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.
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.
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.
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.
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.