The city’s old surviving 19th century gas lamps
Hong Kong is filled with staircases, which linked the east-west roads that ran along the contours of its many steep hills. But Duddell Street is the only example of a grand, ornamental staircase. Built between 1875 and 1889, the stairs were meant to showcase the new gas lamps that illuminated the city. The stairs’ four lamps are the only surviving gas lamps in Hong Kong. Both the lamps and the stairs are a declared historic monument.
The Starbucks halfway up the steps looks unremarkable at first, but if you make your way to the back, you’ll find a replica of a traditional bing sutt 冰室 ‘ice house’, a kind of café popular in the 50’s, known for its elaborate iced drinks. Designed by Goods of Desire founder Douglas Young, the bing sutt features tile floors, wood booths and hanging birdcages among other nostalgic touches.