Neighbourhood Guide: Tai Hang, Laid-Back and Creative

Nestled between the neighbourhoods of Tin Hau and Causeway Bay, Tai Hang is a quiet enclave of cute and quirky restaurants, cafes and shops mixed in with old-school dai pai dongs, garages and historical shophouses within its small grid of streets. From Tin Hau MTR station, a leisurely stroll along Tung Lo Wan Road or Fire Dragon Path takes you to the start of Wun Sha Street, a former drainage canal — a nullah — that gave Tai Hang its name, which literally means “big water channel” in Chinese (daai6 haang1 大坑). 

Besides being a haven for creatives, hipsters and foodies alike, Tai Hang is best known for its strong sense of community. And we’re not just talking about the Tai Hang fire dragon dance either, when 300 of its residents come together every Mid-Autumn Festival to carry a 67-metre-long dragon made of burning incense sticks. “People are very friendly here and everyone seems to know each other,” says Katie Chan of Chokohood, a chocolate-centric cafe on Tung Lo Wan Road. “For example, when we get takeaway noodles from Bing Kee, they’re more than happy to let us use their bowls to wash and return. This is something I never imagined [would] still happen on Hong Kong Island.” 

Other Tai Hang residents lovingly describe the neighbourhood as a village, a hidden gem and a “secret area” that has retained its charm over the years. As more and more people flock to Tai Hang to soak up its laidback and bohemian vibes, get to know the current faces of Tai Hang and its eclectic community through our latest neighbourhood guide.
A window into history

1/ Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre
12 School Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 3513 7772

Opened in 2022, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre was created to preserve and pass on the heritage of the fire dragon dance, preserve the local legacy of Hakka culture, and engage the community in heritage conservation. The building it is housed in was originally built in 1909 and known as Hung Shing Yi Hok, a school founded by the Hong Kong Confucian Society, which was severely damaged during World War II and completely rebuilt by 1949. After that, different organisations used the building for educational purposes until 2020 when it was left vacant.

Today, the ground floor of the building has an exhibition centre showcasing the fire dragon dance through digital and interactive projections, and a gift shop where visitors can book tours and shop for souvenirs relating to Hakka culture and the Tai Hang fire dragon. A social enterprise restaurant sits on the first floor of the building serving traditional and fusion Hakka meals, while the second floor serves as a multi-functional space for workshops, talks and exhibitions.

2/ Lin Fa Temple
Lily Street, Tai Hang

Meaning Temple of Lotus or Palace of Lotus Flower, Lin Ka Fung (lin4 faa1 gung1 蓮花宮) was built to worship Kwun Yum, the Goddess of Mercy, in 1863. It has since been renovated twice, in 1986 and 2014, by the Chinese Temples Committee. 

Officially declared a monument in 2014, the small temple was originally built on a slope facing the sea with Tai Hang village to its west, which used to resemble a lotus in the water during high tide. Thanks to land reclamation, the temple now sits on dry ground but the “lotus rock” on which it was built can still be seen inside of the temple. 

Boasting unique architecture, Lin Ka Fung differs from traditional temples in that the entrance is via two staircases to the left and right of the front hall. Inside, you’ll find historical relics including the Kwun Yum altar, offering table, bell, hall of Tai Sui (a kind of Taoist deity), plus a golden dragon fresco on the ceiling of the hexagonal front hall – a symbol of the temple’s connection with the fire dragon dance.

Don’t be surprised to see thousands of worshippers outside of the temple on the 26th day of the first month of the lunar new year, known as the Kwun Yum Open Treasury, and on the eve of Mid-Autumn Festival, when the fire dragon’s eye-dotting ceremony takes place.

3/ Haw Par Mansion
15A Tai Hang Road, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 3165 1212

Haw Par Mansion is one of the few surviving specimens of the Chinese Eclectic style architecture in Hong Kong with a red brick facade, green tiled roof, and circular moon gates. Built in 1932 by Burmese Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw (1882–1944) and Aw Boon Par (1882–1954), better known as founders of the Tiger Balm brand, it included a landscaped garden, private mansion and unusual theme park.

