With its many majestic malls and trendy shopping centres, each displaying an impressive selection of top-drawer luxury and designer goods, it’s easy to see why Hong Kong is known as one of the top shopping destinations in the world.
However, while it’s easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of Hong Kong shopping malls, there’s also a more simplistic form of shopping. One which takes place outside the comfort and familiarity of air-conditioned shopping malls and involves getting close to the locales of Hong Kong.
So let’s take a break from the mega malls and take a look at five unique places for shopping in Hong Kong.
1. Cat Street Market
The only location on the list that is not found on the Kowloon Peninsula, Cat Street Market on Hong Kong Island is famous for its many antique shops. Located along the stretch of Upper Lascar Row, Cat Street Market, which is basically the combination of countless shop lots along the street, is a popular spot for purchasing decorative antique statues.
The ‘market’, which has grown and developed extensively since it was first known as a trading place for antiques in the 1920s, also sells many hand-crafted pieces and decorative items that are styled after antique statues and authentic historical figurines. The street is not far from the famous Man Mo Temple, which explains why the main selling items in Cat Street Market are statuettes of Buddhist and Taoist deities.
A tip here is to not be too hasty with your purchases in Cat Street Market. If you see something you’re interested in, visit neighbouring shops first as you’ll more than likely find what you’re looking for at a different price. It’s a good idea to compare prices before making a purchase to get the best bargain in Cat Street.
2. Ladies Market
Located in Mong Kok, one of the busiest regions in Hong Kong, Ladies Market is one of the most popular street markets within the city. As the name suggests, Ladies Market specialises in bargain goods geared towards attracting female customers. Handbags, skirts and dresses and other fashion accessories can be found in abundance here.
But don’t fret if you’re a man! There are also stalls selling T-shirts and imitation football jerseys in addition to other more general trinkets. You will often find many tourists and travellers here searching for quality goods to bring home. Whether you’re a lady or a gentleman, Ladies Market no doubt has a bargain which is just right for you.
3. Fa Yuen Street
Brace yourself if you love your Converse and your Jordans because Fa Yuen Street will take your breath away! If Cat Street is known as antique street, then Fa Yuen Street is sneakers street. Lined on either side of the street are endless rows of outlets selling sports shoes and sneakers.
Every major sneaker and sports shoe retailer is represented on Fa Yuen Street. From Nike and Adidas to Timberland and Converse, if you’ve heard of them, you’ll find them here. Of course, there are also the occasional stores selling knock-offs but even then, they are usually good quality products.
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4. The Sino Centre
Unlike the rest of the places on the list, the Sino Centre is an actual complex. Except, instead of selling the usual goods found in shopping malls, the Sino Centre specialises in only one theme: East Asian Pop Culture, namely Korean and Japanese pop culture.
Visitors who are fans of either (or both!) culture will have their work cut out deciding what, or more likely, how much to buy. The Sino Centre is packed with four floors of Japanese anime and manga merchandise while on the K-pop side of things, it has many lots selling albums, print-on T-shirts and mugs and even magazine covers which feature the hottest stars of the Korean Wave.
Do take note however that the Sino Centre ceases operations at around 10.00pm, and, depending on which day it is, might not open its doors until well after 12.00pm.
5. Temple Street Night Market
Unlike the Ladies Market which is generally in full operation by 12.00pm, the Temple Street Night Market only begins to get lively in the evening (although some stalls start operating late in the afternoon). It is also the only remaining authentic Hong Kong night market.
The Temple Street Night Market vendors sell a wide variety of goods, from fashion to arts and crafts and even some cheap (in a good way) jewellery. What sets Temple Street apart though is the cultural ambience of the place.
Apart from vendors peddling their goods, you can also find live Chinese Opera and even have your fortune read by one of the many fortune tellers by the street! Even if shopping is not your thing, the Temple Street Night Market is still well worth a visit for its cultural significance to Hong Kong.
Be as safe as you are happy
While it is fun to go shopping and hunting for good quality goods, it is also important to stay safe. Many of the places on this list (especially the street markets) are usually very crowded and filled to the brim. Do be careful of your belongings when you visit these places.
That being said, you are sure to find something which suits your fancy when you shop at the above places. And apart from Cat Street Market, all the other places on the list are in close proximity of each other, making a ‘shopping tour’ a legitimate itinerary! So then, let the shopping…BEGIN!
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