The southernmost section of Fa Yuen Street is known as Sneakers Street, thanks to its abundance of shoe shops. Here you’ll find the hottest styles, as well as rare and limited-edition lines from brands including Nike, Adidas and New Balance. In addition to sneakers, there are numerous sportswear stores selling basketball shirts and other merchandise, making this the place to be for sports-loving fashionistas.
Scoring a whole new wardrobe in Hong Kong is surprisingly affordable. A great place to begin your quest is at the Argyle Centre. Comprising four floors packed with small but eclectic stores selling everything from shoes to clothes and outlandish accessories, there are enough choices to keep you fashionable 365 days of the year. Prices tend to start as low as 50 HKD, but there’s a small catch – the shops do not generally allow you to try on clothes before you buy, and most only have limited sizes.
Sai Yeung Choi is a long, bustling pedestrian street, home to an abundance of shops, malls and restaurants. You will be able to find almost anything you want, from international cosmetics and skin care brands such as Innisfree from Korea and NYX from the USA, to high-tech electronics. Local chain stores Fortress and Broadway sell the latest gadgets, but these can also be found at a fraction of the price at the smaller shops hidden within the labyrinth of office buildings. Don’t pass up the opportunity to check out the restaurants and street stalls selling local delicacies like Taiwanese fried chicken and Hong Kong stir-fried noodles.
Trying local street food is a must on any visit to Hong Kong. In Mong Kok, you can find plenty of street-food stalls scattered on Sai Yeung Choi Street, Dundas Street, Fa Yuen Street and Soy Street. They are not limited to selling traditional Hong Kong-style snacks such as stinky tofu, fish balls, and fish siu mai. Nowadays, you will also find pizza, Thai tea, and even poutine, all at very reasonable prices. If you’re feeling intrepid, be sure to try a food trend taking Hong Kong by storm – cheese cap tea. This intriguing sweet-savoury drink sees cold tea topped with a foamy layer of milk and cream cheese, finished off with a sprinkle of salt.
As well as being a vital part of everyday life for many Hong Kongers, markets are at the top of the list of things to do in Hong Kong. You’ve come to the right place – Mong Kok is home to many of Hong Kong’s most popular markets. If you are looking to buy some classic Hong Kong souvenirs or perhaps some designer knock offs, then the Ladies’ Market is a must-visit. Though located a little outside of Mong Kok, the Temple Street Night Market is just a short walk away and a shopping hotspot after sundown. Along with having your fortune told, here you can find authentic souvenirs: antiques, jade, clothes, tea-ware, and electronic gadgets are all up for grabs.
Hidden in a quiet corner of Mong Kok is a wall of ever-changing street art. This stretch of wall between Argyle and Bute Street is vibrantly adorned with works by both international and local graffiti artists, with new works constantly appearing. Beginning by the Mong Kok East Rail station and extending for over two blocks, the Hong Kong Wall of Fame should be on the to-do list of any art lovers visiting Mong Kok. Be sure to take a picture of your favourite piece – they may not be there by the time you next visit!
Hong Kong is famous for its astronomical property prices. To save costs, many restaurants have decided to look beyond street level and open on the upper floors of buildings, giving rise to the phenomenon of upstairs cafés. Today you will find some of the city’s cutest cafés hidden within historical buildings away from the hustle and bustle of the street. Among the best is the Hut – an adorable café with three resident cats on the second floor of Cheong Kee House. It mainly serves tea and Japanese snacks, while its decor – styled on a typical Japanese greenhouse – gives patrons a sense of serenity. Also hidden away on the second floor, but this time on Shan Tung Street, Loyi Faateng’s tiled floors and vintage decor create a distinctly retro vibe. It serves up a western menu packed with pizza and pasta dishes, making it a more hearty choice than the Hut.
At Tung Choi Street North, also known as the Goldfish Market, you can buy any type of fish your heart desires. Its speciality, however, is (unsurprisingly) goldfish, who stare out from the plastic pouches that hang from the many stalls and store fronts lining the street. Regular pet stores are now beginning to crowd out the goldfish stalls – bringing cats, dogs and rabbits and other pets onto the scene – so swing by and see this curious sight before it disappears!
15-storey Langham Place occupies over 56,000 square metres in the heart of Mong Kok. This mammoth mall is conveniently connected to the Mong Kok MTR, and houses a food court, many high fashion brands and a cinema. The smaller boutique shops are found on the top floors of the mall, with international brands occupying the lower floors. After the excitement of a shopping expedition, renew your strength with a meal at the Bistro Bloom steakhouse or chill out at Sky Bar, both of which are on the top floor. The mall is just as trendy as the fashionable boutiques it houses, with sophisticated interior design and even a glass observation deck at the top, where you can take in views of Mong Kok.
Though not as famous as its Sham Shui Po counterpart, the Mongkok Computer Centre is home to 70 stores selling every electronic good imaginable. Whether you are looking for mobile or tablet accessories, data or charging cables, or perhaps a gaming console, there is a shop for it here. If you’re desperate to upload your holiday snaps, MCC also provides a free fast-speed Wi-Fi zone on the third floor called Cyber Spot so that their shoppers can stay connected.
This one is for the dog lovers! Ondogdog Cafe, a play on words which in Cantonese roughly translates to ‘silly looking in an endearing way’, is the most charming of dog cafés. Set in a quieter part of Mong Kok, it is home to three Akitas, two Huskies, and a Shiba. To hang out with these cuties, it’ll cost 180 HKD. There are also board games, snacks, and drinks provided, but the focus of this café is really the dogs. The opening times vary, so it’s best to message them on Facebook in advance and reserve a space.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Katherine Lee Yik Mei.