Living in Sai Ying Pun
Just a couple of kilometres west of Central in the Western District lies the up-and-coming Sai Ying Pun. A former British military camp, this Hong Kong neighbourhood is now a vibrant hub with a laidback, easygoing feel. A cultural melting pot, Sai Ying Pun is well-loved for its art galleries, hipster cafes, alternative food scene, and relaxed shopping experiences.
Set on the lower slopes of Victoria Peak and western reclamation land along the harbour, residents living in Sai Ying Pun enjoy the unique history of the area which adds to its desirability, drawing residents in from all over Hong Kong and internationally. It borders Kennedy Town, and further to the west is Pok Fu Lam (also known as Pokfulam), one of Hong Kong’s oldest residential neighbourhoods.
Since the installation of the extended Island MTR Line in 2015 and the Sai Ying Pun escalator in 2012, Sai Ying Pun has gained a reputation as one of the hippest places to live in Hong Kong with plenty of appeal for property renters and buyers alike. Transport networks make Sai Ying Pun one of the best connected in the city, but everything you need can also be found right on your doorstep, from restaurants and coffee shops to retailers, marketers, and more, making it easy to shop and live local.
The Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood is an attractive blend of old and new properties. Older-style mid-rises that dominate commercial shopping streets give way to modern towers with full amenities such as Resiglow, The Summa and the recently refurbished One Eleven High Street. Renovated characterful buildings with old-school appeal give a nod to the neighbourhood’s history. Being close to the harbour where there is a height restriction on buildings, properties in this neighbourhood benefit from a more open feel than can be found in Mid-Levels, and the way of life here is much more relaxed than in the city centre. Residents of Sai Ying Pun never have to travel far to pick up a cup of high-quality coffee and take a relaxing stroll by the seaside.
Act fast when an ideal opportunity arises
Renting or buying a home in Sai Ying Pun gives you complete access to a host of amenities including the Hong Kong Central Business District. There are plenty of commercial and residential properties in the market to suit a huge range of business requirements and lifestyles. Having said this, securing the perfect property can be somewhat challenging given the popularity of the area so those in the market for Sai Ying Pun property should act fast when the ideal purchase or rental opportunity arises.
Excellent for single residents and young families
Rental rates in the area are strong, and the neighbourhood’s property market active providing landlords, buyers, and renters with attractive prospects in the short and long term. The area is particularly popular with millennial renters, young professionals, and those who crave a creative, community vibe. This is reflected in the budding network of hipster cafes and trendy restaurants, independent shops, and art galleries in the Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood. This trend is set to continue as investors and property developers move into the area, making it an excellent choice for single residents and young families alike.
With a healthy mix of old and new, Sai Ying Pun is defined by its cultural influences and has become a thriving hub for business, leisure and food. Whilst Centre Street will anchor you within a whisker of the action, there are some hidden gems in Sai Ying Pun that make it the perfect daytime lunch date or weekend hangout.
Food & drink in Sai Ying Pun
Residents wondering where to eat in Sai Ying Pun will find that First Street, High Street, and Queens Road West are just some of the key destinations for international, local and fusion food - residents and visitors are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. Foodies love Sai Ying Pun for its independent restaurants such as Brut and Lucale, both tucked away on Second & Third Street respectively. Head to High Street for a truly international selection of restaurants that all offer a quintessential relaxed SYP feel, opening onto the street for a perfect evening of socialising.
Sipping on something in Sai Ying Pun is open from morning until late-night. From Aussie-inspired coffee shops like Fineprint and Winstons Coffee to get your caffeine fix to European wine specialists (French Flair), there's something for everyone. The bar scene is popular with residents, giving them modern, hip places to meet friends and socialise through the evening. From easy neighbourhood finds (Crispy Bistro) to gin joints (Ping Pong 129), Sai Ying Pun still keeps its laid-back feel and stays relatively discreet and low-key.
Shopping in Sai Ying Pun
Sai Ying Pun boasts a huge choice of charming boutiques, from eco-friendly shops such as LiveZero to independent art galleries - perfect for a weekend exploring the neighbourhood. Buying opportunities are plentiful so young families and busy professionals can enjoy the convenience of shopping locally. Animal-lovers are also well catered for with pet grooming stores, dog-friendly harbourside walks and cafes that welcome canine guests.
