Address: Yau Tsim Mong District, Kowloon, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
Introduction of Yau Ma Tei
Yau Ma Tei is located in the southern region of the Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong and stretches from the boundary between Dundas Street and Mong Kok in the north to Austin Road in the south where it borders Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan.
Residents here keep the traditional lifestyles of Hong Kong, which makes Yau Ma Tei a good place to explore the past ways of life in Hong Kong.
History of Yau Ma Tei
Mong Kok Police Station
“Yau Ma Tei” refers to “the place of oil and ropes”. “Yau” refers to oil, “Ma” refers to a kind of rope used in a ship, and “Tei” refers to the place. This name is closely related to Tin Hau Temple Complex in the area.
Recorded on a stele erected in 1870 in Tin Hau Temple Complex, Yau Ma Tei was originally named as “Ma Tei”, which means a place for fishermen to air their ropes in the sun. In 1875, many stores selling ropes and tung oil, a kind of oil used for repairing fishing boats, opened there, and “Ma Tei” was then renamed “Yau Ma Tei”.
What You Should Not Miss at Yau Ma Tei
Being the most famous night market in Hong Kong, Temple Street stays open from 14:00 to the next morning. Every night, the street is full of various goods and food stalls which are sold at affordable prices.
There are many historical buildings located on the street, including Yau Ma Tei Theatre, Yau Ma Tei Police Station, and the Red Brick House (part of the former Pumping Station).
Besides, there are also some other famous spots such as the Fruit Market and Jade Market.
Tin Hau Temple
Tin Hau Temple Complex
Tin Hua Temple is the largest temple in Kowloon of Hong Kong, and it includes the Tin Hau Temple, Kwun Yum Temple, Shing Wong Temple, and Hsu Yuen. The temple complex opens from 9:00 to 17:00.
Yau Ma Tei Police Station
The police station, with Edwardian architectural style, is a three-floor building built in 1922. Some popular televisions and movies in Hong Kong were made here. You can visit outside the police station without any charge.
Shanghai Street houses many shops selling a variety of goods, especially anything you need in your kitchen. Hong Kong International Hobby & Toy Museum is also situated on this street, which has a rich collection of the most popular toys and models in the past two centuries.
Temple Street Attractions You Should Not Miss
The trade of fortune telling in Temple Street is very famous. Walking along Temple Street, people will catch sight of many fortune telling masters. As soon as someone makes eye contact with them, the fortuneteller will say, “Sir, I am sure that you feel hemmed in by something. Do you want me to help you to solve something that make you upset?” And then, people will be caught by a sudden impulse to come to the fortuneteller’s stall. In fact, many fortunetellers here are deliberately to make things look mysterious. It is hard to tell who is the real master just from their appearance. Even so, many people are willing to have a try in expectation of changing their destinies and expecting a better life.
Physiognomy is also very popular in Hong Kong and it is regarded as one of the quintessence of Chinese culture. People are fascinated by the fortuneteller’s ability of telling the future by just looking at one’s palms. Physiognomy is a mysterious and profound brand of learning which contains profound knowledge.
Delicacy in Temple Street
One of the most popular restaurants in Temple Street is Xingji hot pot rice. Hot pot rice is simply too good to miss. The hot pot rice cooked here is made by burning charcoal, and the hot pot rice is freshly stewed, so it can make sure that the food is fresh and hot enough. The food is cooked in a charcoal stove, which can retain the original flavor of rice. There are many kinds of rice for customers to choose. The choice of rice in Xingji restaurant is Thai fragrant rice, which tastes better after being roasted over charcoal. The service staff here are very busy. Sometimes they are too busy to serve all the guests well. Therefore, customs are necessary to call the service staff out loud. Seasoning here such as soy sauce and chili sauce is self-catering. When soy sauce is put in the hot pot rice, the aroma of soy sauce starts to perfume the air and makes people’s mouth watering.
