The Hong Kong insider’s guide to shopping outside

November 29, 2009 at 10:14 am | Posted in Shopping | Leave a comment
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Hong Kong has a lot to offer in terms of shopping and it often feels like one giant interconnected shopping mall with huge indoor shopping centers linked together via bridges, tunnels, tram, trains, boats… You could even visit Hong Kong and never get out of this gigantic mall that carries all the major international brands, hotels, food courts, swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, bars, supermarkets…
But what about experiencing the real Hong Kong? Hear the city’s heart beat while you look for bargains and souvenirs?
The city is full of outdoor markets where good deals and great stuff is to be found. Those are dedicated to locals and offer better deals as well as a more typical visit. In order to truly experience day-to-day life in Hong Kong, make sure to explore the city’s many specialized markets.
First, you will find a variety of intriguing markets on the Kowloon Peninsula that faces Hong Kong Island.

Ladies Market

The Ladies Market

 This is one of the largest street markets in Hong Kong. This gigantic bazaar sells everything from socks to electronics.  Despite the name, men’s clothes are widely available. It is noisy and very crowded but the place to go if you want to buy cheap and fun clothing, Chinese souvenirs, toys and accessories. Most stalls open at noon and close around 10pm.  It is located on Tung Choi Street in the Mong Kok District.  You can get there via the Mong Kok MTR station and take exit E2. 




Fa Yuen Street

This market is also called the Sportswear Street. You will find good deals on running shoes, hiking boots, backpacks, baseball hats and other athletic gear.  Most stalls open at noon and close around 10pm.  It is located on  Fa Yuen Street in the Mong Kok District. You can get there via the Prince Edward MTR station and take exit B2. 

Jade Market

You can’t come to Hong Kong and go back home without some souvenirs made of jade. This market is full of vendors selling rings, pendants, figurines and anything else that could possibly be carved out of jade.  Check out the bins of small carved animals and other icons for HK$10 each.  For everything else, you really need to bargain and make the price fall.  You shouldn’t buy any expensive items unless you know your jade as well as the vendors do!  It opens at 9 am everyday until 2pm although some vendors remind open until 6 pm. You can get there via the Yau Ma Tei MTR station and take exit C.  The vendors are on Kansu Street. 

Temple Street Night Market

Every night Temple Street is closed to traffic and turned into a huge outdoor. The merchandise is never the same from one week to another but it is one of the best places to buy cheap toys, silk ties and souvenir T-shirts. It’s a fun place to spend the evening as there are typical outdoor restaurants on the streets around the market. You will need to exit at Jordan MTR station and take exit A.  Head west on Jordan Road to Temple Street and you can’t miss the bright lights and crowds of the night market.   

Ap Liu Street Market

This bustling market spills out over several streets and attracts locals looking mainly for electronics and other electrical goods, though you can buy virtually anything else there as well: duct tape, padlocks, brooms, DVDs…  If you need a used mobile phone or feel like the only foreigner, this is where to go! Most shops open at noon and close around midnight.   Exit at Sham Shui Po MTR station, exit A2.
Hong Kong Island itself has also interesting markets.  

The Lanes

This warren of shop-lined alleyways climbs up the lower slopes of Victoria Peak. You can spend hours exploring this maze of market stalls which sell a little bit of everything.  Great place to browse for cut-rate clothing and for fresh fruit and chops.  The Lanes are a short walk from the Central MTR station (exit C).  Simply walk west on Des Voeux Road and turn left up the first crowded alley full of shoppers.

Hollywood Road

Hollywood Road

Hollywood Road is the place for both genuine and imitation Chinese art and antiquities, though the best browsing is on Cat Street. This one-block pedestrian street is half flea-market and half boutique, with junk shops at one end and high-priced antiquities stores at the other.  No matter what you buy, bargain hard. It opens at 10 a.m. and closes at sunset. Take the (world’s longest) escalator to Hollywood Road and walk west to the Man Mo Temple; take a right down the steps of Ladder Street to Cat Street.


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