• Markets & Malls

Hidden upstairs shops: Discover Local Gemstones beyond the Traditional malls

October 7, 2021

Getting tired with the same old brands when window-shopping at Hong Kong malls? Why not turn your eyes to those Tong Lau (a.k.a Old Hong Kong-styled mansion), and enjoy your scavenger hunt for goodies inside these eye-opening hidden upstairs shops? 

Hidden upstairs shops form a unique shopping culture in Hong Kong. Due to the land shortage in Hong Kong, the shop rents in Hong Kong are rocket high. To reduce their operation costs, many small business would choose to open their stores upstairs among Tong Laus and factories instead of in the street level. 

While people always associate Hong Kong with buying the luxury at big malls when we call it “the shopping paradise”, hidden upstairs shops reveal the more localised and hipster side of Hong Kong. Hidden upstairs shops in Hong Kong vary in kind – from cafes and furniture shops to tattoo shops and vintage stores, you will be surprised by the vast collection that you may find. Below are some upstairs shops that really wow me! 

  1. Foreforehead (address: 132B Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po) 
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Foreforehead is a hybrid space that sell eccentric vintage goods and design items. It also holds art exhibitions from time to time. 

2. Zizizi (address: 1/f, 22 Kimberly Street, Tsim Sha Tsui) (Appointment only, via IG DM @ziziseng) 

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Zizizi – a private studio that resembles the onomatopoeia of tattoo machine sound and that of a running coffee brewing machines. Make your appointment ahead to enjoy a tattooing session with coffee and cake. 

3. Twenty one from eight (address: 11/F, Pang Kwong Builing, 59 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong)

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Twenty one from eight is a local woodcraft furniture concept store. From its studio, its showroom to its cafe zone, the concept store brings the wooden furnishings to life by giving them a human touch of warmth.

4. Hong Kong Reader (address: 7F, 68 Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok)

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Hong Kong Reader is a local bookstore that is known for selling books related to humanities and social science. They also organise book clubs and seminars occasionally. Stay tuned to their updates! 

Hidden upstairs shops have definitely added colour to the streetscape in Hong Kong. Do pay a visit to these stores and discover even more!

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Mimi Ming

Currently an arts and law undergraduate student at HKU. Enjoys exploring the ambiguity between rationality and sensuality as a city flâneur.