Top 10 Hong Kong Street Markets – An Ultimate Guide

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Hong Kong Street Markets - A Guide
Hong Kong Street Markets – A Guide

Hong Kong evokes the image of tall skyscrapers standing next to a bay on the South China Sea. What you remember is the iconic view with tall steel and glass buildings. Let me take you at the base of these tall buildings. In the streets here, there are bustling bazaars – selling all kinds of things in these Hong Kong Street Markets.

These street markets of Hong Kong are a microcosm of the life in Hong Kong. If you sit back and observe, you see the sellers and buyers interacting, you see the negotiations being done and an agreement being reached. You see the products locals buy and the products tourists buy.

Like Delhi Bazaars in good old days, markets in Hong Kong usually sell one product or a set of related products. For finding everything in one place, there are supermarkets and modern shopping malls.

Street Markets in Kowloon – Hong Kong

Kowloon side of Hong Kong is home to many kinds of street markets.

Ladies Market Hong Kong

The Most Popular of Street Markets of Hong Kong

Ladies Market - The popular of Hong Kong Street Markets
Ladies Market – The most popular of Hong Kong Street Markets

This favorite market for tourists,  as the name suggests, is of special interest for women. You can find small little things that women use in creative boxes and forms. There are all kinds of touristy stuff like ‘I Love HK’ T-shirts, Chinese tea sets, fridge magnets and general Knick Knacks. Hong Kong Ladies Market is also known for its fake copies of big brands.

The items sold here are not the best quality ones but then they are cheap and affordable.

Negotiate hard. On an average, you should pay about 50% of the price first quoted.

What to Buy – T-Shirts, Fashion Products, Fridge Magnets, Luggage Tags, Manicure Kits, Chinese Porcelain, Chinese Dresses

Where – Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon

When – 12 Noon to late night

Flower Market

Loveliest of the Street Markets of Hong Kong

Flower Market - the loveliest of Hong Kong Street Markets
Flower Market – the loveliest of Hong Kong Street Markets

I have seen flower markets in Bangkok and in almost all Indian cities. I am used to walking through piles of flowers – with men and women sorting them, packing them and tying them. And I expected something similar in the Flower Market of Hong Kong. I was in for a surprise. Flower market in Kowloon is a retail market. You have lovely shops and boutiques selling flowers, plants, and succulents. The arrangement of flowers can be admired as much as the flowers and plants.

Well, flowers always bring a smile on your face, but it was lovely to see people buy small pots for their balconies. There are many exotic plants and flowers all around – including all kinds of Orchids.

Well, Chinese believe flowers and plants bring in good luck. They buy a lot of them around Chinese New Year.

What to Buy – As a tourist, nothing much. Maybe some flowers for your local friends.

Where – Flower Market Road, Prince Edward, Kowloon

When – Throughout the day

Bird Market

Bird Market - Hong Kong
Bird Market – Hong Kong

The Bird Market is not easy to visit. It is painful to see the small colorful birds in small cages. It is a nicely designed small market. You pass through a small bird garden whose walls are painted with beautiful birds.

I took a quick walk and I was ready to hit the next market.

I am told if you sit around, you can see some men making the birds sing. But I only saw men playing cards while the birds jumped within the limits of their cages.

What to Buy – Nothing I guess

Where – Yuen Po Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon

When – Throughout the day

Gold Fish Market

Must See Hong Kong Street Market

Gold Fish Market - Hong Kong
Gold Fish Market – Hong Kong

Gold Fish Market in Hong Kong would be my top recommendation for street markets of Hong Kong. Why? Because you would have probably seen nothing like this. It is called Gold Fish market but you get all kinds of pets here.

Gold Fish are considered lucky as per Chinese Feng Shui. Even I used to have them in my Bangalore home. I walked through the Gold Fish market with curiosity – there were Goldfishes of all sizes. The smallest ones were being sold in plastic pouches while the big ones had specially designed fish tanks for themselves.

There were cats and rabbits in small glass boxes up for sale.

It is an interesting market to walk along.

What to Buy – As a tourist, nothing but a gift for local friends

Where –  Tung Choi Street – Mong Kok, Kowloon

When – All day long

Jade Market

Best Market to Buy Curios in Hong Kong

This is a market for those who love colored stones. Although Jade is the most popular stone sold here, you do find other popular semi-precious stones like Rose Quartz.

