Guest Post post by Payal Biswas and part of The Hong Kong Chapter Series 

During my bus rides through Hong Kong city, every time my bus passed the dried seafood street in Sheung Wan, I had this urge to get down and explore. So finally one day I rang up a local friend, Candy; and asked her to accompany me. So on a sunny afternoon Candy and I ventured into the busy, bustling Des Voeux Road west commonly known as dried seafood street in Hong Kong

We went inside many shops and saw a wide display of fascinating dried seafood-ranging from shark fin, sea cucumber, fish stomach, black moss, dried abalone, octopus, squids to Chinese teas and herbs. 

Some shops specialize in bird’s nest and ginseng. I loved the smell of the seafood; although I must caution you that it’s a very strong, distinctive smell and many might not like it.

Candy acted as the translator as the shopkeepers speak only in Cantonese. My friend told me that they usually use the dried seafood in soups and broths. The shopkeepers said that Chinese New year is their busiest time. The streets are packed with haggling customers trying to get a good deal on the products. Some of the products are pretty exotic and expensive.

Dried seafood and bird’s nest is an essential part of Chinese cuisine. It is believed to hold the key to vitality, youthfulness and long life. There are around 200 shops both wholesale and retail stocked with identical products. This street is a photographer’s delight and worth exploring to get a whiff of Chinese traditions.

By the time we finished exploring we were famished. So we went into a local Chinese food joint and sampled some yummy food. I was exhilarated at the end of our expedition.

How to get there: MTR Sheung Wan Station Exit A2- Des Voeux Road West. It’s on the tram line.

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