We love street markets, all kinds of street markets and Hong Kong is a dream come true for anyone looking for such experiences. We stayed partly in Kowloon, partly on the Hong Kong island side and experienced some markets on the both sides of the city.
The second day in Hong Kong (we stayed first in Kowloon) we headed to the Ladies Market. This is a place to find all the latest small electronic trends, t-shirts, surprising underwear and the T-shirts & HK souvenirs if you don’t have time to spend days hunting for the best prices (this is not the cheapest). The market is on a street lined with all kinds of Asian restaurants so you’ll find a place to eat. However, if you come during the hot season, take a fan with you and drink plenty of water. This is crammed, air barely flows and you’ll dream of a cold shower.
From here we wandered to the vegetable market that obviously was the local Whole Sale Market. Shoppers bought huge amounts at a time and there were barely no consumer customers around. There are all kinds of exotic fruit and vegetables that you have never seen before. This market seems to close at dusk as most stalls started collecting their stuff during our visit.
We checked our map and decided to wander to the famous Temple Street Night Market. The walk there was actually really interesting as we saw locals come home from work with groceries, sitting at little local parks and smoke outside small restaurants. The famous street market has brought a lot of street sellers to the road sides before actually coming to the actual Night Market. You’ll be able to find old propaganda posters, nostalgia items, beautiful textiles, unique pet wear, mobile devices, smoking gear, adult toys.
The best part of the Temple Street must be the retro stuff and the outdoor restaurants, the heat of the day slowly easing a little and the vibrant crowds coming and going. You’ll see restaurants with their own fresh aquariums filled with fish, shrimp, crabs and creatures you can’t name. Big families and groups of friends are gathering around stirring dishes, this is the way life is supposed to be.
One day we did the combo of Flower Market and the Bird Market, they are next to each other. As cat owners we can’t have all imaginable plants around, the flower market was a fantastic painkiller for this. Obviously the tropical climate allows people to have all kinds of plants, but the minimal living spaces bring limitations, we heard. Aah, we all have our problems.
Just a short walk and you’ll find the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. It is designed in the style of a traditional Chinese garden. We arrived late in the evening, just before the closing time and saw the bird sellers petting their birds and giving them refreshing baths. Baby parrots were fed and cleaned. The ancient song bird tradition is nurtured here, evening singers started their chirping.
We stayed part of our time on the Hong Kong island and there we ran into various small markets. The one to mention is the Cat Street Market. Visit the Man Mo Temple first and then walk the stairs down from the other side of the street. You’ll come to the other end of the Cat Street in the middle of the stairs. This smallish area is filled with antiques and curiosities, we did some fun finds that will help us remember this unique place when going home.
Hong Kong was one of those places we will definitely return to and we left some markets for the next time. Like the Goldfish Market and the Jade Market on the Kowloon side. And obviously there are markets further away (in Stanley) and markets in certain days in certain places that we just have to find out about.