What is interesting about Jade Market is the variety of forms in which you can buy the stone. You can buy Jade in the form of jewelry – bangles, earrings, pendants. There is as carved animals – they will tell you an animal corresponding to your year of birth. Jade sticks with auspicious Chinese symbols on them are very popular. There are Chinese Good Luck Charms that are a perfect gift from China for your loved ones.

There is something to suit every budget. I bought a pair of Jade earrings.

Chinese believe Jade brings in good health & long life. Traditionally, Jade is the first thing that a newborn in China receives from grandparents is a Jade Amulet. They are then regularly gifted among the Chinese.

What to Buy – Jade Accessories, Jade Souvenirs

Where – Jade Street or Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

When – All through the Day. Market closes around 6 PM

Temple Street Night Market

Most Popular of Night Street Markets of Hong Kong

Temple Street Night Market - Hong Kong
Temple Street Night Market – Hong Kong, Image credits – TungCheung / Shutterstock.com

Not too far from Jade street is the famous night market of Temple street. As the other markets prepare to close down, temple street night market starts opening up. This market is not very different from Ladies market.

I wanted to pick up the game of Mah-jong from here but we could not agree on a price.

What to buy – Traditional Chinese Games, Knick-Knacks

Where – Temple Street, Kowloon

When – After 7 PM

Ap Liu Street Market for Electronics

Memory Sticks at Ap Liu Street Market
Memory Sticks at Ap Liu Street Market – Hong Kong

This is a market dedicated to old and new electronic items. I am told you can never make out the fake and real products here.

I liked the memory sticks in curious shapes and sizes here.

Where – near Sham Shui Po MTR Station

What – Any electronic item you need

When – Noon to Late Night

Street Markets in Hong Kong Island

Stanley Market Hong Kong

The Most Charming of Hong Kong Street Markets

Contemporary Art Studio at Stanley Market - Hong Kong
Contemporary Art Studio at Stanley Market – Hong Kong

Stanley market is becoming too touristy’ – said my friend who lives in Stanley village and was taking me around the market. I would say, this is still the most charming Hong Kong Street Market.

To visit Stanley Market, you need to take a bus to Stanley Village. After a lovely 45-minute ride that takes you from city to village, the bus will drop you right in front of Stanley Market. It is not a crowded market and you can peacefully walk around.

Notice the various contemporary art studios displaying their works. At Stanley market, I discovered the needlework on white home linen. White on white work with a combination of cutwork and needlework is fascinating. You can buy bed covers, cushion covers or just small embroidered bags. I did not see these in any other market.

We met an artisan who would engrave your name on a Jade stick in 20 minutes or so – you have a choice of English or Chinese Name.

What to Buy – Needlework Home Linen, Contemporary Art Works, Your Name Stamps

Where – Stanley Village, Hong Kong

When – All through the day

Cat Street Antique Market

The Funkiest of the Hong Kong Street Markets

Antiques at Cat Street Antique Market - Hong Kong
Antiques at Cat Street Antique Market – Hong Kong

Most old cities have an antique market. The Hong Kong one is called Cat Street – though officially the name is Lower and Upper Lascar Row, located very close to the famous Ladder street or Man Mo Temple.

Now you can never be sure what is real antique and what is fake. I saw interesting old porcelain, stone statues, metal sculptures, old watches, old coins and many other interesting things. Walking through Cat Street is like time travel. When you walk in this narrow street which sounds more like a back alley, you are totally surrounded by antique stuff – you wonder if this how Old Hong Kong looked like.

I saw some old Abacus in wood – wonder if they still use them to teach counting in school.

Cat Street is a great market for those who love to collect antiques.

What to Buy – Anything that you take a fancy to

Where – Junction of Ladder Street and Hollywood Road

When – All through the day

Pottinger Street / Stanley Street Market

The Costume Market of Hong Kong

Pottinger Street Costume Market - Hong Kong
Pottinger Street Costume Market – Hong Kong

This is a market that is located on an incline connecting Hollywood Road to Queens Road Central. You literally walk on the 45 degrees incline to explore this market. On both sides, you would see colorful wigs and face masks hanging.

Well, this is Hong Kong’s Street market for costumes & the street is called Pottinger Street.

What to Buy – Costumes for your next party

Where – Right in the business district of Hong Kong Island

When – Throughout the Day

Besides these, there are regular Wet Markets to explore in any neighborhood. Chinese Herbal Markets are another attraction, but you must have a local person to help you converse and understand the herbs. There are temple markets outside every temple that primarily sell charms and the offerings for the temple.

