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Best markets in Hong Kong

Forget the city’s department stores and get your fix of retail therapy at one of these excellent Hong Kong markets

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

As well as being a food paradise and home to many amazing restaurants, Hong Kong is also well known for the city's street market culture. For a geographically tiny city, we've got an incredible range of street markets that specialise in everything from cheap electronics to authentic Chinese dried seafood. Here's a rundown of some of our favourite retail hubs that our city can be proud of!

RECOMMENDED: For those that want their goods brought to them, here's a list of Hong Kong vintage shops that deliver!

Incredible Hong Kong markets

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  • Jordan

Unlike Bangkok or Taiwan, it's rare to find a night market in Hong Kong, a situation that gives instant fame to Temple Street. After the sun goes down, the stalls pop up. The tourists come for the 'I heart HK' T-shirts and watches of dubious provenance, (and the occasional sex toy available here and there). Sit down for a fortune-telling session and find out what's in store for you – but do take everything with a grain of salt. Better yet, why not join in the street-side karaoke performances that take place every night?

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  • Mong Kok

Want to buy brand name clothes and accessories for less? Dive into the Ladies' Market! That is if you don't mind going about town decked out in Hugo Boos or Dolce & Banana. It's not all dodgy knock-offs, though. There are plenty of cheap and basic clothes on offer, too. Sometimes, you can hunt down surprisingly decent products at low prices. And ladies, make sure to be on the lookout for sexy lingerie. Once you've tackled the entire stretch, venture over to the adjacent Fa Yuen Street, aka Sneaker Street, for a dizzying range of kicks and footwear at reasonable prices.

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  • Sham Shui Po

This is a flea market for second-hand and low-cost items, mainly audio-visual equipment, assorted electronic devices and mobile accessories. So if you're on the lookout for drones, cheap phones cases, the random wires and oddities, this is the place to go. There are significant variations in price – the same phone case can range from $25 to $65 depending on the stall. Be a smart shopper: take your time and scour the market for the best value.

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  • Sheung Wan

There’s more to Cat Street (aka Upper Lascar Row) than just antiques. During the colonial period, the street was a market for stolen items – referred to as ‘rat goods’ in Cantonese. Cats search out rats, and therefore it’s the customers that Cat Street market is named after. The stalls are clustered together along the street. Chairman Mao figurines, brass Buddha statues, vintage Bruce Lee movie posters, old coins and ceramic vases conjure up images of Hong Kong’s past. Not somewhere to look for Antiques Roadshow-style undervalued heirlooms, rather a place for tourists in search of an exotic souvenir, you can still bag a decent trinket if you know what you’re after.

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  • Prince Edward

It’s not really a street market as opposed to a long avenue lined with dozens of florists and purveyors of all things botanical where their floral offerings spill onto the pavement. That being said, the moment you reach there, you’re greeted by explosions of colours and fragrance, much like steeping in a lush garden decked out with flowers of every kind. In the build-up to Chinese New Year, the place is filled with plants that promise good luck and families squeeze in looking to make a purchase that will guarantee their fortune for the next lunar cycle.

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  • Yau Ma Tei

Say hello to the city’s largest emporium of jade, pearls and gems. In Chinese culture, jade is associated with longevity and good health. On this canopied Yau Ma Tei street, you can discover every jade accessory imaginable, from necklaces to earrings to the all-important bangles. The various statues of Buddha and other carved curiosities are worth having a look at too. And since you’re at Yau Ma Tei, make a detour to the century-old fruit market that’s home to more than 200 fruit stalls and various exotic produce. 

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  • Sai Ying Pun

While Sheung Wan has been slowly gentrified with hipster cafés and trendy restaurants, there remains a street with a rich history (and smell). About 50 years ago, the Dried Seafood Market was dominated by simple, salted fish stalls. These days, the road is taken up by a cluster of high-end stores and apothecaries that sell a diverse range of dried seafood – an important part of Cantonese cuisine – including dried abalone, scallop and sea cucumber. It’s a sight to see when faced with piles of papery-looking seafood and fish being sun-dried on the side of the road. 

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  • Wan Chai

Kids may be all about iPads and PlayStations these days, but old-fashioned toys haven’t gone the way of the dinosaur just yet. Tai Yuen Street has a wide variety of old school and retro toys – think Hello Kitty plastic beach balls and toy figurines. You can hunt down Lego sets at much lower prices as well as cartoon-themed stationery. The toy market is also unique for its graffiti shop fronts created in collaboration with art project HK Urban Canvas. Walk around and discover gorgeous murals that represent community history.

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  • Kowloon City

Famous for its high-grade pork, veggies and American beef stalls, Kowloon City’s wet market is one of the city’s best markets for picking up quality food. Many a stall here has won the hearts of customers. So it should come as no surprise to bump into the odd celeb on the lookout for fresh produce.

For shopaholics

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