The park was created to promote Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian teachings to counteract the effects of colonisation. This was expressed through murals and sculptures, including the Ten Courts of Hell depicting the plight of sinners, and a seven-storey white pagoda standing 44 metres tall. After Aw Boon Par’s death, however, Haw Par Mansion fell into decline and most of the property — including Tiger Balm Garden — was demolished. 

In 2019, the site was converted into a music academy with regular recitals, performances and tours, but it ceased operations in December 2022 due to operational challenges. Now back in the hands of the government, Haw Par Mansion will be undergoing maintenance work before it reopens to the public with free guided tours, sometime around the second quarter of 2023.

Art and lifestyle

5/ The Shophouse
4 Second Lane, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 5201 9555
Housed in a restored 1930s Grade III pre-WWII tenement building, The Shophouse is a gallery and exhibition space opened in May 2020 by Hong Kong creative agency Unveil Unlimited. The building was originally painted in bubble gum pink before being restored to its original Shanghai plaster grey, complete with wrought-iron window accents, terrazzo flooring and hand-painted tiles.

With the aim of showcasing a diverse range of local and international artists and creatives across its five floors of gallery space, it includes the Pantry & Things bar on the ground floor, Storage gallery on the second floor for archival pieces, Study on the mezzanine floor with books recommended by artists, another gallery on the fourth floor, and an artist garden and workshop on the rooftop.

6/ Psyroot Store
4 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 6014 7795

Taking over the site where The Plant of Devil used to be, owner Mapei and his business partner Bun have converted the plant shop into the new home of Psyroot, a skate shop selling all manner of skater gear and essentials including boards, wheels, accessories and apparel. The collection is rounded out by a wall of graffiti spray paint, UV paintings by Henry Siu and Indo boards for balance training. If you’re into creepy crawlies, say hello to Mapei’s pet tarantulas and poisonous frogs by the till.

7/ The Minimal
38 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2369 2328

A vintage lover for over 20 years, Danny Cheung left a career in finance to open his own vintage shop, The Minimal, inside of Tsim Sha Tsui’s Rise Commercial Centre. He relocated to Tai Hang six years ago for the larger shop space and quiet environment, where he displays his vintage finds from his own travels – most of which are sourced at flea markets in Germany and Japan. A delight to wander through, his quirky shop is now strewn artfully with vintage signs, t-shirts, figurines, accessories, lamps and home products.

8/ Moon of Silence
36 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 9243 1909

More than a store, Moon of Silence was created by its founders Calvin and Ammis to be a platform for human connection in a city as fast-paced and hectic as Hong Kong. Part coffee shop, part pop-up space, the founders created it as a place to slow down and bring together artists, makers and craftsmen from all walks of life. Stay tuned on their social media channels for their latest lineup of events, which range from artist exhibitions to coffee and vegan food pairing, to tattoo and painting workshops.

9/ Kanamono Hardware Store
30B Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2865 6168

With a background in interior design, Sammi Wong started Kanamono eight years ago to introduce Hong Kongers to the world of beautiful hardware, from something as small as a light switch, stopper, wall tiles, hooks or carabiner clips to larger items like storage shelves, peg boards, lighting and more. With an eye for unique details, she travels often to look for and import items from mostly Japan and overseas, whilst helping customers source larger design items on request when needed. However, her favourite items to wax lyrical about are without a doubt, measuring tapes – of which she is a huge fan and long-time collector.

Rest your head

10/ Little Tai Hang
98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 3899 8888

Ideal for out-of-towners, staycationers or long-staying guests, Little Tai Hang is both a boutique design hotel and collection of serviced apartments spread across three buildings near Lin Fa Kung, including the Corner House, Lane House and Resident House. From cosy studios to one- and two-bedroom suites with garden or harbour views, all feature floor-to-ceiling windows and plush Scandinavian-style furnishings to feel right at home.

Café life

11/ Unar Coffee Company
15 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang

A Tai Hang coffee mainstay, Unar Coffee Company just celebrated its 12th anniversary as one of the first specialty coffee shops in the neighbourhood. Having relocated from its original spot on Second Lane to another hole-in-the-wall location on Sun Chun Street, it now serves excellent coffee — by takeaway and cash only — with additional unique flavours such as banana and cucumber.

