With its masses of chess-playing old men, brothels, gambling dens, dance halls and colourful street stalls, locals frequenting infamous Temple Street see nothing extraordinary. But the Yau Ma Tei street was selected by Time magazine last month as the best place to play chess in Asia. The magazine also identified the street as being saturated with Hong Kong characteristics. 'If you had to name a place that was archetypal Hong Kong - not the Hong Kong of glittering malls and glass towers, but the Hong Kong of proletarian hustle - Temple Street would be a strong contender,' it wrote. The garden in Temple Street where people play Chinese chess is known as Yung Shue Tau. The report said the game, xiangqi, was faster than its western counterpart, with no boring pawn-led build-ups. Chung Ying Theatre artistic director Ko Tin-lung said that by singling out the street, the magazine was offering a clue on what Hong Kong's culture was, through the eyes of westerners. 'Why did they choose Yung Shue Tau? They chose it because New York does not have Yung Shue Tau, which is unique in Hong Kong,' he said. Perhaps Time's choice answers cultural activist Leung Man-tao's question: 'What do we have in Hong Kong?'