Everyone said it to me before we left, and I can totally agree now – HONG KONG IS ALL ABOUT FOOD & MARKETS! Okay, there are also other things, but you simply cannot ignore all these yummy snacks and markets. Remember to BRING CASH & BARGAINING SKILLS, dont´t forget to check the OPENING HOURS of the markets and bring a printed MAP (or install an APP on your phone). Sometimes it´s easy to get lost at those small streets. Oh yes, and put on some COMFORTABLE SHOES! Here´s a list of some of the markets we found the most interesting 😉
MTR station: MONG KOK | Address: Thung Choi Street
This might be THE MOST KNOWN MARKET IN THE CITY and even though its name claims it´s for the ladies – it´s NOT ONLY FOR THE LADIES. There are lots of toys for the children, electronic appliances and decoration of all kinds. It´s interesting to take a stroll all the way down, but we did not buy anything. I think if you´ve been to Asia before, this will be nothing really new :). There are quite a lot of RESTAURANTS around the market for a quick & inexpensive dinner. The market doesn´t have set OPENING HOURS, but you can expect the stalls to be opened every day from noon and until late in the evening.
MTR station: MONG KOK East Station Exit C or PRINCE EDWARD Exit B2 | Address: Thung Choi Street
GOLDFISH are probably the most common PETS in a Hong Kong home. According to FENG SHUI tradition it IS BELIEVED THEY BRING GOOD LUCK. This market is full with little WATER BAGS CONTAINING FISH – all kinds of tropical species as well. Even though you probably will not be buying a live fish during your travels, this might be an interesting place to visit. We skipped it though. Seeing hundreds of fish in the waters of the Philippines just days later was anyway more interesting for the kids ;).
MTR station: PRINCE EDWARD Exit B1 or MONG KOK Exit A) | Address: Prince Edward Rd & Flower Market Rd
Even though we had no intension of buying flowers, this was a great visit! So many WONDERFUL FLOWER SHOPS and EXOTIC PLANTS & FLOWERS, beautiful orchids and bouquets. This place totally surprised us – for a moment it felt a bit like we would have been somewhere in Paris, minus the chocolate croissants ;). The SHOPS OPEN late in the morning (around 9:30) and stay open until the evening, every day of the week.
MTR station: PRINCE EDWARD Exit B1 (or Mong Kok Exit A) | Address: Yeun Po Street
From the Flower market this one is just a short walk away. The YUEN PO BIRD GARDEN, which is actually a narrow lane set in a nice lush garden, entered through the traditional MOON GATE, shows a glimps of the TRADITIONAL CULTURE OF SONGBIRD KEEPING in a Chinese garden – older men bring their birds in beautiful BAMBOO CAGES, hang the cages to a tree and let the birds sing while they play a game of cards or socialize with others. Sounds like great fun, but personally I found more birds for sale than those just being brought out for a “walk”. And some of those for sale were really cramped in cages. That´s probably the reason why I actually did not enjoy the visit that much.
TEMPLE STREET NIGHT MARKET
MTR station: AUSTIN or JORDAN | Address: Temple Street
THIS IS THE LAST REMAINING REAL NIGHT MARKET IN HK! You name it, they have it! When the sun sets down, this market comes alive – the fortune tellers set their tables, food is being prepared, the usual market goodies (clothes, bags, electronics, jewellery, antiques, toys and more) are being hung up or laid down for display. It´s a great place to TAKE IT ALL IN, especially if you don´t have the time to visit more markets – I might just pick this one.
YAU MA TAI JADE HAWKER BAZAAR
MTR station: MONG KOK | Address: Thung Choi Street
Jade seems to play a very important part in CHINESE CULTURE – it is supposed to bring GOOD LUCK, LONG LIFE & GOOD HEALTH. It also symbolises BEAUTY AND PURITY. There are several jade markets across town, we visited this one because it was simply on our way ;). The most common items bought are bracelets, earrings and good-luck charms – every new born child receives them and they are the best gift to get at special anniversaries. Of course, there seems to be a difference in the QUALITY – Lu and me got our bracelet for good luck ;). We heard if they shall break at one point, we should smile because this means something bad was about to happen to us, but the bad luck hit the bracelet instead!
DRIED SEAFOOD STREET
MTR station: SHEUNG WAN | Address: Des Voeux Road West & Wing Lok Street
This area used to be full of SALTED FISH STORES, when fish was dried on roofs of the fisherman´s houses. Today, you will not see fish being dried on the roofs, but still, the area offers a unique insight into local traditional cuisine. DRIED SCALLOPS, SNAKESKIN, MOSS AND OF COURSE, FISH – dried seafood is common in a Chinese kitchen, so is the preparation of TRADITIONAL TONICS (ginseng and bird nest included).
MTR station: SHAM SHUI PO | Address: Ki Lung Street
Hidden in a LABYRINTH OF LITTLE STREETS which swallow you once you step out of the MTR station, you can find these super nice little SHOPS SELLING FABRICS & SEWING SUPPLIES. Don´t expect to see many tourists here, this is more of an OLD STYLE WORKING CLASS KIND OF NEIGHBOURHOOD where on one corner a butcher is cutting of pigs ears in the middle of the street, on the other one you can buy fresh vegetables and across the street a new TV. Kind of real Asia. Me like ;). And in between all of this many shops await all of us, CRAFTY PEOPLE who can shop for fabrics, buttons, zippers, beads, stones, bands and more. Worth a visit if you want to wonder around traditional streets and avoid the tourist masses and/or shop for things mentioned above.
MTR station: MTR + bus combination | Address: Stanley Market Road, HK Island
So, this one is a bit outside the city so you will have to catch a bus, minibus or a taxi to reach it. It´s famous for offering a great selection of BRAND-NAME CLOTHES, ACCESSORIES, JEWELERY, SUVENIERS & DECORATION. We did not visit it, because it is a little bit remote – surely it makes a nice trip outside the city in the summer, because you can also enjoy the countryside and the beach nearby.
There are many more markets in Hong Kong, but it´s impossible to visit them all. This time we missed out on some (potentially really good ones) ANTIQUE, ELECTRONICAL & OTHER MARKETS. The choise is really endless. Well, we had to leave something for the next time ;). I have to say our kids were super nice to us ha ha and did the whole “market day tour” with no nagging ;). In any case, you must not leave Hong Kong without visiting at least a couple of the markets! Maybe this list helps you pick some ;).
PIN FOR LATER