Find Hidden Hunger Walking Tour in Hong Kong
Cha Chaan Teng is a kind of famous tea restaurant in Hong Kong. It is a place not only for tea, but also for meals. The local also call it ice room before. Cha Chaan Teng is everywhere in Hong Kong, and is always busy with more customers than other kind of restaurants at lunch or dinner time. It can be hard to find a seat there at peak time especially in the weekend. Many customers are having meals alone, some are to take away. It seems most local people choose the Cha Chaan Teng as a place for daily meal. It makes me very curious because it is usually cheaper to cook at home than eating outside, why some locals prefer eating outside? Is there food premium for a group of people when cooking at home? Is there food inequity for some communities in HK?
To find the reason, I mainly focused on the The prices of vegetables, eggs, pork, rice in markets and supermarkets during my walking tour．
Walking tour maps
- Tai Po Market – Wet Market
- Sha Tin City Super – ParkenShop – Sha Tin Market
- Tai Wan Market
- Sham Shui Po Pei Ho Street Market – Pei Ho Barbecue Restaurant – Po On Road Market – Food Angel
- Po Pei Ho Street Market: PEI HO STREET MUNICIPAL SERVICES BUILDING, 333 KI LUNG STREET, SHAM SHUI PO, KLN
- Pei Ho Barbecue Restaurant
- Po On Road Market: 325-329 PO ON ROAD, CHEUNG SHA WAN, KLN
- Food Angel
People here for free food are mostly elderly．
- Central HK Victoria Park – Office Tower – Queen’ s Road – Central Market – Graham St. Market
- CENTRE STREET MARKET : 44 CENTRE STREET, SAI YING PUN, HK
- Graham St. Market
- Wan Chai Bowrington Road Market – Lockhart Road Market – Wan Chai Market – Wong Nai Chung Market
- Causeway Bay Market – City Super(Time Square branch)– Central Wellcome
- Causeway Bay Market : 142 ELECTRIC ROAD, HK
- City Super
- Central Wellcome : 84-90 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
- Markets around Tin Shui Wai
- Tin Chak Market (in the Tin Chak Shopping Centre)
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Address: Tin Chak Shopping Centre, 71, 73, 75 & 77 Tin Shui Road, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, New Territories
Tips: A 160m walk from Tin Shui Wan Station to Light Rail Tin Shui Wai Terminus, take Tin Shui Wai Circular 706 for 6 stops, about 9mins to arrive Tin Yat. Then 290m walk to the Tin Chak Market.
- T Town Market (formerly named as CHUNG FU PLAZA)
Address: T Town, 30 & 33 Tin Wah Road, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, New Territories
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday & Public Holiday: 6:00 am – 8:30 pm
Tips: Conveniently located by the Chung Fu light rail stop, only 400m walk.
- Tin Shui Market (in Tin Shui Shopping Centre)
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday & Public Holiday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Address: Tin Shui Shopping Centre, 9 Tin Shui Road, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, New Territories (shop number 001-068)
Tips: Within walking distance of both Tin Heng and Tin Yat light rail stops
- Tin Shui Wai ParknShop Super Store
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday & Public Holiday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Address: Shop No L101, 1/F, Tin Shui Shopping Centre, Tin Shui Wai
- DCH Food Mart Deluxe
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday & Public Holiday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Address: Shop No G21, G/F, Tin Shui Shopping Centre, Tin Shui Wai
- Tin Shing Market
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday & Public Holiday: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Address: Tin Shing Market, G/F, Tin Shing Shopping Centre, Tin Shui Wai
(Tin Shing Shopping Centre： 3 Tin Ching Street, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, New Territories)
Tips: Near to the Tin Shui Wai Station, just 280m walk to reach.
There are very few local vegetables in Hong Kong. Vegetables intolerant storage, transportation costs are high, the price of imported vegetables are generally higher, but the local production of vegetables is also very expensive, how to develop local agriculture to increase production and reduce production costs is a matter of concern. Can only produce four kinds of vegetables throughout the year, winter and summer production of add up to less than ten kinds of vegetables. But to see where to buy, what to buy vegetables to lettuce, for example, the price per catty is differ from 5HKD to 48HKD, 48HKD can be said to be more expensive than meat. In the supermarkets and markets, cabbage, cucumber cauliflower are cheaper, lettuce, asparagus are more expensive. Ordinary food prices in Wellcome superstore are relatively the most affordable, city-super is the most expensive. After all, people’s demand for the quality of life is getting higher and higher, there are a variety of supermarkets, “organic vegetables” are more and more popular, which also pushed up the price level of vegetables. The price of vegetables in street markets is not so much better than Wellcome. The reason may be the high rent in markets. Most people are more willing to choose to go to the supermarket to buy food, because the environment in wet markets is relatively poor. How the food justice runs among the sellers in dirty markets is should also be concerned. How to promote local agriculture is an issue cannot be ignored by government.
Most of the people in Hong Kong are working-class, because the lunch break is not too abundant, the population density, so most people tend to eat fast food restaurant. This is one of the reasons why the Cha Chaan Teng has formed a distinctive culture in Hong Kong. Inside the Cha Chaan Teng the best selling package is usually a pork course or sandwich. It is rarely that a few people sitting on a table, eating meat and vegetables with rice.
Rent is very expensive in HK, many low-income people only have a bedroom and shared toilet, they do not have the kitchen, so they have to buy cheap cooked food and eat outside. Some people have very small kitchen with only a microwave oven, but no enough equipment for cooking. There is not enough space to store food when the kitchen is too small to have a fridge. If market they go to the markets every day, it will come to the problem of transport and time costs. If they buy more at one time, vegetables are easy to rot if they don’t have space for refrigeration, then more money will be wasted or they have to eat bad food to save money. According to the comparison in my walking tour, I found the average cost for one person to eating packages of rice, meat and vegetables is no more than 60 HKD in ordinary restaurants, but if they buy these things, they can’t buy the less quantity for just one meal, then they will have to pay more for this meal. As a result, they prefer to eat outside.How to make a better use of urban spaces in HK is an important issue related to the future development for this city.
Such cases will happen in the elderly who live alone, low-income people. This group people can also be the hidden hunger if the food price keeps rising. How is the food secure goes among these people is also a problem worth of attention by the HK government.
Many high-income groups in HK will employ the Filipino maid at home. Hong Kong has more than 6 million people, FDHs have accounted for nearly 4%. The Filipino maids have their holiday every weekend so their employers will eat outside which can be the main reason for especially busy restaurants at weekends in HK. There are lots of Filipino maids Queen Street, Victoria Gardens because they have no place to go and will spend a whole day there including eating and sleeping. This phenomenon can reflect the food injustice aspect of such marginalized groups.
Tin Shui Wai is an area of obvious food injustice and insecure. Population here is more than 300,000. However, the region’s unemployment rate was high, once known as the “tragic city”. It is one of the poorest regions in Hong Kong with priciest food. The group of low-income people in this area can be the big part of hidden hunger in HK. People in this area need to pay 50% more for meats than the other areas in HK. Therefore, some residents choose to go further, in order to buy cheaper food, for example, Yuen Long Market. Some will even go to Shenzhen to save more money.This causes food premium for the low-income people here and they are suffering from food unfair. How to make food affordable for this group of people show be concerned by the government. It is a problem of sustainable food security in Hong Kong.