Exploring Hong Kong's Hollywood Road

One of the oldest streets in Hong Kong, Hollywood Road epitomises its past and present

by

Writer

Starting from the Old Central Police Station at the junction with Wyndham Street, Hong Kong's Hollywood Road winds uphill for one kilometre through numerous stone steps, ending up at Queen’s Road. What used to be the centre of Hong Kong’s antique trade has changed with the times and today reveals many quaint experiences with stellar dining in between. Sightsee, have a bite, enjoy some pampering and do and explore this eclectic area.

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At number 29, Honeychurch Antiques is one of the last remaining antique shops offering genuine artifacts on Hollywood Road. Due to rising rent in recent years, many store owners have moved out of the area with an increasing number of tourist shops. Honeychurch saves the day with knowledgeable duo, Glenn and Lucille Vessa at its foundation. They know their stuff--from Han Dynasty (third century B.C.) porcelain and pottery to 14th century Vietnamese porcelain, to 18th and 19th century Japanese furniture, paintings, screens and prints. Glenn and Lucille provide advice, whether you are looking for an extremely rare item, or a decorative objet d’art, to be shipped to your home.

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Along Hollywood Road, there are many historical low-rise buildings hailing from the earliest days of residential development in the city. Today, a large number of these old apartments have been converted into restaurants and bars, and at number 31, Fu Lu Shou is nested on top of an old 7-storey building. Sip creative cocktails, and tuck into Chinatown-style dishes, such as honey prawns, Kung Pao chicken and deep-fried ice-cream, all served with retro dinnerware and a a view of the bustling district below.

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Past fragrant bakeries (Chinese-style Kung Lee or western-inspired Sift), restaurants (the excellent Sushi Sase), bars (Quinary) lies the Palais Royal Paris. This is the only place in Hong Kong where you will find authentic, high-quality period jewellery including watches and objets de vertu. Two well-established dealers, with over 25 years of specialised experience, offer pieces by Boucheron, Bulgari, Cartier, Chaumet, Mauboussin, Marchak, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels. Incredible jewellery from 19th century Europe and North America, and 1940s and 1950s Art Deco designs dazzle with their timeless glamour.

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Aberdeen Street is home to PMQ, formerly the colonial-era Police Married Quarters and today, home to many art studios. The fourth floor is home to, Smith & Norbu, artisan eyewear makers. Benoit Ams, a Belgian designer, creates one-off frames with domestic yak horns. A frame can take up to six hours to complete by hand, involving 50 separate streps. Ams avoids advertising, his incredibly lighweight, hypoallergenic and comfortable eyewear frames gaining popularity solely through positive word of mouth. through customers in the know. Akin to every horn they are made from, each set of frames one is absolutely unique.

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After shopping, get back to sightseeing and find Hong Kong’s famous Man Mo Temple from the mid-19th century. Dedicated to two deities, the god of literature ‘Man’ Cheong and god of martial arts ‘Mo’ Tai the temple's traditional Chinese layout features screen doors that give access to the front hall, a raised altar, covered courtyard with side chambers, a double-eaved hip and gable roof and four support columns.

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With an eclectic mix of boutique hotels, coffin makers and dried seafood merchants, Hollywood is nothing short of intruiging. To end a tiring walk up Hollywood Road, reward your tired feet at Aesop, situated on a hidden side street. Feel right at home as you browse its extensive range of Australian natural skincare products in the boutique with its contemporary décor. With time to spare, try the 45-minute express facial.

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1 Honeychurch Antiques
2 Palais Royal Paris
3 Smith & Norbu
4 Aesop
5 Man Mo Temple Compound