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Ko Shing Street – The Herbal Hub of Century-Old Businesses

April 13, 2021

Name (English): Ko Shing Street
Name (Chinese): 高陞街
Category: Outdoor Activities
Address (English): Ko Shing Street Sheung Wan
Address (Chinese): 上環高陞街
Address Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/F7ENYL8fJMSuy9Sb8
Address longitude and latitude: 22.287095214054602, 114.14630960790623
Nearest MTR Station: Sai Ying Pun MTR Station Exit A2
Nearest MTR Station Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/2Kdimtk1UbHR7CG26
Nearest MTR Station longitude and latitude: 22.285642187255558, 114.1427437254492
How far from the nearest MTR Station: 2-minute walk from Sai Ying Pun MTR Station Exit A2
Opening Hours:
MON 10:00 – 19:00
TUE 10:00 – 19:00
WED 10:00 – 19:00
THU 10:00 – 19:00
FRI 10:00 – 19:00
SAT 10:00 – 19:00
SUN 10:00 – 19:00
Recommended Time to Visit: After lunch hour
Accessibility Note: easy access

The backstreet of the famous Dried Seafood Market selling lavish dried seafood is where the locals get subtle with their herbal medicine prescriptions. The Ko Shing Street, aka Chinese medicine street, offers a different set of ambiances and authenticity – clicking sounds of the moving beads from the abacus, woody grassy smell of the herbs lingering, baskets and boxes of treasures being sundried and laid out on the grounds. Taking a mere stroll down the street is not enough to complete the whole experience so sure you also pop in one of the stores and get your pulses checked by the docs!

Ko Shing Street, aka Chinese medicine street

The herbal hub of century-old businesses has always been the main place of the city wholesaling Chinese medicine herbs since the 19th century, which shares a similar history with the nearby Nam Pak Hong. Some of the wholesalers even own an in-house factory so as to maintain premium quality from sourcing to packaging. As most of the workers there are also highly knowledgeable about the ancient treatment, people from all walks of life would come all the way to seek the best remedies. 

Wholesaling Chinese medicine herbs

But the herbal-themed neighborhood has faced constant challenges amid gentrification and government control. Many small businesses were forced to move due to increasing rent from the extension of the MTR’s Island line and even had to shut down their stores because of the government’s tightening of the license rules. The number of stores will only keep decreasing as the next obstacle is coming: its adjacent area of Queen’s Road West/In Ku Lane – another small cluster of medicine wholesalers, will be redeveloped in the near future.

You will notice several smart cats work as a “receptionist” here

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Peggy Lam

Peggy here, and I am a storyteller. Despite not being a professional tour guide myself, I am thrilled to share and write about the fun things to do in town, the untold stories & even my personal observations.

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