Local and traditional markets take place daily and Sai Ying Pun Market on Centre Street is known for its fresh organic produce and locally sourced wares. Traditional food markets are a staple of everyday life here making it super convenient to shop locally. You’ll never be short of places to shop when living in Sai Ying Pun.
Artsy types will have their creative cravings satisfied with a visit to Art Lane on Chung Ching Street. Outdoor art is the star of the show here, and there are numerous large-scale outdoor murals adorning the building fronts. Art Lane also attracts photographers and art lovers from outside of the district.
Out & about in Sai Ying Pun
The slower pace of life in Sai Ying Pun lends itself perfectly to a coffee shop culture. Grabbing a coffee at a cafe with friends is the ideal way to spend an afternoon people-watching and soaking in the chilled vibes, but if you prefer something more outdoorsy there’s plenty to choose from. Here you are never too far from Hong Kong’s open parks and hiking trails; harbourside walks are ever-popular, offering plenty of fresh air and breathing space from the bustle of the streets.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park is just one of the most popular places to visit in the district. This wide waterfront promenade is a gorgeous spot for walks, and there is also a leisure centre complete with a public swimming pool, football pitch, basketball court, and children's playground area. Plus, with the number of families living in SYP, there's a handful of dog parks too to visit for your four-legged friends. The north of Sai Ying Pun borders Mid-levels West along Bonham Road. Within 10 minutes you'll find The Morning Trail and access to the iconic Victoria Peak.
One of the biggest draws of living in Sai Ying Pun is its proximity to Hong Kong Central Business District. The neighbourhood is conveniently placed and well serviced for commuters travelling by public transport or private car, and borders some key areas of commerce.
Central is only about 10 minutes away by train, and there are several reliable and cost-effective ways to get about. There is a tram which takes travellers direct to Central in 22 minutes and this is especially popular with regular commuters. For those that prefer to go by bus, multiple routes will have you in Admiralty within about 15 minutes. You can catch a Citybus from Eastern Street which terminates at IFC Mall with a journey time of about 7 minutes.
Getting to Central via the subway is convenient, just board at Sai Ying Pun MTR station on High Street and you will arrive in about 4 minutes. Services are regular with trains departing every 5 minutes or so, and they run until just after midnight.
To say Sai Ying Pun is well connected is a bit of an understatement; a recent expansion of the Island MTR Line vastly improved connections, and the network continues to evolve to meet the needs of residents and commuters. The popularity of property for rent in Sai Ying Pun continues to grow and with its proximity to Central, it will always have a high demand.
The area also features the Sai Ying Pun escalator which goes from Bonham Road down to Des Voeux Road West. Since its completion in 2012, it has helped to gentrify the area and create an explosion of cool restaurants, cafes and bars, as people jump on and off the escalator to go to enjoy the vibrant food scene along 2nd and 3rd Street.
Why choose Sai Ying Pun?
If you are looking for an up-and-coming district with plenty of personality and charisma, Sai Ying Pun really delivers. Properties are often larger and characterful, and rental fees are reasonable considering the district’s proximity to Central and its excellent travel networks. There is plenty to see and do while living in Sai Ying Pun, including a thriving bar and restaurant scene, stunning outdoor spaces, and boutique shopping. Local schools offer top-class curriculums for all ages and are a huge draw for young families looking to rent or buy property in Sai Ying Pun. A fashionable place to live and work, SYP is becoming ever more popular among young professionals and families and those looking for exciting business prospects.
Education shortlist: Sai Ying Pun schools
Families with school-age children will be impressed with the choice of quality international schools that can be accessed from Sai Ying Pun. All ages are catered for, and educational standards are exceptional. We've put together our shortlist below.
Explore more neighbourhoods
Looking to discover more residential neighbourhoods in Hong Kong? Besides Sai Ying Pun, you can check out our full directory of neighbourhood guides and learn all that you need to know about living in Hong Kong. Whether you want to settle into a relaxed seaside neighbourhood or experience the fast-beating pulse and world-class food scene of the city centre, Habitat Property can help you find the right luxury property to rent or buy.