The short stretch of Gage Street is one of my favourite parts of Hong Kong. Located in the tony Midlevels, starting under the shadow of the famed “escalator”, it is surprisingly bereft of expat-aimed businesses. Instead of chain coffee stores and crappy bars, the street still retains its rough-and-ready Chinese flavour with fruit, flower and fish stalls, meat hanging on butchers hooks and blood in the gutters. Alleyways crammed with yet more stalls branch off steeply down the hillside towards Sheung Wan, strung with fluttering Tibetan prayer flag-style banners. It is very atmospheric.
Among all of this (and the discount clothing stores) there are a couple of interesting shops too – the city’s funkiest fruit seller directly opposite the dirt cheap tiki-kitsch-styled Chuk Yuen Vietnamese restaurant decked out in thatch and green ironwork designed to look like bamboo.
Finally there is Recycled, a great store selling the recycled-from-newspaper wallets and bags sold in Hong Kong outlets like G.O.D. – here at greatly reduced prices.