Yau Ma Tei in Hong Kong
Yau Ma Tei Facts
Yau Ma Tei is a highly urbanized area in the heart of Kowloon, to the south of the Dundas Street and to the north of the Austin Road, and is located between Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui. The area is well known with tourists because of the Temple Street, which is one of the most famous open-air markets in Hong Kong.
Chinese Name: 油麻地
Type: Shopping Area; highly urbanized area
Address: Yau Tsim Mong District in the south of the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong.
Best Seasons: All year round
Recommended Visiting Hours: about 2-3 hours
Opening Hours: All day
Why is Yau Ma Tei so Special?
Imagine an atmospheric street market built around a temple. Add another, where people buy a stone that has purported mystical qualities. Then, mix these with a street dedicated to the sale of kitchenware. Now you start to understand why visitors and movie directors alike are drawn to the quirky and visually stimulating neighbourhood of Yau Ma Tei.
Where is Yau Ma Tei?
Yau Ma Tei is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District in the south of the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong. Dundas Street marks the north border of Yau Ma Tei with Mong Kok and Austin Road its south border with Jordan and Tsim Sha Tsui. To its west is Victoria Harbour and its east the hilly region of Ho Man Tin. Southern Yau Ma Tei was traditionally known as Kwun Chung, but came to be called Jordan after the completion of Jordan MTR station at its heart.
Main Attractions in Yau Ma Tei
Temple Street Night Market is of course one of the top attractions in all of Hong Kong. You can never get bored at Temple Street, with block after block of street vendors, and everything under the sun for sale, from clothing to souvenirs to art.
Chinese jade is the most popular stone for good luck amulets and jewelry, and the Jade Market is an interesting place to shop for it. (Note: the Jade Market is only open during the day, and is not a night market). However, with hundreds of stalls and aggressive vendors, it’s difficult to know if what you’re buying is the real thing. Always bargain hard!
The Tin Hau Temple is what gave Temple Street its name, believed to date back to around 1864. In front of the temple is a public square and on the sidewalk you might be surprised to find a little cluster of stalls dedicated to ‘adult toys’. Around the temple you’ll also find people singing karaoke or Cantonese opera, and a number of fortune tellers, some of whom will provide their service in English.
A lesser known attraction is the historic wholesale fruit market, also known as Gwo Laan. It’s an interesting place to wander through, to see the hustle and bustle of commerce that has gone on for more than 100 years. The market is still in the original building, and you can spot some signs that have been hanging up there since before World War II.
Recommended Hong Kong Tour
How to Get to Yau Ma Tei
Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)
If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to Yau Ma Tei in Hong Kong in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.
The easiest way to get around the city is Hong Kong MTR. It is fast, inexpensive, with the convenient navigation in trains and on stations. There are several stations in the Yau Ma Tei area. The Yau Ma Tei MTR station is located in the northern part of the area, at the junction of Waterloo and Nathan Roads. In the southern part is the Jordan MTR station. It is only 1 MTR stop from Tsim Sha Tsui and 2 stops from Hong Kong Island. Both stations are part of the MTR Tsuen Wan Line. Also, there is the Austin MTR station in the western part of the area.
Useful Travel Tips
- What to eat and drink in Yau Ma Tei
While in Yau Ma Tei, try out a local favourite, clay pot rice. Small clay pots are filled with rice, and typically sausage or chicken, and roasted on an open flame. Two popular spots are Hing Kee Clay Pot Rice located on Temple Street, and Four Seasons Clay Pot rice, one street over on Arthur Street. Don’t expect much in terms of decorations, but once you get comfy on the small plastic stools you’ll be fine.
You’ve got lots of choice for dim sum, but Kung Fu Dim Sum and Hei Wan Dim Sum Specialist, both on Portland Street, are a solid choice, with English menus and very affordable prices.
Where to stay in Yau Ma Tei
A good step up, however, is the M1 Hotel. It’s also got a prime location right by Yau Ma Tei MTR station, it’s very affordable, and breakfast is included. As it’s less than 10 years old, the rooms and decor in this boutique are clean and modern.
The Salvation Army Booth Lodge is an excellent 3-star hotel right by Tin Hau Temple. They have complimentary breakfast, somewhat spacious rooms (by Hong Kong standards), and can provide airport transfers too. Guests have given this hotel a very high rating for its cleanliness.
Nearby is the Silka Seaview, a one-minute walk from Temple Street and the Tin Hau Temple, making it a very convenient place to rest your head.