Hong Kong Shopping
The main Hong Kong shopping centers are located at:
- Central – IFC mall, The Landmark, Prince’s Building and Chater House.
- Admiralty – Pacific Place and Queensway Plaza.
- Causeway Bay – Sogo, Times Square, Lee Gardens and the World Trade Center.
- TST – DFS Galleria, Harbour City, Miramar Shopping Center, New World Center, Elements and Sogo.
- Kowloon – Festival Walk in Kowloon. Langham Place and Grand Century Place in Mong Kok.
- Kowloon Bay – Megabox
Hong Kong Shopping – Markets
Hong Kong shopping markets are fun places to shop for tourist souvenirs and curios, but some of them are overpriced and frequented by pickpockets so take care of valuables. Haggle hardest at the Ladies and Temple Street Hong Kong shopping markets. It might sound harsh, but start negotiating at no more than half of the price requested. If you don’t like the vendor’s counter-offer just walk away. If they don’t follow you trying to close the sale, you offered too low and you should bear this in mind at the next stall selling the product you want.
Fake goods aren’t openly on display, but you may be offered a choice from a catalogue or taken away from the stall to make a selection. “Buyer beware” is best advice and don’t be led away from public areas. The better known Hong Kong shopping markets are:
- Jade Market at Kansu and Battery Streets in Yau Ma Tei (MTR exit C), open 10am-5pm daily. Jade Street is worth including in a visit if you are there between 10.30am-2.30pm. Jade is regarded as the symbol of the good, beautiful and precious, and is said to impart the Confucian virtues of wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty and courage.
- Stanley Market is THE covered tourist market and it’s open 9am (better after 11)-7pm daily. Access by number 6, 6A, 66 or 6X bus from Exchange Square in Central or Causeway Bay.
- Ladies Market In Mong Kok (MTR exit E2) is open noon-11.30pm. Check out the nearby Fa Yuen Street for sports clothing and footwear.
- Temple Street Night Market is open 4pm-midnight (Jordon MTR exit A).
- Western Market is inside a restored colonial building in Sheung Wan (MTR exits B or C), open 10am-7pm.
- Li Yuen Street East & West, or ‘The Lanes’ are a pair of parallel streets in Central (MTR exit C) open 10am-7pm.
- The Bird Market and Jade Market near the Prince Edward MTR.
- Wan Chai Market for children’s toys
- Star Ferry Market (farmers/organic/handicrafts)
- Craft Markets
- Cat Street Antiques Market, Sheung Wan
- Apliu Street market in Sham Shui Po (exit C2) is where the locals shop for everything from pet products to second-hand electrical tools and mobile phones.
Hong Kong Shopping – Wet Markets
The open food markets, or ‘Wet Markets’ as they are known locally, predate the big supermarket chains. They are still preferred by many locals, many of whom shop daily due to the lack of refrigerators. The rersteraunts around the markets will also sell cooked meat ‘to go, due to a similar absence of ovens , in favour of the traditional wok.
Wet markets sell just about every food-stuff imaginable, plus a lot a Westerner will not recognize or know how to prepare. We recommend buying the useful booklet The essential guide to shopping in Hong Kong food markets. The guide includes translations for Chinese numbers, some vocabulary and explains the weight system. For example, vegetables are sold in units of a ‘catty’, which is about 600 grams.
Markets are located throughout Hong Kong. Graham Street Market is easy accessible, located between Queens Road Central and Lyndhurst Terrace. Sadly, this market is under threat of redevelopment.
Other Hong Kong Shopping areas
Hong Kong shopping retailers with a common specialty are often grouped together, so there are specific roads in Hong Kong to go to for certain things.
- Go to Nathan Road for tailors and electrical goods. Decide what you want and how much you are prepared to pay first. A good tailor will offer you a second fitting before finishing the suit. It is the quality of the tailoring and stitching that determine the finish of the suit, not just good materials. Try and get a recommendation rather than following a street hustler. When buying electrical goods, check that you have a worldwide guarantee, the right voltage/region for your home destination and check that the model number on the box matches the one on the product. Establish which $ currency you are negotiating in (HKD or USD) before you start! Expect to pay a surcharge when paying by credit card – a worthwhile extra expense if you have issuer’s insurance associated with goods purchased on the card.
- Buy furniture at Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau (near Aberdeen), at Queens Road East in Central or go for quality second hand at 2ndchance in Tuen Mun. If you are a resident shopping on a budget, try Ikea in Causeway Bay or an ‘expat sale’ in the SCMP Classified section or in the expat groups online.
- For Computer equipment, try the Wan Chai Computer Center (Wan Chai MTR exit A4) at 130 Hennessy Road (there’s another one at 298), Windsor House Computer Plaza (Causeway Bay MTR), the Golden Center in Sham Shui Po (exit D2) or the shops on the second floor of the Star House in TST (adjacent to the Star Ferry).
- Buy antiques in Hollywood Road, Central.
- Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei for kichen and bathroom equipment and accessories. Also look in the streets behind the Wan Chai Police Station.
Shopping in Shenzhen
If you want to save money on curtains, pictures or ornaments go across the border to the LoHu Commercial Building in Shenzhen, China. Get a China visa from Japan Travel (Tel. 2368 9151) and take the train to Lo Wu from Kowloon. Allow an hour to cross the border and then walk across the road to the shopping centre.
Private escorted trips can be booked with Marion Udall who will arrange a minivan pick-up/drop-off between Hong Kong Island and the border. A full day out will include visits to the best shops, advice on what to pay and where to get lunch. Marion can also take you by taxi to the Art Village.
Alternatively, you can join a Shenzhen Sightseeing and Shopping Tour.
If you want to make a week-end of it, check out what’s on at Access Shenzhen and shenzhenparty.com. Shopping is considerably cheaper in China but it is very time consuming in travelling and haggling time! The cost of a visa, transport and a hotel if you are staying over means you have to spend a lot to save the costs involved!