Posted on Dec 10, 2013 by Luke James
Whether you’re looking for a treatment for allergies or a remedy for your back pain, there’s bound to be a traditional Chinese medicine to fit the bill. We explore some of the best areas to peruse and purchase traditional medicines in Hong Kong
In the West, at the first sign of illness most people head straight to the doctor. In Hong Kong, however, people are just as likely to head to the local traditional medicine store as they are to turn to Western medicine. In fact, across Hong Kong one in five medical consultations are held with practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, an approach to health that has evolved over the past 5,000 years.
Using a combination of plants, roots, herbs and animal parts, locals and expats alike are able to find exotic cures for everything from headaches to arthritis. We take a look at some of the best places to purchase traditional medicines to cure any ailment:
Ko Shing Street
Ko Shing Street in Sheung Wan is the epicentre of the wholesale traditional medicine trade of Hong Kong. The sights and smells of the 200+ stores are sure to amaze you as you peruse some of the most peculiar treatments you can imagine. Some of the most surreal products, such as seal penis, dried starfish and snakes are available for purchase and on display for any that choose to stroll down this fascinating street.
For a better understanding of some of the complexities of Chinese medicine, be sure to visit the Museum of Medical Sciences. Around 750 metres from Ko Shing street, the museum offers a wealth of information for the uninitiated across the 11 exhibition galleries.
Wing Lok Street
If you couldn’t find what you were after in Ko Shing street walk a little further to Wing Lok street. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, vitality or virility, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this street. Visitors are treated to stalls and shops offering a vast collection of mysterious dried goods and other strange and exotic cures for whatever ails you.
Tong Ren Tang
Founded in 1669, Tong Ren Tang is one of the most established brands in China and was designated to provide medicines for the royal pharmacy of the Qing Dynasty for 188 years. There are Tong Ren Tang stores across the city that sell packaged pills, health foods and specialty wines that are sure to fix any ailment.
Hung Fook Tong
For convenience, it’s tough to go past Hung Fook Tong. With more than 120 stores, these outlets can be found in most MTR stations and offer a wide range of remedies like bottled herbal teas and soups, conveniently pre-packaged for easy reheating.
One of the largest and most famous department stores in Hong Kong, Yue Wah has an extensive Chinese medicine section where you can peruse through a range of cures like dried seahorses or slices of reindeer antler. The benefit of purchasing through a store such as this is that there are a number of staff that speak english, meaning that you won’t need to deal with miscommunication.
Loved this article? Be sociable and share!