A place reputed by its rather disturbing beginnings and history will never be a haven where one can find treasure troves on mark down prices. Such was what I found when I choose to walk through the alley in Hong Kong known as Upper Lascar Row. It’s notoriety stems from past episodes where thieves and muggers thrived in Hong Kong and those whose possessions were stolen in Hong Kong will most certainly be found in this street and is being sold back to the patronizing public. “Lascar” also referred to seamen from South Asia who usually docked in Hong Kong and temporarily reside in the city where prosperity, wealth, opium and water is in abundance. These is where criminality rises and Upper Lascar Row rises up in prominence and such was its beginning that it evokes a scene of a Chinese movie replayed before you as you stepped into its alleyway. Treasures in Upper Lascar Row are impressively wicked, I should say!
Upper Lascar Row is parallel to Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan and today, is an awesome alleyway for antiques and rare finds in all of Hong Kong. If you are looking for antiques and figurines of Mao Tse Tung and some genuine Chinese artefacts, come to this alleyway. What I saw when I stroll down this alleyway are rows and rows of shops selling antiques, replicas of great Chinese personalities, children’s shoes, posters, antique wooden window-panes, great watches, antiques and modern-day Chinese lucky charms.
The dealers are just politely waiting for you to come to their shop. Very unlike other places where modern-day pirates thrived, Upper Lascar Row is just an organized row of antique dealers and vendors. They do not mug you to visit their shop and no one is getting across your way to sell you anything. This is a hidden treasure throve which is remote as it is unlikely considering its notorious beginnings.
I found tourists, in their all inclusive holidays while I was in Upper Lascar Row and most of them practiced, in earnest, their haggling skills and are deemed successful. Many of them came out of the row, smiling and fulfilled. Finding treasures in the Upper Lascar Row in Hong Kong is indeed a great breather from the busyness of the territory. It is indeed rewarding to see some historic alleyways in Hong Kong best known for its antique shops today as it was notoriously known for its history.
How to get here:
- From anywhere in Hong Kong, take the MTR subway train to Sheung Wan then follow the signs towards where Man Mo Temple is located. The Upper Lascar Row is just on your right side in the mid-level landing on your way towards Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road;
- From Man Mo Temple Man Mo Templeon your way down the flight of stairs, Upper Lascar Row is in the mid-level landing and you turn left;
- Bring smaller HK$ bills and wear walking attire. Shorts and walking shoes are preferred.
- Wear your best smile and haggle.
- Also ask the shop owners if you can check the antique items first before buying them. Upper Lascar Row is full of antique shops so they are well aware what you are there for.