In front of the Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road is a set of stairs that lead to Lascar Row street. Upper Lascar Row, also known as Cat Street, is a road roughly 200 meters long crammed with more than 30 stores and stalls selling second hand goods, antique and vintage wares and a multitude of souvenirs for tourists. It runs parallel to Antique Street / Hollywood Road and Cat Street is certainly worth the small diversion to spend an hour or two immersed in the bric-a-brac for sale.
A stroll through Cat Street feels much more a trip to a flea market than it does a typical street of shops. Historically, this was a run-down residential area and shop owners here would fill their stores with stolen antiques purchased from local thieves. Since WWII, Cat Street became a respectable street for second hand shoppers and is now one of Hong Kong’s hubs for antiques and all kinds of oddities.
Cat Street aims its goods predominantly at tourists. Price tags are generally significantly cheaper than on Hollywood Road, which is an honest reflection of the lower quality on offer. There are lovely antiques around too, but an expert eye is needed to discern the diamonds from the piles of rough. However, it is a perfect location for every shopper looking for interesting souvenirs or unusual treasures with which to decorate their home.
Vendors selling at Cat Street are all extremely friendly, and there is a wonderful atmosphere all along Upper Lascar Row. Bargaining is welcomed and expected, so the shopping experience is always fun and interesting! There are vintage items crafted from jade, ceramics, copper household items, old furniture, historic coins, Chinese snuff bottles and almost countless other kinds of goods for sale.
‘Cat’ is Chinese slang for ‘odds and ends’, and this perfectly encapsulates the kind of items found on Cat Street. Every tourist should make their way here to enjoy the market ambiance and bargain for something unique to remind them of their holidays.