Seasoned travelers aver that to feel the pulse of any city, you must visit its local markets. Bustling Hong Kong is no different as this dynamic city is home to several lively markets, well worth a visit.
Ladies’ Market (Kowloon)
Ladies’ Market located along Tung Choi Street in Kowloon is a famed shopping destination. The more than 100 stalls located here offer a wide variety of apparel, accessories, cosmetics, toys, lifestyle products and more. The market caters to bargain-lovers and bargaining is an accepted norm here. Frequent visitors suggest that you should start your haggling by offering the vendor half of what he/she asks for at first. The market is open from 4pm to midnight daily and can be reached by subway (MTR) at Mong Kok station at exit E2.
Fa Yuen Street Market (Kowloon)
Located within proximity to Ladies’ Market, Fa Yuen Street Market is the home of all what is fashion forward in Hong Kong. Expect to find the latest in sneaker trends and apparel at this market, a favorite with Hong Kong’s fashion conscious crowd.
Goldfish Market (Kowloon)
The Chinese have a great regard for Feng shui. The principles of this philosophy dictate that aquariums featuring goldfish bestow good luck on a home. This diktat ensures for a healthy trade in Goldfish and other marine creatures. Hong Kong’s main market for these pets is situated along Tung Choi Street North in Mong Kok.
Temple Street Market (Kowloon)
The Temple Street Market provides visitors with an insight to local culture for it represents a typical Chinese market. The Temple Street Market is set up around a local temple dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the sea, Tin Hau. The vendors at this marketplace offer products like tea ware, small electronics, watches, apparel and even ‘jade’ and ‘antiques.' Food stalls populate the market offering various local delights worth sampling.
Temple Street Market lines up nightly along Temple Street in the Yau Ma Tei district.
Sham Shui Po Market (Kowloon)
The Sham Shui Po market is a bargain hunter’s delight. The market extends over several streets like Apliu Street (cheap electronics, electrical components and audio-visual products), Cheung Sha Wan Road (fabrics and stylish apparel) and Ki Lung and Yu Chau Streets (fine fabrics, laces, and semi precious gems).
Jade Market (Kowloon)
The Chinese associate jade with good luck and good health. Hence, lucky charms and jewelry made with jade is immensely popular in Hong Kong. If you fancy a bit of good fortune, you should make your way to Hong Kong’s busy Jade market set amongst old-world structures and situated at the junction of Kansu Street and Battery Street in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.
Shanghai Street Market
Shanghai Street Market in Yau Ma Tei offers visitors a glimpse of old-world Hong Kong. Littered with ancient Chinese shop-houses, Shanghai Street is known for its many kitchenware stores, which offer a plethora of inexpensive cooking utensils and implements.
These vivacious markets are not limited only to the Kowloon side of Hong Kong but can be found on Hong Kong Island, as well.
The Lanes – Hong Kong Island Central
Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West are two narrow streets located within Hong Kong’s Central business district. These streets are popularly referred to as the ‘the lanes’ and offer a similar shopping experience as the Ladies’ and Temple Street markets. However, the prices quoted at the small stalls of the lanes are a tad higher than those quoted at the Kowloon Markets.
Jardine’s Bazaar and Jardine’s Crescent Markets
Located within the perennially crowded shopping locale of Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, these two markets offer a similar retail mix as the Ladies’ market. The small kiosks that populate these markets offer trendy clothing items, footwear, accessories, trinkets and souvenirs and are popular with local Hong Kongers and tourists alike.
The southern tip of Hong Kong Island hosts a scenic market that borders the sea and attracts hordes all year round. Stanley Market offers a variety of dining and shopping choices at its lively cafes and myriad stalls. Visitors and local Hong Kongers head to Stanley market to soak in its vibrant ambiance. They also browse and shop at the market's many stalls offering lifestyle products, artworks, apparel, souvenirs, fashion accessories and more at the many stalls that dot its marketplace. Also located within the Stanley market area is the Apple Mall, which specializes in well-priced kid’s wear (export surplus and over-runs of big brand names).
Island East Market
The Island East Market is Hong Kong’s homegrown farmer’s market. This seasonal market offers fresh and organic produce from Hong Kong’s local farms along with artisan wares including baked goods, fashion, arts and crafts, entertainment and more. The market congregates every Sunday at Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay.
The newly launched PMQ market is housed in a heritage building that once functioned as the Marine Police headquarters. The PMQ market provides a platform for the creativity and ingenuity of local Hong Kong artists and features a mix of pop up shops, restaurants as well as a night market component.
This list would be incomplete without a mention of Hong Kong’s humming and busy ‘Wet Markets.’ Wet markets are the lifeblood of Hong Kong and are called so because they offer fresh produce and meat and are different from dry goods markets that sell apparel and electronics. However, nowadays the boundaries have blurred a bit for many wet markets in Hong Kong also host stalls selling various dry goods like stationary, clothing, accessories, homeware and other trinkets in addition to meat and fresh produce.
These wet markets are well worth a visit but are best avoided if you are at all squeamish, as they offer varied if not unpleasant sights and smells.