Growing up in suburban Sydney in the 90s, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many nationalities. Not only was I raised in a mixed-race household, but our area had thriving Japanese, Korean and Chinese communities (just to name a few). One of my favorite childhood memories is Sunday yum cha brunch, where my siblings and I would eagerly await the ladies pushing trollies filled with all sorts of dumplings, rolls, and vegetables. What sort of treasures would come our way that Sunday? Would they bring over our favorite spring onion rolls wrapped in tofu skin? We would peek over the cart as the lady lifted the bamboo lids to reveal billowing steam, and that yes, we hit the jackpot. Even my English grandmother learned to use chopsticks like an absolute pro and would consume more than dumplings that I could in one sitting. To this day my mother proudly recalls how her kids would fight over the last piece of Chinese broccoli.
Walking around Hong Kong brings back so many memories of those Sunday brunches. The city is peppered with restaurants, both the inconspicuous hole-in-the-wall eateries and the creme de la creme Michelin star establishments. Whilst Hong Kong is known for its amazing food, you’ll also find other kinds of hidden gems in the city. Just a few steps away from the luxury boutiques in Central, there are vintage stores packed with trash or treasure, depending on how you look at it. That’s what I love about this city – you can walk two blocks away from the most polished, modern shopping malls to find graffitied walls and rickety second-hand stores.
I’ve always loved vintage shopping. There’s something about vintage stores that bring me back to a time in my life where I was worry-free and filled with child-like wonder. On this trip, I stopped by Select 18 and In-between. Both are walking distance from each other in the Sheung-Wan district, and full of knick-knacks that will transport you back to colonial Hong Kong. I found beautiful watches (one of which I was truly tempted to buy), vintage toys, irregular chairs, typewriters, vinyl, and a whole random assortment of treasures. The next time you need to escape reality and walk off that food coma, drop by one of the many vintage stores scattered around Hong Kong. I promise you won’t regret it.
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