Some Thumb Rules for Hong Kong Street Markets:

Always Bargain. Pay what you feel is the right price of the product not what is being asked for.

Markets are crowded, so keep your stuff safe around you.

Most street markets in Hong Kong deal in cash only. Credit cards or Octopus cards do not work.

At Ladies Market, a couple of shopkeepers almost grabbed me when I tried to move ahead. They would not let me go till I buy. They did not mean harm but I was uncomfortable. Maintain your distance.

Enjoy Shopping in Hong Kong Street Markets!

Top 10 Hong Kong Street Market

42 COMMENTS

  1. Love the ladies market and the Temple street market . Hongkong night markets are the best ones to buy crazy stuff . As you mentioned bargaining is the key 😊

  2. I love street markets. There’s a lot of variety and prices are better as vendors are open to bargaining. Jade Market, Cat Street Antique Market and Stanley Market look cool! What did you buy? 🙂

    • Anjali – I bought the mandatory fridge magnets and a pair of Jade earrings. I wanted to buy the Jade stick with IndiTales name and a game of Mhajong – but Indo-China bargaining skills got at loggerheads.

  3. Oh….I love these markets ma’am.Even though I don’t spree on shopping but the experience of meandering our way through the crowd, hovering around looking out for a variety of things is in itself a wonderful feel! I am sure you too had an awesome time.

    • Meenakshi, I am a very bad consumer. I hardly shop but I love walking around markets – it tells me a lot about the place, people and even things they consume. In Hong Kong, I enjoyed the haggling part apart from all the new products I discovered.

  4. It’s always so interesting to learn something new. As you wrote, I have this image of HK you described: the tall buildings and the sea. I could imagine it was bustling down at street level, but I would have never imagined such a thing as a goldfish market. Amazing!

  5. Nice summary you have there. I love the night markets in hongkong. Although there is a need to be streetsmart against high pricing.
    But it definitely give u trendy items around the globe.

    • Nicola – you can not, not haggle when you come to China or India. Maybe, we the local bloggers should run a small course in haggling for you. For us, it is so much fun to haggle, it becomes a game with ego & skill level at stake at some stage.

  6. There is something about the night markets in China, Taiwan, Thailand and Korea. They get the city buzzing well into the night. And its a shoppers paradise with so much on offer. Just the food is enticing enough and the other trinkets, souvenirs are just add ons for me!

  7. I love street markets, for me they’re the reflection of city & country in a literal view. I completely like to idea of an all women’s market – simply mindblowing concept. I’m a fan of antiques and love collecting them from the places I’ve been to. Thanks for sharing such a valueable guide – bookmarking it right away.

  8. This post covers my favourite shopping markets in HK. I love them, especially the food vendors on the outskirts of the market for great street food. I loves the flower market as well as the gold fish market. The night markets are also fun for a visit.

  9. This is such a great post! Love the variety of markets you’ve shared. I personally would go straight to the flower and bird markets but they all look really fun!

  10. We went to many of these, but not all so I’m bookmarking for our next trip. Like you, I was conflicted about the bird market, beautiful and yet knowing that they live their lives in such tiny cages, not to mention the worry about illegal breeding / catching from the wild, made me feel uncomfortable.

  11. This is great, I saw a few interesting markets in Hong Kong but have to say I didn’t pay as much attention to them as I should have done! I love markets so this is making me want to go back!

  12. What an interesting roundup! I think my first two preferences would be the flower market and the goldfish market- how unique! I might have to skip the bird market though! One of my best girlfriends went to high school in HK and told me you always have to negotiate! Thanks for the very helpful tips!

  13. I’ve only been to Ladies Market before and I think I might have missed some really good ones! The Ap Liu Street Market for Electronics looks really interesting as well as the flower market. I’m pretty sure my in-laws will love looking around it!

  14. They are not just street markets but the melange of colors. Loves all photographs. Would love to meander through these specially Temple Street Night Market. Great job done by unearthing such great places from Hong Kong.

  15. Oh man I love markets. It’s one if the best ways to experience a culture. Everything that is local from food to products to services can be found at the market. This is a great post. I just wish I’d be able to bring the goldfish aver the border back to Canada.

  16. Hong Kong’s skyline is what remains etched in memory. However, there is a fascinating world at the base of the skyscrapers. The world of the street markets. You have brought this world alive in your post. When we were in HK we visited a couple, but did not spend much time because of a packed itinerary. Reading your post makes us want to get back there again.

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