fire-crackers.

Lanterns and fire-crackers.

Lanterns and flowers for Chinese New Year.

Lanterns and flowers for Chinese New Year.

Sham Shui Po still has a lot of old buildings. Here you can still find quite a lot of Tong Lau which literally means Chinese buildings. Tong Lau were popular from the late nineteenth century until the 1960's. They are a kind of tenement building, usually two to five stories high. The upper floors are residential, but the ground floor is commercial, a shop or business of some kind. Some Tong Laus have upper stories that jut out, providing shelter from the rain or sun to those walking the streets below. Some Tong Laus have balconies. Tong Laus were once very common here, but most have been knocked down and replaced by high-rise. Fortunately, in the last few years there has been a movement in favour of preserving some of these and new uses are being found for them, such as restaurants or hotels.

I love this old building. It's over seventy years old and the ground floor is now a Chinese medicine shop.

I love this old building. It's over seventy years old and the ground floor is now a Chinese medicine shop.

Closer View.

Closer View.

Old pawn shop. I keep finding these everywhere.

Old pawn shop. I keep finding these everywhere.

Another pawn shop.

Another pawn shop.

Older, shorter buildings.

Older, shorter buildings.

More older shorter buildings.

More older shorter buildings.

Shorter buildings.

Shorter buildings.

Golden Computer Arcade. This is very famous in Hong Kong.

Golden Computer Arcade. This is very famous in Hong Kong.

Building with jutting out floor.

Building with jutting out floor.

Old Building with balconies.

Old Building with balconies.

Sham Shui Po is apparently home to four temples. So far I have only found two and I found these twice. The first time they were shut, but this time I went inside. The ones I keep finding are the Sam Tai Tsz Temple and the Pak Tai Temple on Yu Chau Street. There were lots of people inside the temple, frantically preparing stuff for Chinese New Year. The Sam Tai Tsz Temple dates from 1898 and is dedicated to a god who saved the area from plague. The Pak Tai Temple dates from 1920, was built by fishermen and is dedicated to the god of the north.

At the temple entrance.

At the temple entrance.

In the larger Sam Tai Tsz Temple.

In the larger Sam Tai Tsz Temple.

Lots of activity inside.

Lots of activity inside.

Many deities.

Many deities.

In the smaller Pak Tai Temple.

In the smaller Pak Tai Temple.

Colourful Candles.

Colourful Candles.

I'll need to visit again to find the other two temples Sham Shui Po is never done. Next I headed towards Tai Po Road. There were decorations up for The Year of the Tiger. I stopped to photograph these.

Decorations for The Year of the Tiger.

Decorations for The Year of the Tiger.

Across the road was Mei Ho House. This was one of eight H shaped buildings built in 1954. These were built as part of the Shek Kip Mei Resettlement program. On Christmas Day in 1953 a huge fire swept through the Shek Kip Mei squatter camps, which were filled with refugees from Mainland China. The squatter camps had no electricity or running water. People lit their homes with kerosene lamps. One of these fell over and started the disastrous fire. The fires left around 53,000 people homeless. The government built resettlement blocks to deal with the situation. This was the start of Hong Kong's public housing program. The H shaped buildings offered very basic accommodation, but could be built quickly. Mei Ho House is now a youth hostel, cafe and museum, but is currently closed due to COVID.

Courtyard of Mei Ho House.

Courtyard of Mei Ho House.

H-shaped Mei Ho House from above.

H-shaped Mei Ho House from above.

H-shaped Mei Ho House from above.

H-shaped Mei Ho House from above.

Shek Kip Mei is right next to Sham Shui Po.

Shek Kip Mei is right next to Sham Shui Po.

The walk up Garden Hill starts right next to Mei Ho House. There is a plaque at the front of the building showing the way. This walk consists of many stairs leading up a concrete slope. The concrete is there to prevent landslides which used to be a huge problem here in the torrential summer rains. It's called Garden Hill because it faces the Garden Bakery which produces most of Hong Kong's bread. This bakery is still in operation, but is undergoing refurbishment at the moment.

The walk up the hill only takes about fifteen minutes, but it provides beautiful views. Near the bottom there were some small shrines.

Sign for the walk up the hill.

Sign for the walk up the hill.

Stairway up Garden Hill.

Stairway up Garden Hill.

Hillside Shrines.

Hillside Shrines.

Hillside Shrines.

Hillside Shrines.

Hillside Shrines.

Hillside Shrines.

Hillside shrine.

Hillside shrine.

Even after climbing just a short way there were great views. In the distance I could see the sea, showing that there's been a lot of land reclamation since Sham Shui Po was a Deep Water Pier. This is a very urban climb and many people come here at night to photograph the sunset and the city lights.

Before the top there is a path with fantastic views over Kowloon. There's also the occasional brightly coloured plant to brighten up the place and even a tiny garden.

At the top there were lots of people exercising and there was a Venetian Mask Sculpture which seemed to have been strangely placed next to a shelter.

View on the climb up.

View on the climb up.

View over Sham Shui Po. The big building is the West Kowloon Magistracy.

View over Sham Shui Po. The big building is the West Kowloon Magistracy.

The red building is the Garden Bakery.

The red building is the Garden Bakery.

Silvergrass made it to here, too.

Silvergrass made it to here, too.

Sham Shui Po.

Sham Shui Po.

View with a bit of greenery.

View with a bit of greenery.

View with flowers.

View with flowers.

Overlooking Shek Kip Mei.

Overlooking Shek Kip Mei.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Trigonometric Marker.

Trigonometric Marker.

Strange place for a sculpture.

Strange place for a sculpture.

Interesting tile at the top.

Interesting tile at the top.

Obligatory Selfie.

Obligatory Selfie.

Obligatory Selfie.

Obligatory Selfie.

Small Garden.

Small Garden.

Wood Pile.

Wood Pile.

Flowers brighten the hillside.

Flowers brighten the hillside.

View on the way down.

View on the way down.

View on the way down.

View on the way down.

When I came back down, I went for a walk in Sheung Li Uk Gardens, which border Tai Po Road. There were good views of the Kowloon Magistracy from here and also over Saviour Lutheran School.

Bauhinias at the bottom of the hill.

Bauhinias at the bottom of the hill.

Sheung Li Uk Gardens.

Sheung Li Uk Gardens.

Sheung Li Uk Gardens.

Sheung Li Uk Gardens.

Kowloon Magistracy.

Kowloon Magistracy.

Saviour Lutheran School.

Saviour Lutheran School.

Finally, I went home and took my husband out for cider and poppadoms.

Cider and Poppadoms are Peter's favourite part of the week.

Cider and Poppadoms are Peter's favourite part of the week.

Cheers.

Cheers.

Posted by irenevt 04:35 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Hello, Irene! I see there's so much to see and to do there... Thanks for sharing your colorful experiences...

by Vic_IV

Hi Victor, I'm not running out. I keep finding more. Haha.

by irenevt

Irene, Thanks for my [your ] interesting walk. Pleased Peter looks well. Alec.

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, it looks like Peter's operation has improved his vision slightly, but only slightly. Apart from that he is well. All the best

by irenevt

Good to see Peter getting out and about.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally. Yes Peter likes to get out for short local walks, or to eat and drink. He'll also swim in the swimming season.All the best.

by irenevt

I wouldn't mind wearing red wedding dress, I am way too clumsy for white anyway, hah :)

Peters weekly cider and poppadoms sounds like something I would like too!! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Haha, I enjoy it, too.

by irenevt

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