Spicy Crab in Temple Street
Spicy crab in Temple Street is the tourism target of many tourists and gourmets. Temple Street entails a strong flavor of life. Eye-catching signboards can be seen everywhere. Spicy crab is a delicious dish not only unique in flavor, but also cheap in this restaurant. Therefore, the restaurant does very good business every year. Most of the customers are tourists, so it is easy to distinguish between tourists and locals. Local people usually order a bottle of beer and a few stir-fry dishes, and tourists generally like to try a variety of local cuisine. The smell of fried crab meat is so strong that people can smell it from a long distance! Even if it is just slightly spicy, it’s beyond the tolerance of many people. Among many spicy crabs, spicy crab in Temple Street is quite pleasant, and the seafood there is fresh and tasty, which leads people to endless aftertaste.
Yuan’s Zhazha (Hong Kong-style Dessert Shop)
Yuan’s zhazha is a fast food restaurant located at underground No.64 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon. In the middle of the street, the shop near to the corner of Sai Kung Street is one of the time-honored shops in Hong Kong. Yuan’s zhazha is one of the best choices for lovers’ dating, family gathering and friends’ dinner. Yuan’s zhazha is a kind of traditional Chinese sweet dish in Hong Kong. You can choose hot or cold Zhazha to eat. It tastes like eight treasure rice porridge. There are red beans, mung beans, peanuts, red kidney beans, taro and sago as well as some coconut milk in it. It is not too sweet and greasy and it melts on the tongue instantly. It’s rich in ingredients and nutrition. The specialty foods in the shop are Zhazha and Tortoise Jelly. The Tortoise Jelly in the store has pure taste. Yuan’s Zhazha is small but very clean!
Rongfa’s Seafood Restaurant
The owner of the restaurant is a local couple in Hong Kong, who are not able to speak Mandarin. The owner of the restaurant maintain a good attitude towards customers. Every midday, the restaurant is full of customers, and many local taxi drivers come here for lunch every day. The restaurant is not very eye-appealing and looks ordinary in its environment. People have to look for it carefully before you find it. Rongfa’s seafood restaurant is located in Temple Street. The food there is very delicious. The Mantis shrimps meat is fresh and tender, and the spicy salt crab is mouth-watering. The seafood porridge in the restaurant is fragrant and delicious. Specialty foods in the restaurant are spicy salt Mantis shrimp, water spinach with fermented bean curd and Chinese kale, and some dishes in the pot are also very delicious.
Dim Sum Restaurant of Tang Dynasty Style
The Dim Sum Restaurant of Tang Dynasty Style is located at No.79 Wusong Street, Jordan. The signboard of the restaurant is very conspicuous and appealing. The restaurant has a strong flavor of Hong Kong, and the decoration of the restaurant is particularly attractive. There are two floors in total, and waiters there are very warm and thoughtful. All kinds of set meal are offered. Fried pig intestine there is cheap and worth a try. The specialty food of the restaurant includes steamed vermicelli roll, milk tea and fish balls. There are a lot of cakes. One of the most delicious is steamed creamy custard bun. Be especially careful when you eat it, because the stuffing inside the bun is very hot.
Movies Released in Temple Street
Temple Street is regarded as the most “social” area in Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong and some foreign movies have been released in Temple Street. It is frequently described as a place full of crimes and a hive of scum and villainy. If you are a Hong Kong movie fan, this place will make you feel familiar as many old movies were shot here such as The Prince of Temple Street, Mean Street Story, Endless Love, Queen of Temple Street, and The God of Cookery and so on.
The Prince of Temple Street
Directed by Jeffrey Chiang, the movie of the Prince of Temple Street is an action film starred by Andy Lau, Joey Wong, Ng Man Tat, Ip Tak Han, and Charles Heung, and all of them are famous performer of china. In 1992, the film was released in Hong Kong and the language of the film is Mandarin.
The Prince of Temple Street tells a story that the boss of the underworld (played by Lui Leung Wai) entrusts his newly born baby to the adopted father Tang Qiushui (played by Ng Man Tat) before the boss runs away.
