Jan 11, 2007|
Where: Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.
What: An open-air market and indoor market that sell fish of any shape, color and species imaginable; you can also find fish tanks and aquatic ornaments in a range of styles and designs for any budget. Hawkers gather in the outdoor section to sell ornamental fish. The indoor market can be pricier, and rare and valuable fish can be found.
How interesting! A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. The oldest recorded goldfish, Fred, lived to 41 years of age. That means he relived his life a grand total of 3,709,264,320,000 times!
Where: Yuen Po Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.
What: The Bird Market sells a wide variety of birds including Chinese songbirds, parrots, sparrows, mynahs and white cockatoos. A wide variety of bird feeding equipment including hand-made birdcages and delicate water dishes are also available.
How interesting! Songbirds, often seen in the Bird Market, have specially developed vocal organs that allow them to sing different notes. This song is used to establish their territory and identity to other birds.
Where: Sai Kung City Center waterfront (Man Nin Street), Sai Kung.
What: The Sai Kung seafood restaurants offer a great variety of fresh seafood for you to enjoy. There are over 20 restaurants, which all specialize in the so-called “fruits of the sea,” and the spectacular waterfront view can’t be beaten.
How interesting! If you enjoy dining along the seaside, you can’t miss this place. The restaurants serve scallops, fish, prawns and lobsters, among lots of other seafood. You can pick your favorite from the water tanks and let the chefs to cook it any way you want. Needless to say, freshness is guaranteed!
Where: Koh Shing Street, Central.
What: These traditional Chinese medicine shops are the best in town, despite the slightly peculiar suits of armor that decorate the windows.
How interesting! Try the dried seahorse to lower your cholesterol, ginseng for circulation, dried lizard for your kidneys and, of course, deer penis, which is said to revitalize one’s lower extremities
Garments and Fabrics
Where: Yen Chow Street and Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po.
What: Most of the shops on these streets are fashion outlets that sell spares from garment factories. Fashion-savvy traders run these shops, and they sell on to local boutiques or to overseas buyers.
How interesting! This is a great way to spend your entire afternoon. They have lots of bargains available for you to pick up some trendy outfits at wholesale prices.
Where: The junction of Kansu and Battery Streets in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.
What: It is a unique market for jade lovers and collectors. These stalls display and sell everything from rare and valuable jade carvings to small and inexpensive trinkets. Open from 9am to 6pm every day.
How interesting! The word “jade” originates from the Spanish term piedra de ijada, which means “loin stone.” Apparently, jade was reputed to cure ailments of the loins and kidneys.
Where: Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.
What: The shops on this street stock a wide range of cloth, buttons and zippers, which are sold at wholesale prices. You’ll also find materials to make your own accessories, with brightly colored beads and buttons to be found everywhere.
How interesting! You can get techy with your tailoring and find wrinkle-free, soil-resist, coated and breathable fabrics.
Where: Nelson Street, Mong Kok.
What: Also known as “Sportswear Street,” you can find trendy sportswear and sporting equipment. Brands such as Adidas, Nike, Puma and Converse, as well as some lesser-known brands are stocked at very reasonable prices.
How interesting! When you’re not checking out the hundreds shoes on offer, there are lots of sporty fashion items around, including shirts, bags and accessories, all for much cheaper than you would find in other stores. As this street intersects Women’s Street (Ladies' Market), be sure to check out the bargains there too.
Where: Stanley Street, Central.
What: Stanley Street is where you go to get anything you want for your cameras. You’ll find camera equipment such as tripods, a full range of lenses, lights and countless photography accessories.
How interesting! Stanley Street was once a hotspot of revolutionary activity led by Sun Yat-sen, who advocated the overthrowing of imperial China and the creation of a republic.
Where: Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.
What: A number of computer plazas selling computer accessories, essential computer parts, and anything else you could possibly imagine to kit out your computer.
How interesting! In 1997, the Hong Kong police began to crack down on the smuggling of pirated goods from across the border. Today, the majority of pirated software comes from CD-Rs burnt in CD duplicators.
Where: Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai.
What: Various shops specializing in high quality toys, electronic gifts and seasonal products. The Hong Kong government is currently planning to renovate Tai Yuen Street, so the 200-some stalls are moving into a new indoor market building.
How interesting! Hong Kong's favorite cat, Hello Kitty now adorns more than 22,000 products and rakes in US$500 million a year.
Obscure electrical devices
Where: Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po.
What: There’s a huge flea market on Apliu Street. Most of the stores sell second-hand products, mainly electrical devices.
How interesting! If you are lucky enough, you may find some rare antique such as antique clocks, old coins and stamps. Incidently, Sham Shui Po has Hong Kong's highest percentage of residents over 65.
Motorcycles and Cars
Where: King Wah Road, North Point.
What: King Wah Road has a number of motor companies that specialize in repairing all kinds of automobiles and provides free vehicle inspection. Services include welding, paint spraying, insurance claiming, lubricant oil application, air-conditioning and electrical appliance installation.
How interesting! Some shops offer a 24-hour towing service.
Interior Design and Decorations
Where: Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.
What: Lockhart Road is a good place to find Hong Kong property agencies that specialize in residential leasing and relocation services. They also provide tailor-made home decorations and interior design services. There are also plenty of houseware stores, selling everything from tiles and toilets to door knobs.
How interesting! Want to decorate your home differently? Some of these shops can even help you make your home to look like an indoor forest.
Where: Flower Market Road, Mong Kok.
What: Just around the corner from the Bird Market, Most of the shops you can find on this street are flower and gardening shops. They sell products at wholesale prices. You’ll also find houselants that traditionally bring good luck, according to Chinese tradition.
How interesting! The five-petaled bauhinia is Hong Kong's national flower. It is commonly known as "Poor Man's Orchid."
Where: Lo Lung Hang Street, Hung Hom.
What: Along Lo Lung Hang Street, there are many funeral parlors that offer funeral arrangement and ceremonial supplies. Morbid but fascinating.
How interesting! Traditional Chinese funerals last for 49 days. ■
Women’s Street (ladies' market)
Where: Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok.
What: Clothing, toys, cosmetics and home wares. There's stuff for men and kids, too.
Where: Essex Crescent, Kowloon Tong.
What: Pleasant and inexpensive boutique hotels.
Temple Street Night Market
Where: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei.
What: Stalls sell everything from watches and leatherwear to clothing, old mobile phones and vibrators. Plus, Cantonese opera and fortune tellers are perfect for wide-eyed new arrivals.
Chinese Antiques and collectibles
Where: Hollywood Road, Central.
What: Chinese antiques and collectibles to fit any budget.
Where: Chop Alley, Man Wa Lane, Sheung Wan.
What: Get a chop made in marble, jade, agate or crystal.