Yau Ma Tei: Neighbourhood Guide

Hong Kong Apr 11, 2023

Catch a glimpse of the past and discover the vibrant energy and rich culture of Hong Kong at Yau Ma Tei.

Once a small fishing village and home to traders, wholesalers and business owners, Yau Ma Tei is now a bustling neighbourhood filled with many specialty markets and cultural sites to discover.

Yau Ma Tei may not be in the middle of Central and the Central Business District (20 minutes away), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t convenient. With the many mini buses, buses and train stations around, getting to where you need to be won’t take you too long.

What To Do In Yau Ma Tei

1. Grab local produce at Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market.

2. Hunt for the best deal at Temple Street Night Market.

3. Hop on a local bus tour and explore the city at night.

4. Unwind and escape the hustle and bustle at the King’s Park Sports Ground.

5. Shop for jade pieces at Jade Street.

What To Visit In Yau Ma Tei

Tin Hau Temple

56-58 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

Located 3 minutes from the Yau Ma Tei MTR station, this historical temple is one of the largest and most famous Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong. It consists of many different buildings that include the main hall (where the statue of Tin Hau sits), courtyard and multiple annexes. Tin Hau, the goddess of the sea, who is believed to have the power to control the weather and protect fishermen and sailors.

You may offer prayers to the goddess or if you’re lucky, catch cultural performances like a prayer ceremony or lion dances at the temple.

Reclamation Street Market

67-79 Reclamation Street, Yau Ma Tei

Stretching from Jordan to Mong Kok, this outdoor market is where you get to experience the vibrancy and chaos of Hong Kong. Here, you can get everything under the sun from clothing and accessories, to electronics, toys and souvenirs. You’ll also be able to hunt down traditional street food like curry fish balls and egg waffles.

Bargaining is expected here, so be prepared to charm the shop owners and get the best deal in town!

Yau Ma Tei Theatre

6 Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei

Built in the 1930s, it is one of the longest surviving theatres in Hong Kong. Known for its distinctive art deco style, this historic landmark went from being a military brothel during the Japanese occupation, to a cinema theatre before being repurposed into a venue for Cantonese Opera in the 70s.

Other than traditional Cantonese operas, you can also catch other cultural events like music and dance performances here.

Yau Ma Tei Police Station

3 Yau Cheung Road, Yau Ma Tei

Built in 1922, this police station is unlike any other you’ll see in Hong Kong. Reminiscent of Edwardian style architecture, this building features a semi-circular portico set main entrance, serving as a reminder of Hong Kong’s enduring legacy under the British colony.

Sky100 Observation Deck

1 Austin Road West, International Commerce Centre (ICC), West Kowloon

Soaring 393 metres above sea level, the Sky100 Observation Deck is located on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC). A visit here grants you access to breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline spanning from Kowloon, to Harbour Bay to Hong Kong Island.

Other than serving up gorgeous views, the Sky100 Observation Deck also has many interactive zones that include the alternate reality photo zone and virtual reality games. Before you leave the building, make sure to check out their souvenir shop or Cafe 100 by The Ritz Carlton for a cuppa tea or two.

What To Eat In Yau Ma Tei

Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant

15 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

This casual diner just right beside the Yau Ma Tei station is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Known for its traditional claypot rice dishes cooked over a charcoal stove, this place takes it a step further by allowing customers to customise and build their own bowl. With over 60 different toppings to choose from, the sky's the limit.

Apart from claypot rice, Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant also serves a variety of traditional Cantonese dishes ranging from stir fried vegetables to lamb brisket and braised soy pork.

Mido Cafe

63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

Established in 1950, Mido Cafe is one of the last standing cha-chaan-tengs (traditional diner) in Hong Kong. Be greeted by the stained glass windows, and colourful wall tiles that are reminiscent of the 1960s. This unassuming place may not be on your list but do know that many photographers and filmmakers have actually shot at this place. For example, movies like ‘See You in Kowloon’ and ‘Revolving Doors of Vengeance’ were shot at this quaint diner.

Whilst you’re there, go back in time by ordering up cha-chaan-teng classics like french toast, milk tea and baked pork rib rice.

One Dim Sum

G/F 209A-209B Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward

Once a Michelin star diner in 2011 and 2012, this spot still manages to retain a loyal following and is always packed with customers day in and out. Known for its extremely affordable prices, this tiny 30-seat diner is the perfect place for you to try dimsum and bask in its culture.

Also, to note, this diner does not accept reservations so make sure to either come really early (before it even opens) or after 3pm during off-peak hours.

Spicy Salt HK

31 Wai Ching Street, Yau Ma Tei

Curious what Nepalese-Chinese cuisine tastes like? Head on down to Spicy Salt HK to find out. A bar-cum-restaurant opened by 5 friends who envisage a safe place where good food is served alongside lively conversations, together creating a memorable experience for folks of all walks of life.

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant

19-21 Mau Lam Street, Yau Ma Tei

Established in 1860, Tai Ping Koon is synonymous with the growth and transformation of Cantonese cuisine during the colonial period. During that time, most Hong Kongers were unfamiliar with Western tastes and cuisine. To reach out to a wider audience, Chui Lo Ko, founder of Tai Ping Koon, came up with a unique sub-cuisine known as ‘soya sauce Western’ — a blend of Chinese ingredients with Western recipes.

Here, you’ll find one-of-a-kind dishes like sugary soya sauce-covered Swiss Wings, Oven-baked Pigeon, Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with Rice, Baked Souffle and Smoked Pomfret.

Live Your Best Life At Yau Ma Tei

If you’re one who enjoys the vibrancy of Hong Kong and would like to immerse in the local culture, living around Yau Ma Tei will be an ideal choice. Why not consider Portland, our newly launched apartment that features private 1-bedroom duplexes.

Contact us today for more information or to schedule a non-obligatory property tour at a convenient time.


Jermaine Ng

Marketing Intern at Hmlet. During her free time she reads, boulders and indulges in nature documentaries.