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Upper Lascar Row - A treasure trove for antiques in Hong Kong

Upper Lascar Row

Upper Lascar Row or Cat Street

This narrow alley in Mid Levels, Hong Kong was named after the "Lascars" or seamen from India, who dominated and set up shops in the area way back when. By the 1920s, their small community have established a market for antiques, old goods and obsolete electronic appliances and became a popular marketplace for second hand goods or old but still valuable items.

The alley is also known as the Cat Street, after the enterprising businessmen who purchase stolen goods from the thieves to be sold in their shops. In Cantonese slang, thieves are called rats and the items they sell "mouse goods." Business men who buy such goods to be resold again for profit are called cats.

Because the prices are relatively lower at Upper Lascar Row, many folks, both local and foreign, are attracted to shop in the area. For those who buy these goods, they choose their favorite products stealthily along the street, as if they are acting like cats, ready to catch mouse. Hence, foreigners called this street as "Cat Street".

Today, Upper Lascar Row or Cat Street is mostly occupied by quaint antique shops, and is a popular destination for tourists looking for souvenir items and other nick knacks.

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