Unusual Markets of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, perhaps, is best known for shopping in its myriad markets. Leave high end shops and malls, here we will see some famous markets that have nothing to do with famous international brands ! So much so that one may call them a brand unto themselves. It makes a great outing since they are all within walking distance of each other in the MK or the Mongkok area of Kowloon.
Mongkok is a major shopping area of HK and is depicted as a place run by Triads in the movies!
We have earlier written about Stanley Market. We are going to show you the markets that are within 1KM radius from the Mong Kok MTR station.
Gold Fish Market:
Just east of Mong Kok MTR station lies the Tung Choi Street. Heading North for a few minutes leads you into the most colorful and amazing world. If in one shop there are Fish of all sizes and colors hung in plastic bags full of water then in another it is aquariums of various designs.
Walking further North we start to hear lilting music of the song birds. In a few minutes we enter the magical land of Bird Garden at Yuanpo Street. Exotic birds of all hues are kept in intricately designed bamboo cages. They are all for sale. Also for sale are bird food, porcelain dishes and other items needed for keeping birds. It appears as though the owners are in love with the birds as they lovingly pet them, feed them and talk to them.
Next door is equally colorful if not more. Wafting fragrance greets you to dozens of flower shops with most of them are spilling onto the sidewalk. Of course we don’t mind what is spilling as they are quite enjoyable. The flowers range from purely decorative to the lucky charms to those used for religious purposes. I make a mental note to visit this during Chinese New Year just to experience the chaos. I can already vividly imagine the scenes!
Another part of Mongkok is the Jade market. Jade has been part of Chinese life for eons. There would hardly be a Chinese house hold without things made of Jade. Most of the shops are street stalls selling Jade and other stone trinkets. Of course you need to be aware of fakes as well.
Hold on, Ladies are not sold here! While in the case of all the others, the markets were predominantly selling the adjective part of the market. Nothing of that sort here. I have to say that I don’t know why the Ladies Market is called so, I can only hazard a guess. In all probability all items required by Ladies were initially sold in this market. However now the wares include anything and everything under the Hong Kong sun.
Right outside Mongkok MTR stations, this is the place to pick up bootleg branded apparel and accessories, cheap electronics, souvenirs and things for people back home etc. Bargaining and bargaining hard is the name of the game here. One can easily spend a couple of hours here navigating through the hundreds of street stalls, just window-less shopping.
There are several such special and specialized markets in Hong Kong. One visit to Hong King is never enough to experience all these markets.
Do you also love markets? 😀
OMGosh there is a gold fish market??!! That’s amazing! I also love visiting markets when we travel overseas – it makes for a much more authentic shopping experience, and usually some awesome people watching too. The most unusual market Ive ever been to was in Bolivia – the witches market there in La Paz. They sold everything from spices to llama fetuses for voodoo :S!!
witches market? That’s so unusual. And now it makes way into my list of things to do in Bolivia.
Thanks for sharing this info.
Can’t wait to go there.
I was recently in Hong Kong and missed the Goldfish market! It always surprises me finding them for sale in street markets around the world. We only had a few days in Hong Kong – I look forward to going back and exploring more.
I wish you go there again soon. These Goldfishes are fun to watch as well.
I love markets but in Hong Kong I was confused about the Goldfish and Bird markets. What do people DO with all those fish and birds? As an animal lover, the idea of randomly buying a bird from a street vendor made me totally nervous. I was never able to work it out, but I’ve since seen similar markets in other locations and it still boggles me!
Oh Julie, they are pet fish and birds !
These markets are for pet lovers. Not for eating them. 😀
Such an array of markets – but i’m not sure about the Goldfish one!! Markets are such a great way to explore the local culture and a good way to practice your bartering skills! The best markets I have been to for that would be a tie between the Souks of Marrakesh and the Walking Market in Chiang Mai – markets are so much fun and I think the ones you mentioned would be great to add to my list.
I love markets. They tell us so much about the place.
