Hong Kong’s Markets
The markets are the place to go for knock-offs, and Hong Kong has plenty. They range from the big and brash, with everything and anything on sale, and those that specialise, and they’re spread throughout the city’s neighbourhoods.
On Hong Kong Island, it’s not just luxury malls and big hotels. Li Yuen Street has two sides, and both are full of goods ready to be poked, prodded, and purchased. The stalls have accessories, souvenirs, clothing, and silks, and do a good trade in fakes too. If your taste in knock-offs is more specific, Cat Street Bazaar is a good place to try. Famous for antiques and curios, there’s plenty in the way of knock-down prices – fake and antique watches, lacquerware, and more silks abound here.
There’s no doubt that Hong Kong island is great for markets, but the best place for knock-off shopping is in Kowloon, at Mongkok, one of the most densely populated places on the planet. Insanely busy both day and night, the most famous part of Mongkok is Ladies’ Market.
Visit Hong Kong, and try your haggling skills at the Ladies’ Market in Mongkok. It’s a slight misnomer, though, with plenty of goods available for all genders, and is full to bursting with clothes, accessories, furniture, CDs and DVDs, and all manner of nik-naks – and people. It’s possible to get anything at all in the Ladies’ Market, but they do a roaring trade in knock-offs too, if that’s what you’re specifically after. Bags, clothes, and furnishings are usually manufactured in Shenzen, in Mainland China, and then brought across to Hong Kong to sell to the tourists. Quality is sometimes an issue, but price never is.
For electronics, stay in Kowloon and head to Apliu Street Market. And if you’re into more traditional Chinese souvenirs, and want to shop at night, it’s best to head to Temple Street Night Market. Even if you’re not trying to buy, it’s a great tourist attraction, and the eponymous Temple has an excellent atmosphere when it’s lit up at night.
Aside from knock-offs, Hong Kong has great shopping options. For food, the wet markets are a fantastic cultural experience, and unique spaces to sample the real Hong Kong. Chun Yeung Street is probably the best of these, and isn’t far from theTemple Street Night Market.
So if you’re shopping for knock-offs, it pays to remember that the practice is technically illegal, though the penalties are not severe and the chances of being caught are really slim. If you’re concerned about the legality, stick to the malls, of which there are hundreds. They’re certainly not as cheap but with plenty of bargains. The Landmark is the swankiest, and the most expensive, and full of all the designer brands you’d come to expect from a central district Hong Kong mall, where the rent is said to be the second highest in the world.
Causeway Bay, by the similarly named Causeway MTR station, is a slightly cheaper option. With all the shopping centres in the area, this is more of an all round shopping experience, and with a range of both local and international stores. So whether you’re in the market for knock-offs, high-end luxury goods, or traditional Chinese and Cantonese food, Hong Kong has it all – a true shopping heaven.