10 Best Local Markets in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is arguably a worldwide shopping paradise where shoppers can find everything that one can think of. Not only home to dazzling arrays of swanky malls and department stores, Hong Kong also boasts an incredible range of multifarious marketplaces specializing in cheap clothes, electronics, tiny antiques and even goldfish as well as pet birds. If you want to pick up a souvenir or a gift during your stay in Hong Kong, the markets and bazaars are great spots to enjoy a retail therapy and shopping spree.
Moreover, do not just go for shopping, go for some food and experiences of local life. Most markets in Hong Kong are blessed with amazing gourmets, and each place has their own food gems to discover. A walk to one of Hong Kong's bustling markets is a fun way to get under the skin of the city since they still remain an everyday part of life for Hong Long native dwellers. Here are 10 best Hong Kong markets listed below, and you can take a look at what's on offer at each one.
The Temple Street Night Market is an absolute must on any visits to Hong Kong. It is the largest night bazaar in the city famous for tons of goods, street food and great market atmosphere. Ready for a bargaining adventure, you could grab a lot of fun gadgets, small electronic items, pirated CDs, knock-off bags, kitchen supplies and souvenir T-shirts.
Go to the market after 7 pm to see it at its best. The food stalls pop out and set tables along the street selling all kinds of Cantonese delicacies, especially the yummy seafood. The Temple Street is also one of the last remaining places to experience the ancient fortune-telling business and Cantonese opera. Just sit down at a fortuneteller and find out what's in store for you.
Close to the Mongkok MTR Station in Kowloon, Ladies Street is definitely the busiest and most popular market in Hong Kong, which is the best place for travelers to get affordable fashion wears and accessories for women. Despite the name, Ladies Street also sells plenty of cheap and basic clothes for men and kids with prices starting from HK$20. If you're after knock-offs of designer brands, look no further and dive into the Ladies' Market! It is an unbeatable buzzing trade offering fake fashion jewelry, shoes and bags. Sometimes, you can surprisingly hunt down decent products at rather low prices as long as sharpening your haggling skills.
Advantaged by a nearby beach, Stanley Market is famous for its coastal charms. More slap-up, the market is mostly covered offering a cool and tourist-friendly shopping experience. It is a superb place to stock up souvenirs for friends and families back home. A wide selection of keepsakes are on offer, such as knick-knacks, silk clothing, calligraphy works, paintings, toys and even mahjong sets. Stanley Market is especially good for beginners in Hong Kong shopping. Many shop owners will offer discounts and haggling chances without being aggressive, making it a friendly starting point before you venture into more intense places like Mong Kok.
The Goldfish Market at Tung Choi Street is a quarter full of shops selling pet goldfish and other sea creatures. Goldfish haven been kept by many Hong Kong households as it is a symbol of prosperity and good luck in Chinese culture. In the market, you can see many species and colored fishes as well as lizards, snake and reptiles.
Small adorable goldfishes are placed into transparent plastic bags filled with water and hung on the sidewalks, waiting for someone's pick, while large creatures stay in the aquariums, which are usually hovered around by kids. It is not really a market for foreigners to go shopping, but it is truly an excellent place to taste the down-to-earth market culture of locals.
With a mix of both modern and traditional charms, Wan Chai Street Market is arguably the largest and most wonderful open-air market on Hong Kong Island. It is a zone where locals still shop for a good variety of household merchandise like plates and clothes on a daily basis. You'll find butcher shops, vegetable and fruit stalls as well as flower vendors where a lively local bargain scene unfolds. The market also has been home to cheap toys and novelty knick-knacks for decades, where you could find old school and retro toys like action figures, Barbie dolls, Lego sets, board games and stuffed animals. Also drop by the street food stalls coming for everything from fresh vegetables to whole chickens and herbal stews.
Located about 450 meters southwest of the Yau Ma Tei MTR Station, Jade Market is a popular quarter with hundreds of stands selling all kinds of jade, pearls, gems and precious stones. Particularly, most offers are jade pieces of all shapes, colors and shades as jade is believed to bring longevity, health and good luck to the wearers in Chinese culture. You will find tons of jade pendants, bangles, necklaces, rings, and earrings which look the same with each other, but the price varies dramatically depending on the quality. Thus bargaining is a must in the market, and you'd better not pick the very expensive piece which may not be a real thing.
Bird Garden is a small fascinating corner tucked away in Yuen Po Street, where you will learn a centuries-old Chinese tradition that the old men take their pet birds instead of dogs for a morning stroll in the park. Keeping caged songbirds is a rather popular pastime for the elders in China, while the Yuen Po Bird Market is a great place for them to hang out and socializing. There you can find arrays of stalls selling various kinds of beautiful songbirds, parrots, finely crafted cages, and peculiar bird food like the bags full of live crickets and warms. Although the market is not a destination for foreign visitors to buy anything, it would be a window for one to look into the old and vanishing part of traditional Chinese lifestyle.
Also known as Upper Lascar Row, Cat Street is one of the most famous antique markets in Hong Kong. In this small treasure trove, there are clusters of stalls and vendors offering jade, Buddhist sculptures, coins, vases, paintings, ceramics and lots of old looking Chinese bits and pieces. If you have a sharp eye and good haggling skills, you may discover some undervalued heirlooms. Mostly, the market could be a fantastic lane to pick up an exotic trinket or a present like Chairman Mao figurines and vintage Bruce Lee movie posters. Actually, you never really know what you'll find, and that is basically a part of the charm of the market. Serious dealers for high-quality antiques can opt for the nearby Hollywood Road.
Apliu Street in Kowloon is a flea market specializing in cheap and second-hand gadgets and electronics, such as phones, laptops, TVs, drones, cameras, video equipment, computers, tablets, USB wires, chargers and headphones. Many young travelers would head to the street in search of fancy phone cases at a rather low price, while great deals come from hard bargains. Some stalls also display T-shirts, watches, fake branded shoes, small curios and traditional Chinese bits and pieces laid on sheets along the walk at reasonable prices that even you don't have to ask for a discount. A trip to Apliu Street is not all about just buying but also browsing and learning what is interesting.
If you are party animals and love to dress up, the Costume Market at Pottinger Street would be a fairly rewarding bazaar since you are able to find a dazzling variety of costumes and accessories there. The lanes are lined with eye-catching shops selling sparkling dresses, ball masks, feather boas, wigs, fancy hats and shinning gems. The market is particularly crowded before the Halloween, where thousands of parents and children throng the market to find something for the festival. Even if you are not planning to buy something, you can have a look around and gain a lot of photo opportunities. Or just rent one or two sets of costumes to dress up as ancient Chinese emperors or princess for memorable pictures.