The Ten Best Street Markets in Hong Kong

 

5. Hong Kong Flower Market, Mong Kok

Even though travelers may not be in the market for a new orchid plant or lemon tree, the flower market is worth a stop for the fragrance alone. This oasis is a veritable maze of seeds, potted plants, bulbs and ready-made bouquets from all over the world spilling out of shops and stalls along narrow streets. One thing’s for sure, it’s certainly the best smelling market in Hong Kong.

The Flower Market opens early and closes late. Photo credit Cyril Massenet.

The Flower Market opens early and closes late. Photo credit Cyril Massenet.

4. Yuen Po Bird Garden, Mong Kok

Just down the street from the flower market is the Yuen Po Bird Garden, where a decidedly older local crowd gossips and gabs as a sort of off-key harmony to the birds’ dominating melody. The park-like setting is home to macaws, toucans and more, and they take their water out of tiny Chinese painted bowls. Despite the noise levels, Yuen Po is a colorful respite that offers equally good people-watching before heading back into the urban jungle.

Some birds and teak bird cages at the Yuen Po Bird Garden.

Some birds and teak bird cages at the Yuen Po Bird Garden.

3. Jade Market, Yau Ma Tei

No doubt visitors will notice the numerous locals sporting jade jewelry. Jade is held in high esteem for its beauty and the belief that it protects the wearer. To see jade in every cut, color and size imaginable, wander among the 400 stalls that comprise the Jade Market while the older proprietors read, chat or slurp up noodles. Be sure to ask lots of questions about the pieces to avoid any scams.

A look inside the Jade Market at Yau Ma Tei. Photo credit David Boté Estrada / CC BY-SA.

A look inside the Jade Market at Yau Ma Tei. Photo credit David Boté Estrada / CC BY-SA.

2. Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok

[Also see our travel article “The Five Best Chinese Restaurants in Hong Kong“]

A walk down the street today is calm and serene, standing in stark contrast to well-known Ladies’ Market. Even on Sunday afternoons, it’s easy to walk around without bumping into anyone else. In fact, the sidewalks are often more crowded than the street, as many shops start prices from HK$20. Between the shops and stalls and easy-going atmosphere, this is the place to stock up on women’s clothes and shoes.

A look at the Fa Yuen Street Market, which is less touristy than the nearby Ladies' Market.

A look at the Fa Yuen Street Market, which is less touristy than the nearby Ladies’ Market.

1. Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po

[Also see our travel article “A Taste of Old Hong Kong on a Sham Shui Po Food Tour“]

Just like its home Sham Shui Po, Apliu Street eschews the gloss and gets down to brass tacks for a quintessential Hong Kong experience. Apliu Street is also known as “Electronic Street” for good reason – shoppers can find everything from old cameras and rotary telephones to headphones, phone accessories and piles and piles of wires and cables for local prices. Intersecting roads also feature stalls and wares spread out on sheets that quickly take a turn for the weird – rusty pots and pans, worn-out tennis shoes and even old pornography.

An old man walking past a stall on Apliu Street. Photo credit Chris Brown.

An old man walking past a stall on Apliu Street. Photo credit Chris Brown.

More reading suggestions from Traveler’s Digest:

  1. Ten Best Hotels in Hong Kong
  2. Best Beaches in Hong Kong
  3. Best Street Food in Hong Kong
  4. Top 10 Reasons to Visit Hong Kong
  5. Travel Guide to Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung

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Maureen is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor who spent several years teaching EFL and traveling around the world. Getting lost while traveling is her main hobby. Find her on Google+.