The baby has twelve adopted fathers and mothers in the mafia, so the child was named Tang Twelve (played by Andy Lau). From then on, people called him Master Twelve. It seems that he is an unusually lucky person on the surface, but he is very lonely in his heart. One day, Master Twelve met a woman named Delan (played by Joey Wong) who came to preach in Temple Street. He fell in love with her at first sight. His romantic love with the preacher Delan has demonstrated a moving love story of Temple Street.
Mean Street Story
Directed by Wang Jing, the movie of Mean Street Story is a plot film starred by Ekin Cheng, Chien-lien Wu, Eric Kot, Choo Mi, and Annabelle Lau, and all of them are famous performers of China. In 1995, the film was released in Hong Kong and the language of the film is Cantonese.
Temple Street in Hong Kong is the place that good and bad people mixed up. Miao (played by Ekin Cheng) who grew up here underwent the cruelty of life. His father was chopped to death in the street when he was very young, and his mother raised their family by singing dirty songs. He was young, handsome and righteous and has a lot of pursuers. One of his good friends was Crab (played by Eric Kot). On the birthday of Miao, he met Xiaozhuan (played by Chien-lien Wu), a beautiful woman from rich family when he was setting off fireworks in Shenzhen. That night, Xiaozhuan was harassed by hooligans. Miao accidentally killed the hooligans. He was unfortunately jailed for four years.
Four years later, Miao was released from prison, and Xiaozhuan had become a DJ of the radio station. Through radio waves, the two young persons who had good feeling for each other met again. However, they were from different class world at that time. Later, Miao got a job in the company of Xiaozhuan’s father, but he could not adapt to the so-called upper class life. In order to rip them apart, Xiaozhuan’s father set a trap for them. As a result, Miao was captured and in debt, and even conflict with the underworld of Temple Street.
The film Endless Love tells a love story between heroine, who is suffering from incurable disease, and hero, a musician who is frustrated for all his talent. On November 11, 1993, the film was shown in Hong Kong with a box office of HK $30 million. In 1994, the film has won six awards in total at the 13th Hong Kong Film Awards, including best film, best actress, best director and best screenwriter, etc.
Queen of Temple Street
Screened in 1990, the movie Queen of Temple Street tells about the love and hate between prostitute Lady Hua and her daughter as well as the relationship between them. Finally, the daughter becomes aware of her errors, turns back from the wrong path and cherishes the relationship with her mother.
Residents here today also frequently worship for good luck in Tin Hau Temple.
There are stalls providing the service of writing letters in Jade Market.
The Fruit Market becomes crowded and very busy as early as 3:00 or 4:00 A.M.
Suggested Travel Route
Jordan’s Subway Station → Gansu Street → Jade Market → Temple Street → Tin Hau Temple → Shanghai Street → Sai Yeung Choi Street → Sino Center → Prince Edward Road → Prince Edward MTR Station Exit
How to Get to Yau Ma Tei
Take bus KMB 81, KMB 3C, KMB 95, KMB 268X, KMB 63X, or KMB 60X and get off at Ning Po Street, Yau Ma Tei Station.
Take Tsuen Wan Line, get off at Jordan Station and exit B1. After that, you need to walk toward northwest about 30 meters along the Nathan Road, turn right to cross the road, and walk toward southeast about 170 meters to the destination.
Take West Rail Line, get off at Austin Station and exit A. After that, you need to walk toward right east about 50 meters along the Jordan Road, walk straight for 100 meters, turn left, walk about 150 meters along the Canton Road, turn right to walk about 330 metes along the Ning Po Street, turn left, walk about 40 meters to the destination.
Chinese: 请带我去油麻地。English: Please take me to the Yau Ma Tei.
If you go to Yau Ma Tei from Hong Kong International Airport, it takes about 30 minutes (about HK$275).
If you go to Yau Ma Tei from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, it takes about 5 minutes (about HK$25).
If you go to Yau Ma Tei from The Pottinger Hong Kong, it takes about 10 minutes (about HK$65).