12/ HeyDay Café
5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2368 9339

With a motto of “Perfect is Never, Live Now,” HeyDay is a cosy corner café on Shepherd Street founded by Monica Chan in 2021. The vibe here is casual, relaxing and peaceful, making it a magnet for coffee lovers, the brunch bunch and pet-owners alike. Try the ultra-smooth matcha latte, all-day breakfast and bagels – and if you’re lucky enough to see it on the menu, grab the homemade tiramisu, too.

13/ Muse
15 Ormsby Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2670 0882
This calm, zen-like hideaway spot finds its muse in the forest and nature, with a café on the ground floor and lifestyle shop upstairs selling beautifully curated items to bring that wabi-sabi aesthetic home. Enjoy a quiet afternoon with their dessert and drink pairings, including a creamy cheesecake with honeycomb cappuccino, masala chai latte with oolong chiffon cake, or iced matcha latte with cold soba noodles on a hot and sweltering day.

14/ No.2
4A, 7 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 9126 6721

Another relative newcomer to Tai Hang, No. 2 serves strong cups of joe alongside Western comfort food such as hearty all-day breakfasts, burgers with fries, salads, pasta and sandwiches – try their signature Devils/Angels spaghetti and sandwich with slow-cooked chicken breast and whole avocado. Open until 9pm and midnight on weekends, this café by day and cocktail bar opens up along Sun Chun Street and is a great place to while away the day with friends.

15/ Oma Coffee Roaster
9 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang

Oma founder Jesse Choy began his coffee journey in 2020 when he opened Mono Lab in Central, the first place in Hong Kong that combined single origin coffee with shisha. At Oma, the focus is on specialty coffee (especially exotic varietals) and education, with combos that allow guests to try two different coffees together for comparison and daily cupping record boards with brewing information and tasting notes. Quiet and serene, Oma is also popular for their all-day breakfast and homemade baked goods, including a creamy pistachio basque cheesecake, Earl Grey banana bread and jalapeno cheese sourdough.

16/ Fineprint
1 Lily Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 5331 5205

Located near the start of Wun Sha Street, Fineprint’s second location after Peel Street is where the team began baking their own sourdough bread and roasting their own coffee. “When we came across this particular location [in Tai Hang] with its high ceilings, windows and outlook onto the street, it was just too good to pass on,” says Scottie Callaghan, founder of Fineprint.

The residents couldn’t be happier, with plenty of folks (and their four-legged friends) coming by to grab their daily cuppa along with Fineprint’s famed avocado toast, soft pretzels, muffins and cookies. Having built a strong community of coffee lovers in Tai Hang, this is a place where the staff know the customers’ names and orders by heart, and where people come back time and time again not just for the coffee, but for the community as well.

17/ Chokohood
Shop E90, 96 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 9190 5992

Katie Chan fell in love with craft chocolate after taking a course at the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao in 2014, which led her to launch a chocolate importing and consulting business in Hong Kong shortly after. In September 2021, Chokohood was born in Tai Hang – a café that focuses solely on what Chan calls “the ultimate chocolate experience.” In a neighbourhood dominated by coffee shops, Chokohood stands out with its bean-to-bar chocolate drinks and desserts made from single origin cacao beans sourced from Chiang Mai and Taiwan. Proving that chocolate goes with just about anything, the café also hosts various tastings and workshops such as whisky and tea pairings, meditation and even floral arrangements.

Food and drink

18/ Elementary
15 School Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2362 2812

Nestled on the corner of School Street is Elementary, a contemporary Aussie-style eatery that feels like something you might find in Melbourne, the hometown of its founder Alex Malouf. On why he decided to open in Tai Hang, Malouf says he felt an instant connection to the neighbourhood as “it was like a hidden gem or secret area of Hong Kong with no big names or brands.” Serving what he describes as “simple, honest and delicious food,” Elementary’s menu is influenced by Asia, Europe and the Middle East and divided into different sections (Raw, Vegetables, Small, Pasta and Big) ideal for sharing. Must-tries include the chilli crab pasta with garlic and lemon zest crumbs, fancy poutine with oxtail gravy, blue cheese and runny egg, and the legendary EFC (Elementary fried cauliflower).

