Some call it a flea market and some call it a bazaar. What Upper Lascar Row definitely is, is a shopping heaven for all those on the hunt for treasures and antiques. Lascars were Indian seamen who traded between China and the Middle East and found their accommodations in the range of houses who soon became to be known as Lascar Row as well as Cat Street. The area had quite the criminal reputation and it was a common joke that if you had something stolen, you’d likely be able to unearth it in one of the shops on Cat Street. In Cantonese, thieves are often referred to as rats, and the buyers of the stolen goods as cats, which explains the nickname.
Today, Upper Lascar Row is no longer the center of lawlessness and the road has evolved into a market for antiques, second hand items and junk. It’s also clearly a tourist destination with lots of kitsch, Mao statues and jade pieces. Provided they do some digging, visitors can find bargains on silk products, jade, handicrafts, brass works, ceramics and random treasures ranging from the Ming Dynasty to the Cultural Revolution. The price of course depends on the age and the rarity of the items, but many of the items are also modern replicas intended to add a nice touch of interior decoration to a home for a cheaper price.
Upper Lascar Row is located in Sheun Wang and you can get there by taking the MTR to the station of the same name. It can be visited any time of day of course, but the shops usually open late in the morning and close around 7pm or later. The exception is Sunday, when the market remains closed.