With a focus on electronics, cosmetics and clothes, Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district is at its liveliest when the street is blocked to vehicular traffic and the shopping and entertainment options expand. In the words of Anna Cummins in Time Out Hong Kong:
Walk along the pedestrianised zone of Sai Yeung Choi Street in Mong Kok as evening settles and prepare for all your senses to be smashed – repeatedly. Between the sales reps inexorably blocking your passage with their banners and leaflets, you’re bombarded by sweet and unsavoury smells as fulgent lights blind your eyes. Then there are the political activists who wax lyrical about the state of the world as they stand next to portable amps, which discharge a cacophonous mixture of street karaoke, beatboxing and live pop-rock. When we take our tour down the street, a man, for some reason, is balancing on a Rolla Bolla with a bunch of flowers in his mouth. Nearby, a group of footballers have gathered a sizeable audience as they perform tricks to music. In between the bustle, another guy nonchalantly appears to levitate, drawing a crowd of silent, bemused onlookers.I recall far more savory than unsavory smells in the area and would not characterize Hong Kong as having many stagnant streets, but I agree the pedestrianized Sai Yeung Choi Street South stands out in Hong Kong. As Cummins later explains and the South China Morning Post also earlier reported, catching the experience is harder, because the city reduced the amount of time the street is pedestrianized due to concerns voiced by residents and shop owners. The Standard reported the different viewpoints on how the change will impact business and commercial rents in the area:
No matter if you love or loathe the madness, it’s undeniable that Sai Yeung Choi Street’s audacious atmosphere stands out against so many stagnant streets in Hong Kong, which are full of stationary cars and high end swank.
Midland IC&I head of research department Jimmy Chan expects leasing activities to fall with the traffic announcement. However, while most analysts forecast retail rents in the area to fall due to declining sales, some shopowners and tenants think differently.Whatever the case, on weekends and public holidays the street is still pedestrianized and during several recent visits I found it full of life. With up to 20,000 pedestrians per hour, there are plenty of people to see. Below are photos from there and a few smaller cross streets of pedestrians, sellers, and performers, Rolla Bolla and all. They offer a more expansive look than the several photos from there--street-level advertising, a flash mob, and people posing for a paid photograph--in last year's post about Mong Kok. .
They welcome the new rules as the return of more cars will prevent street performers from attracting crowds and creating a nuisance to potential shoppers.