Where to Shop, What to buy in Hong Kong
Hong Kong markets are an absolute must on any visit to this vibrant colony. Bustling with life and colour, they remain an everyday part of many locals life and are also a great place to grab a bargain. We've got the eight best Hong Kong markets listed below, with a guide to what's on offer at each one.
Probably Hong Kong's most famous market, and one of the best for visiting tourists to soak up the hustle and bustle of a Chinese market. The name is a misnomer and the market sells clothes for men and women along with plenty of Chinese curios. Tung Choi Street, Mongkok.
Temple Street Market: Temple Street Night Market is ordered chaos in action and the perfect place to pick up a few bargains. It is awash with rows of brightly lit stalls hawking an astonishing variety of clothing, pens, watches, CDs, cassettes, electronic gadgets, hardware and luggage. The busy food stalls offer a range of delicacies including fresh seafood and hotpot dishes to tempt your appetite. Fortune-tellers cluster at the Yau Ma Tei end of the street and so do Chinese opera enthusiasts seeking kindred spirits for impromptu performances. Simply absorbing Temple Street is a memorable experience. Temple Street, Mongkok.
Stanley Market: Stanley Market is Hong Kong market shopping for beginners. Geared towards tourists hunting for souvenirs, it doesn't have the rough and tumble of a real city market or the hardcore haggling. That's not to say it's not worth a visit, the Chinese styled gifts and I Love Hong Kong souvenirs are a good place to stock up for friends back home and it's a good place to test your bargaining skills before hitting a more intense market. Stanley Market Street, Stanley
Dai pai dong: 'Dai pai dong' are outdoor cooked-food stalls that serve authentic Cantonese flavors in a rowdy atmosphere unique to Hong Kong. There is a great collection of dai pai dong under the Central escalator on Stanley Street. Other good ones are located on Yiu Tung Street in Sham Shui Po. The stalls are usually open all night.
Cat Street: Some claim this is an antiques treasure trove, others that it's one big flea market. Stalls sell jade, coins, posters and lots of old looking Chinese bits and pieces, although for the most part they were probably made yesterday in Guangdong. Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan.
Wan Chai Street Market: One of the biggest outdoor markets on Hong Kong Island, Wan Chai Street Market sells a variety of everything, from kids toys, to Chinese clothes, making it one big, low-cost department store. Locals still shop here and prices remain fair. Tai Yuen Street, Mongkok.
Golden Shopping Arcade: Probably Hong Kong's best computer market, and there is plenty of competition, the Golden Arcade features hundreds of independent stores, flogging the best in computer technology at fairly low prices. Be prepared, the arcade is a maze and almost always packed, on top of that sellers can be aggressive. Check out our guide to buying electronics in Hong Kong, for some tips. Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po
Costume Market: Hong Kong is a party town and this is its party market, featuring costumes for sale, masks, and various, more mundane, cheap accessories and jewellery. It is packed during the run-up to Halloween. Wing-wo Street, Central.
Harbour City: With 700 shops, Harbour City is probably the most comprehensive mall in Hong Kong. Its stores sell everything from high-end fashion brands to the trendiest Japanese products. It is easy to get lost.
Alan Chan Creations: Alan Chan has designed everything - from airport logos to soy-sauce bottles - and now lends his name to stylish souvenirs such as clothing and ceramic pieces. Some items he has a direct hand in, others he simply approves of. Cool, contemporary Chinese design that should inspire plenty of gift ideas.
Amours Antiques: This wonderful shop stocks antique (well, old) rhinestone jewellery, frocks and a darling clutch of beaded and tapestry bags dating from early last century. There are also vases, candle holders and Buddha figurines. Good gift-shopping territory.
Arch Angel Antiques: Though the specialities are antique and ancient porcelain and tombware, Arch Angel packs a lot more into its three floors: there's everything from mahjong sets and terracotta horses to palatial furniture. It also operates an art gallery, Arch Angel Fine Art, across the road that deals in paintings by Vietnamese artists.
Blanc De Chine: This sumptuous store specialises in traditional men's Chinese jackets, off the rack or made to measure. There's also a lovely selection of silk dresses for women. The satin bed linens are exquisite (as are the old ship's cabinets in which they are displayed).
Bloomsbury Books: The delightful bookshop carries a tremendous selection of business, legal and other professional titles but, in deference to its name, leans on the literary side as well. There's a brilliant children's section.
Man Wa Lane: Just a block east of the Sheung Wan MTR station, this narrow alley is a good introduction to traditional Sheung Wan. Stalls here specialise in name chops: a stone (or wood or jade) seal that has a name carved in Chinese on the base. When dipped in pasty red Chinese ink, the name chop can be used as a stamp or even a 'signature'. The merchant will create a harmonious and auspicious Chinese name for you.
Chinese Arts & Crafts: Mainland-owned CAC is probably the best place in Hong Kong to buy quality bric-a-brac and other Chinese trinkets; it's positively an Aladdin's cave of souvenirs. On Hong Kong Island there are also branches in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui and a huge branch in Wan Chai.
Lok Cha Tea Shop: This favourite shop sells Chinese teas of infinite variety as well as tea sets, wooden tea boxes and well-presented gift packs of various cuppas. A great bonus is that you can try before you buy. Enter the store from Ladder St.
Teresa Coleman Fine Arts: This is the finest shop in Hong Kong for purchasing antique Chinese textiles, including rare chi fu, the formal court robes of valuable silk worn by the Chinese emperor, princes and imperial ministers. The shop also deals in Chinese export paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries and antique fans