It’s almost impossible to resist the allure of Hong Kong’s labyrinthine (and abundant) marketplaces. Don’t know what you’re looking for? You don’t need to – a turn in some of the city’s busiest will tempt you into bargaining for items you’ve never even considered. Here are some of the best markets in the city worth exploring.
The ornamental mineral of jade is a central part of Chinese culture – symbolising luck, good health and a long life, this gloriously green stone is prized and often exchanged on special occasions. The Jade Market in Kowloon (junction of Kansu and Battery Street, Yau Ma Tei) is the best place in the city to secure your own nugget of good luck – although the market also sells jewellery of all kinds, including pearls, for a beautiful souvenir of your trip.
Open every day from midday to midnight, this jam-packed collection of stalls stretches over a kilometre through Kowloon (on Tung Choi Street). Named for its abundance of clothing and accessories, there’s actually a large contingent of other items such as souvenirs and bags – as well as cosmetics and general kitsch – ready to be haggled over. Don’t forget to stop by ‘Sneaker Street’ – where an entire avenue is dedicated to the sport shoe.
Don’t just expect flora from this busy stretch of street (located on Fa Yuen Street, off Prince Edward Road, Mong Kok). Taking a turn in this market from top to bottom will give you option of purchasing everything from colourful goldfish hanging in plastic bags and other pet accessories, before the stalls descend into a dazzling array of apparel and then, into fruit and vegetables. The flower potion of the market is particularly busy during Chinese New Year, when families flock to pick up luck-bringing houseplants and decorations.
Looking for a designer-inspired handbag? Stanley Market should be your first stop. The winding alleys on the southern side of the island are great for bed- and table-linen, cashmere, Asian-style paintings but the major drawcard is the clothing and accessories that borrow a few ideas from your favourite high-end brands.