Upper Lascar Row, better known as Cat Street, is known worldwide by antique enthusiasts. It has more than 100 years of history selling both antique pieces and contemporary handcrafted items. This narrow street in Sheung Wan is the best destination if you’re looking for souvenirs with a bit of history; browse through an assortment of objects such as bronze Buddha heads, old coins, calligraphy brushes, Cultural Revolution-era figurines and antique jade pendants.
You might not be able to bring baskets of delicious Hong Kong dim sum home from your holiday, but you can buy candles that look like the traditional delicacy. Local Hong Kong candle artisans at BeCandle create cute candles in the shape of popular dim sum delights, like siu mai, char siu bao and siu long bao. These little goodies come in traditional Chinese bamboo steam baskets, making them wonderful gifts and perfect handmade souvenirs to put on display.
This cheeky store is a Hong Kong souvenir staple for travellers. It’s a treasure trove of cool but kitsch paraphernalia that screams Hong Kong, including mahjong tile cushion covers, peace-sign lucky cat figurines, koi fish underwear, mahjong wine charms, Yaumati stackable mugs, silk ties and scarves with funky prints, and so much more. They have multiple locations in Hong Kong and one in the airport for some last-minute souvenir shopping.
Healing balms have been popular in Hong Kong since the early 1900s. The best-known brand in Hong Kong is Po Sum On Healing Balm; made from all natural ingredients, this medicated oil and healing balm is a unique and useful souvenir to bring home. Generations of families have used this all-purpose balm to cure everything from joint pains and headaches to relieving a stomach ache or an itchy bug bite. You can find this at any Sasa store.
Food is one of the best things you can bring back from any trip, and Hong Kong has an abundance of snacks you can give to friends, family or even keep for yourself as a reminder of all the delicacies you’ve tried on your travels. Tote back a beautifully designed box of sweet, flaky egg roll biscuits or Hong Kong shortcakes in flavours such as pineapple, honeydew, mango and even yolk. You can find both at any Kee Wah Bakery. For something a bit more fun, grab a box of the funky and exclusive Hong Kong Pretz flavours, including shark fin and abalone in oyster sauce, at any 7-Eleven or Circle K.
Customised name seals from Chop Alley
In Hong Kong and China, a “chop” was a traditional must-have. Essentially a seal with the name of the owner on it, a chop was used to stamp one’s signature on important documents. In Hong Kong, you can head on over to Man Wa Lane, more commonly known as Chop Alley, and get your very own personalised chop on materials including jade, marble, ivory, wood or even plastic. You can have your name in English, or you can ask the chop-makers to translate your name to Chinese and engrave that onto your seal for an authentic souvenir from Hong Kong.
Though dried seafood might not be the most obvious choice of a souvenir from Hong Kong, it’s bound to be a popular gift for your voracious foodie friends. The best place to find an abundance of dried seafood is Des Voeux Road West, which has been a centre of commerce since the 19th century. Your nose will let you know when you’re in the right place. Wander around the traditional stalls and choose from an array of dried seafood including dried scallops, oysters, squid, abalone, sea cucumbers and all types of fish. You can also grab a bag of dried shiitake mushrooms, goji berries or dates for a less pungent souvenir.
Hand-painted porcelain pieces from Yuet Tung China Works
Hong Kong is full of mass-produced porcelain items, but if you are looking for something more special as a souvenir, look no further than Yuet Tung China Works. Since 1928, Yuet Tung has been creating impeccably handcrafted and hand-painted porcelain tableware, tea sets, vases and cups. It was actually the first factory of its kind in Hong Kong, and their pieces are known for their sharp colours, meticulously clean lines, and floral and natural landscape motifs. You can visit at their factory in the Kowloon Bay Industrial Centre.