Feel the history of Hong Kong’s Tanka fishermen
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.