Shopping and islands of Hong Kong

It’s not possible to go to Hong Kong without planning for loads of shopping! The best way to get the real shopping experience is to take the MTR to Mong Kok, where you’ll be able to exit at Fa Yuen Street or Ladies’ Market. Once you’re there, be prepared mentally to be surrounded by loads of people.

Ladies’ market is a street lined with stalls, vendors and shops behind these that is generally best taken one block at a time. From the MTR station it’s easy to walk from one end to the other and you’ll very soon be browsing everything from shoes and clothes, through knock-off bags and items, to very local pet stores selling terrapins and goldfish. If you keep an eye out, you should be able to spot local eating spots or ‘dai pai dongs’. These are typically small, cafe-type restaurants which sell noodles, wontons, fried rice or the ubiquitous ‘set lunch’, a mainstay of Hong Kong Chinese. You’ll also notice an abundance of snacks being sold on sticks, from siu mai to fishballs and sausages. Hong Kongers love a quick snack and they also love dining together.

If your shopping trip includes the night market at Temple Street, don’t be too surprised if you find groups of workers having a standing dinner together in a 7/11! Do always remember to bargain in Hong Kong, as the local sellers will take this as given and price their wares higher as a starting point. Do not forget to pop into a local bakery while you’re shopping, either. Hong Kong bakeries can be smelled from down the street, and they sell delightfully fluffy bread and beautiful cakes that you’ll be able to pile on a tray to eat once you leave. The bakers themselves are often labelled ‘si fu’ (Cantonese for ‘Master’) by other staff and wake up at 2 or 3am to start work, so you’ll know you’re in for a treat.