19/ Bing Kee Cha Dong
5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2577 3117

Join the queues at Bing Kee Cha Dong for an authentic dai pai dong experience tucked between two old-style tenement buildings. In business since the 1950s, this busy street stall used to only serve milk tea alongside cakes, bread and Chinese pastries until the 1970s when they added noodles and coffee to its menu. Today, foodies from all across the world wait patiently in line for a taste of their signature toasts, sandwiches and pork chop noodles paired with a cup of silky smooth milk tea.

20/ Chin Jor Fan Tong
39 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 5118 1869

Behind the traditional wooden carved doors of Chin Jor Fan Tong lies a nostalgic, neon-lit noodle shop decked out like an old bing sutt. With just a handful of tables, the family-run shop attracts its share of local and expat hipsters alike who crave the spicy, sour and numbing flavours of Sichuan and Yunnan-inspired noodle bowls. Proudly made without MSG, the noodle bowls come with your choice of rice, sweet potato or the thicker biang biang noodles, which are topped with shredded chicken, beef tendon, bouncy squid balls and/or mixed veggies – plus with a slew of spices, herbs and plenty of cilantro. Pair with snacks like the crunchy smacked cucumber, drunken chicken wings or Thai-style fried tofu and you’ve got yourself a meal.

21/ Kona
16 Lin Fa Kung Street West, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2881 6339

A modern kappo restaurant, which means “to cut and to cook” in Japanese, Kona is a casual corner eatery and frequent haunt for Tai Hang locals and foodies alike. Intimate and cosy, Kona offers unique dishes like foie gras chawanmushi, chilled tofu mapo style, zuwai crab croquettes, and sea urchin with lobster jelly and egg sabayon alongside seasonal sashimi platters and hearty bowls of soba and udon.

22/ Maka Hiki
2/F, The Corner House, Little Tai Hang, 98 Tung Lo Wan Rd, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2155 1777

Transport yourself to a tropical oasis at this buzzing tiki cocktail bar and grill founded by French mixologist Max Traverse. After opening Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge in 2012 and Mahalo Tiki Lounge in 2015, he founded Maka Hiki in Tai Hang as “the perfect place to unwind in a friendly neighbourhood.” Decorated with palm frond patterns, rope lighting and wooden furniture with a lush and sprawling outdoor terrace, the tasty menu features a range of Caribbean and Southeast Asian-inspired dishes including poke bowls, curries, grilled mahi-mahi and slow-cooked ribs.

23/ Sushi Shin
110 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 2398 8000

Consistently rated as one of Hong Kong’s best Japanese restaurants, Sushi Shin was started by three apprentices of Chef Kenjo Shunji of sushi mecca Kenjo fame in Tsim Sha Tsui. With Kenjo now closed, Sushi Shin takes over the spotlight with its selection of fresh sushi and sashimi platters, plus lunch sets and authentic omakase-style dining by night.

A sweet treat

24/ Plumcot
10A Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang

Tucked away on Sun Chun Street is Plumcot, a petite French bakery opened by two former Michelin pastry chefs, Camille Moenne-Loccoz and Dominique Yau. The husband-and-wife team opened Plumcot in 2017 — the name is a mix of plum and apricot — where they make artisanal pastries such as croissants, caneles, madeleines and scones in-house from only the best ingredients. Not sure where to start? Sample their best-sellers with the assorted gift box, which includes the salted chocolate cookie, rose and Earl Grey madeleines, Gruyere cheese crackers, a financier, lemon cake and banana cake.


25/ Cookie Vission
Shop D, 6 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, Tel. +852 5545 5655

Go cross-eyed for cookies at Cookie Vission, where ex-Oddies founder Winnie Pang has created a cult following for her giant, filled cookies in all flavours of the imagination, including the more basic chewy chocolate chip, triple chocolate, nutella and oreo, to the more out-there flavours like hojicha, matcha and blue cheese. Do-nut miss the donut selection either, with crowd favourites including the hazelnut mille feuille, red velvet, pandan coconut and strawberry milkshake.


Don’t get lost
Go back to top button