Upper Lascar Row, also known as Cat Street, is a narrow alleyway market that sells decorations, trinkets, and antiques. It’s not quite like other Hong Kong markets because it’s less commercialized (i.e. doesn’t sell as many touristy things), even though the most common buyers there seem to be foreign.
The name comes from a joke in Chinese: it’s said that if you have something stolen, you’re likely to find it for sale on Cat Street. Thieves are known as “rats” in Cantonese slang, and people who purchase goods from rats are called “cats”.
I never was told the meaning of this street’s name. Now I guess it’s no surprise that I found a chinese mountain-tribal ceremony hat there and thought to myself at the time, Geez, this should be in a museum, what’s it doing here?. Wish I had bought it and taken it to one. Couldn’t afford it. I also didn’t know about the Indian lascars either. Cool.
Actually, even local Hongkies (including the uncle who took me there) may not know the meaning of the streets name. I guess it’s something you’re only interested in if you’re a visitor. I can say the same thing for landmarks in my city, as there are many areas I take for granted and remain unexplored.