Hong Kong, Kowloon

Yau Ma Tei: West of Nathan Road (Tin Hau Temple, Police Station, Jade Market, Wholesale Fruit Market, Red Brick Building)

After exploring the East side of Nathan Road, I continued my walk along the West side – going up to Yau Ma Tei station. This is an area that I had explored a couple of times.

Yau Ma Tei - Map West

It starts with the Tin Hau Temple Complex, which used to be located on the waterfront. It was founded around the 1840s but rebuilt several times. As all the other Tin Hau Temples, this one is dedicated to the Goddess of Fishermen and Seafarers. It is similar to the other temples found in Hong Kong – it has five halls (some smaller ones only have three), and in the main hall are three gods (in this case goddesses). In front of them hang spiral incense coils offered to gods and many worshipper can be seen praying and leaving offerings (often round fruit, like oranges, apples or tangerines) behind.

Yau Ma Tei Walk - 9 Tin Hau Temple

Yau Ma Tei Walk - 10 Tin Hau Temple

A few steps further, across the street is the Yau Ma Tei Police Station. It was completed in 1922 and is characterised by an English Edwardian architectural design. The station was much smaller when it was built some 60 years ago, but since then it has been extended.

Yau Ma Tei Walk - 11 Yau Ma Tei Police Station

Next to it is the Jade Market (here’s a post where I visited the market earlier) – which has been in use since the early 1950s.
Kansu Street’s Jade Market, which officially opened in 1984, has gradually evolved into one of Yau Ma Tei’s most popular, ‘authentically flavoured’ tourist sights. A surprising number of visitors, however, never venture much further than the confines of its covered market. It is still possible to find the occasional good piece at the Jade Market, but in Hong Kong these days really valuable jade is only sold in high-end jewellers’ shops.

Jade market 1

Jade market 2

After walking along Shanghai Street – which is a great outlet for anything kitchen related, it is where you can buy anything from a bamboo steaming basket to a huge fridge – I revisited the Kowloon Wholesale Fruit Market (here are two of my posts visiting this place earlier this year).

Yau Ma Teil Walk - 12 Fruit Market

Today’s Gwo Laan (Wholesale Fruit Market) is a thriving daily market, but mainly in the early morning hours – now just a few shops were open, selling to tourists and locals. It is quite unbelievable that most of the fruits sold in Hong Kong’s supermarkets will have come through here!

Yau Ma Teil Walk - 13 Fruit Market

I finished my walk by passing the little red brick building in Yau Ma Tei, which is the only survivor of a 19th-century waterworks complex, which consisted of three two-storey buildings and a tall chimney for the boiler. It was built in 1895 and pumped pumped fresh water for use by the local population from several wells in the vicinity.

Red Brick Building 4


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