Feel the history of Hong Kong’s Tanka fishermen

見證海上人歷史

The coastal district of Yau Ma Tei was originally used as a typhoon shelter, housing docked fishing boats of the seafaring Tanka people. The name “Yau Ma Tei” refers to the marine related industries of the area, especially the production of tung oil and hemp rope for the many nearby boats. Besides maritime products, daily commodities were also sold in the area to meet the needs of the growing population residing in the district both on land and on boat. Items for sale included steelyards (manual scales), handmade bronzes, and wood carvings.


Passed down through family members, these shops carry the wisdom of generations. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find authentic skilled trade shops in Hong Kong. Nowadays, Yau Ma Tei is one of the last remaining districts where such skilled craftsmanship can be found.


Yau Ma Tei is a wonderful place to experience the old lifestyle and history of Hong Kong. The vibrancy of the area can be felt in the wholesale fruit market, the Kai Fong Pai Dong, and the busy evenings along Temple Street. To walk on the streets and absorb the energy of this place is to walk through history and feel the sentiment of old Hong Kong.

昔日油麻地是沿海地方,許多蜑家人聚居在油麻地避風塘。因應海上漁業需求,不少經營補漁船的桐油及麻纜商店於區內設立,所以被稱為「油蔴地」。除海上用品相關店鋪在區內開設以外,為滿足區內龐大人口的需求,不少日常用品店如手工秤店、手造銅器店、木器雕刻店等營運而生。這些帶著上一代智慧的手工店鋪在現在賣少見少,不少僅能在油麻地這帶找到,只此一家。假如想重溫以前人們的生活,可以去到傍晚便開始熱鬧起來的廟街、果欄、露天街坊排檔等,漫步其中,思想穿越古今,感受昔日人們留下的生活痕跡。

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