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Until recently, most Hong-Kongers would avoid the Sheung Wan area located west of SoHo, considering it a backwater best left alone. In the past couple of years, however, boutiques and cafés have popped up on the steep “ladder streets” and, unlike other areas of the city where modernisation has all but erased the old-world fabric, Sheung Wan retains a distinctive local feel.

“This area has become the unofficial hub for creative types,” says Alan Lo, head of property developer Blake’s, which is finishing a small-scale residential project designed by…



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