I know about Souks of Marrakesh but walking market? What’s that?
Interesting markets. Been to only ladies market.
Try more market on your next visit. 🙂
I love the artsy markets in Sheung Wan. Hong Kong has a lot of interesting and unusual stuff, I love it there.
Thank you. I love them too.
The flower market and the Ladies Market would be fun to see and shop for things. Is haggling an expected custom in these markets? Are there food markets or street food sold at the markets? I’m a sucker for local foods. I’m not comfortable with the selling of animals in these markets. I totally avoided these parts of markets on my last visit to Asia. The animals I’ve seen generally don’t look well-cared for and I question what kind of person buys them from a market and if the home is suitable for the animal’s well-being.
Yes Jackie, haggling is very much common here.
And food is also a part of these market minus the animals. 🙂
Beautiful photos and brilliant article.
Quite informative. Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome.
Truly a town of distinct markets. Thanks, Nisha, for an informative post on Hong Kong markets. 🙂
You are welcome Ravish.
We loved Mongkok and the Ladies Market in our short trip to HK. 🙂 🙂 True that, HK’s local markets are phenomenal!
Glad that we think alike. 🙂
I used to live in Hong Kong and adored walking around all of these markets – the ladies market was good for bags etc and the jade market was awesome just for a bit of a nose. The flower market was also a good one.
Oh I am glad I took you back to those markets. 🙂
Even I would like to go back.
We stayed in the Mongkok area in Hong Kong as well and absolutely loved it because it’s where locals actually live. The first market we visited was the Ladies Market and had our very first dinner there. Thank you for taking me back there today.
You are welcome. There are so many places including these markets that are so inviting for us. 🙂
That jade market interests me.
Interesting varieties there.
Do they have a separate fish market for other fish?
This fish market is for pets. For other fish you’ll have to go to another market. 🙂
Amazing. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You are welcome. 🙂
Gold Fish market? Interesting. I hadn’t heard of that earlier.
Even I hadn’t heard of it till I visited this one. 🙂
Have never been to HK. This sure is a good guide.
Yes, it’ll definitely help you.
I do — they are colourful and attractive and so full of energy.
A market for goldfish? Sounds interesting.
Ladies Market? Maybe it was meant to be Lady’s Market. 🙂
Such a fun post, Nisha. 🙂
I am so glad that you too love them. 🙂
Yes, that might have been the original name but now it’s ladies market. 😛
A different kind but really nice markets! Liked the gold fish one 🙂
Oh wow, I haven’t been back to HK in a long time! A lot has changed through the years!
🙂 I am sure you’d love the new look.
Very interesting markets. Would just break my heart to see a bird market though! If I could I would buy them all and set them free!
That’s another topic for discussion Chaitali. 🙂
I have been to Hongkong before, but never to the goldfish market! I think i should check that out the next time I head there! Awesome list you have here!
The markets are wonderful, for, they tell us so much about the place. 🙂
I adore markets! If I visit Hong Kong, I will definitely go to the flower, jades and ladies market. I don’t necessarily want to buy everything on the markets but mostly admire the beauty. I am very picky! Thank you for the great post. 🙂
More than buying anything, I like the hustle bustle of the place. 🙂
How much for tender coconut in Hongkong? I need to plan budget for my trip accordingly 🙂
I am seriously telling you, you can do a thesis on tender coconut!!
You have hypnotized me so much that wherever I go, I have also started looking for its price for you. 😀
You should cross the border to Guangzhou, they have the largest pet fish market in China and possibly the world. An amazing place that makes the markets in Hong Kong, well small town….
I didn’t cross the border and hence couldn’t see that pet fish market.
Probably next time.
Hey Nisha, Did you visit Hongkong recently? I was there too during the last week of April and likewise covered the areas from Tseun Wan to Central and ofcourse all the above listed markets. Amazing journey and lots to share…
It was last year Hussain. 🙂
Yes, I think our style of traveling is similar. Looking forward to have a trip together. 🙂