Tag Archives: wanchai market

What’s the smell of Hong Kong Winter time? 

No, it’s not the smell of coal power stations…although quite often that’s what it smells like in Hong Kong on polluted winter days.

Walking across the traffic crossing towards Wan Chai MTR, a wonderful scent of roasted chestnuts filled my nostrils. It’s winter time!

Yum yum. I haven’t had any yet… but I’m sure these ladies will be somewhere around here as long as no buskers get the spot first.

They are also often across the street by the Hang Seng bank.

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Rat despatch 

**Visually disturbing images in this entry **

One can only imagine the life that goes on in the back alleys and sewers of any major city. Even the supermarket’s storage areas are popular with cockroaches and get distributed throughout the city daily in the vans that send card board boxes to homes. I’m sure that’s how the cockroaches got into my home. It has taken a lot of effort to eradicate them… and yet we never know when we’ll see those feelers waving at us on the kitchen counter top again.

Hustle bustle of Stone Nullah Lane, Wanchai market

The Wan Chai outdoor market was just beginning to get going at around 8.30am, just as I was returning from an errand. Walking down Stone Nullah Lane, it was all the usual hustle bustle of early shoppers and shopkeepers setting up stalls for the day.

Just as I walked by the fresh fish shop, some litter lying at the side of the street caught my eye. 


In a similar fashion to the quick rewind in movies, I walked backwards for a closer look.


There were dead rats stuck in glue traps, dumped in a polystyrene box alongside oranges waiting for the trash collectors or pest control perhaps.

Hmm. Those glue traps really are effective. Where can you get some if you find yourself in a situation where you need to rid your house of rats?

Buy your pest control products in Wan chai market

This is the stall to head to. It’s roughly opposite the Thai vegetable and herb shop on Cross Street. He’s got something for the usual suspects. Termites, ants, cockroaches and rats.

Wanchai market for all your chinese lunar new year purchases

The Chinese lunar new year brings a shopping bonanza to Wan chai market. Everyday no matter the weather, people turn up in droves to look at home decorations and the latest lunar new year fashion. It is tradition to wear new clothes during the new year period, and this extends to underwear and home furnishings. Yup, you can get almost anything in the “Chinese new year red”.

Here are some photos to show you what it’s like.


First up, underwear. If you fancy a bit of gold “fuk“( pronounced foook meaning wealth and luck), well, you’re in luck. Go superman.


Next up, red socks, stockings and slippers. It’s a bit chilly and these red footwear and accessories might get you a few compliments. 


The stalls selling kids traditional clothing get a lot of attention. Lots of mommies just have to stop and browse. You’ll see lots of kids in traditional garb walking around, schools are asking kids to come in festive attire.


Brighten up your interior and sofa with red cushions? Lots of cushions getting lots of attention.


Red ribbons for your own designs.

All sorts of hanging items.

If you’re looking for lanterns for your doorway, hit Tai Yuen street.

This stall selling cute roosters can be found along Cross street


This is the seasonal stall. Usually a hat shop, they convert fully to CNY decorative items for the 3 week season.


If you’re looking for festive snack trays, you’ll find them at the household shops along Wan Chai road.


I was wondering why this bakery had developed a mass following, people were hogging the pavement. Everyone was waiting for 5pm when discounts apply to all the baked goods.

These baked puff snacks in particular seemed to be getting a lot of attention.

All this lasts until Chinese New Year which is on the 28th of January. Many stall owners will be on vacation for two weeks after that, visiting relatives in China or just taking a break. Everything gets a little pricier during this time, but as chinese people say, it’s only once a year!

Let’s not forget the goodies for the table, red melon nuts and gold chocolates.

Kang Kee Fresh noodle shop in Wan Chai market

My friend JC lives in Kowloon but I have since convinced her to do her dinner grocery shopping in Wan Chai. Usually on Mondays and Thursdays when we meet, she’ll come with me through the market to pick up her vegetables, meat and some condiments for dinner.

On Monday, she asked me where she could buy good freshly made skins for dumplings. 

“Ah”, I said. “You can get them from Kang Kee.”

JC said she didn’t know where it was but could I take her next time? JC, this post is for you.

Kang Kee is a fresh noodle institution. 

Every morning, trucks with heavy sacks of flour show up, guys load them onto their backs to carry it into the store. In the back of the store, machines get going and a fine layer of flour dust covers the entire shop and surrounding floor area. 


They make all the popular shapes of fresh noodles. Flat ones, Fat ones, skinny ones, white ones, yellow ones, mouse tail ones. They also sell Chee Cheung fun if you’re inclined to eat it at home instead of at a dim sum restaurant. You can also get the dried noodles in fancy flavours, crab, abalone, scallop etc.


There’s also the variety in skins. Square ones, round ones, big ones, small ones, you can pretty much wrap whatever morsels in these. The great thing is that the fresh noodles are smooth and do not require preservative. The dumpling and spring roll skins also made fresh lack the distinctive chemical taste that I find in frozen supermarket versions.


I usually buy spring roll skin and popiah skin from here. It’s freshly made and you’ll need to get there before two if you need it in quantity. It sells out pretty fast. Alternatively place your order the day before.


Everything is sold by weight except the dried noodles which have already been pre-weighed and sell by the piece. 


You can also pick up manufactured packets of pasta, vermicelli and various sauces here. 

I’ll be taking JC there personally but you contact me for a tour of the wan chai market or find Kang Kee here: