Navigating Hong Kong’s Markets Like A Pro
Whether its Cat Street’s charming curios or the Ladies’ Market’s signature souvenirs that pull at your purse strings, become a market guru in no time with our handy guide.
Hong Kong is home to dozens of markets, from the picturesque flower and bird markets to the bustling Temple Street Night Market, finding the perfect present to bring home has never been easier.
For a signature lively local market experience, head to the Ladies’ Market in Kowloon, a kilometre long market full of stalls full of souvenirs, clothing and accessories. Next dynamic destination is the Temple Street Night Market for fortune tellers, trinkets and opera singers galore. If spending an afternoon souvenir shopping and snacking by the sea sounds promising, head to Stanley Market in the south of Hong Kong Island for bargain clothing and classic souvenirs.
Looking to bring back authentic antiques? Then head to Cat Street Market around Upper Lascar Row. A stone’s throw away from Hollywood Road’s art galleries in SOHO, the market is full of antiques, souvenirs and historic curios. If you are looking to bring back a piece of the Fragrant Harbour with you then go check out the Jade Market on Kowloon side, a perfect place to pick up statement jewellery.
Become a bartering boss
Be sure to keep a few Cantonese phrases up your sleeve when hitting the pavements. Drop a casual lei hou (hello) or zou san (good morning) when greeting the stallholder to avoid pesky tourist prices. Useful haggling lingo such as Gei chin ah? (how much does this cost), will get you far but be sure to learn some basic numbers too so you can actually understand the answer! Learn more Cantonese here.
Some useful ‘nevers’ include never accepting the first price, never showing how much you really like an item and never giving in! Instead give a much lower counter offer around a third of the price and haggle back and forth until you come to a purse friendly price. It might be tough work at the start but haggling in Hong Kong’s markets is definitely half the pleasure.
When you tire of piling up your purchases, take a load off by catching a cuppa. If checking out Wan Chai market’s wares, head to The Pawn for comfort food housed in a restored historic building, or if your shopping has taken you to Stanley Market, a stroll along the waterfront reveals a wide range of restaurants there. After a rejuvenating break, it’s time to hit the streets again and remember to haggle, haggle and haggle!
Fashion and lifestyle journalist Babette Radclyffe-Thomas is based in the concrete jungle of creativity, Hong Kong. Having spent her formative teenage years in Hong Kong, after a MA in Fashion Journalism from the London College of Fashion, the city’s charms lured her back and she has made it her mission to discover the latest creative hotspots and trend setters.