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Oleg Shpyrko/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
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A Savvy Guide To Hong Kong’s Best Markets

Picture of Sally Gao
Updated: 9 February 2017
Hong Kong’s street markets are famous for their cheap trinkets, souvenirs, counterfeit luxury goods and delicious street food stalls. Whether you’re ready to sharpen your haggling skills or are just here to browse, these bustling markets are a sight to behold. Read on for more information on the ins and outs of Hong Kong’s markets.

Chop Alley

Located in Sheung Wan, the name of this street is officially Man Wa Lane, but it’s also known as Business Card Market; the lane is filled with small printing shops who will print custom business cards for you. They have a range of card stocks, and you can either have the vendor design your card or bring your own design. Usually, the cards will be ready for pickup in a day or two.

However, if you’re looking for a souvenir rather than a business necessity, this street is also known for its chop-makers. A chop is a personalized stamp carved in jade or stone bearing the owner’s signature, and were used in ancient times by Chinese scholars. The vendors will be happy to carve English names, although the calligraphic effects will look best with Chinese names.

Sarah Joy/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr
Sarah Joy/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Ladies Market

The Ladies Market is Hong Kong’s most famous open market, selling clothes (for women and men), t-shirts, toys, souvenirs, electronics, children’s clothes, shoes, wallets, bags, cheap jewelry and more. In addition, this is a great place to sample local street food like curry fish balls, meat skewers, dumplings or stinky tofu.

Yes, designer fakes are openly sold here – mostly handbags and wallets. Of course, the selling of counterfeits is illegal in Hong Kong, and the market has been subject to raids in the past. As a result, many vendors of fake goods won’t openly display their wares, but put out catalogs and only fetch what you’re interested in – you may even be asked to go a back room to check out the goods.

ThisParticularGreg/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr
ThisParticularGreg/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Be sure to haggle! Unfortunately, foreigners are bound to be quoted outrageous prices compared to locals. Don’t be afraid to ask for 25% or even 50% off the original asking price and haggle up from there.

The market runs along Tung Choi Street, located in the middle of the densely packed Mong Kok neighborhood. It’s a short distance from MTR Exit D, and is open for business between 12:30pm and 11pm.

Flower Market

Flower Market is by far one of the prettiest and most fragrant areas in Hong Kong. To get there, take the MTR to Prince Edward station and get out at Exit B1. From there, walk east along Prince Edward Road. The florists will already be in sight by the time you turn into Sai Yee Street. Turn into Flower Market Road for the flower market proper.

You’ll find flowers and potted plants of every kind – from carnations, roses and sunflowers, to shrubs and bonsai trees. Those with green fingers can also find seeds, fertilizers and gardening supplies.

The market is most crowded during Valentine’s Day (for obvious reasons) and also for Chinese New Year, when locals throng there for auspicious blossoms like orchids, plum blossoms, peonies and potted orange trees. The Flower Market is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

Maureen Didde/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
Maureen Didde/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

Cat Street

Located on Lascar Row in Sheung Wan, Cat Street is sometimes called an antiques market. However, it’s best to think of it as a flea market for cheap curios, trinkets and quirky souvenirs geared towards tourists. We don’t recommend coming here to hunt for real antiques; if you’re looking for the real deal, it’s best to go to a reputed dealer.

Instead, expect to browse fun curios like Mao statues, terracotta figurines, kitsch posters from the Cultural Revolution, old Hong Kong movie posters, imitation Ming-style vases, and Chinese scrolls. This is a great place to pick up a cheap gift or trinket to take back home. As always, don’t be afraid to haggle! The Cat Street market is open from 11am to 7pm and is closed on Sundays.

Klaus Nahr/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr
Klaus Nahr/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Sneaker Street

Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok for athletic footwear. All the big brand names like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Skechers and Converse can be found here. It’s best if you know your size in the brand you want, as most vendors will not allow you to try them on. For rarer kicks, there’s a mini-mall a short distance away called Trendy Zone on the corner of Dundas Street and Nathan Road. Sneakerheads will find brands like Supreme and YEEZY, though prices tend to be quite high.

ThisParticularGreg/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr
ThisParticularGreg/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Jade Street

As its name suggests, Jade Street is a marketplace for jade figurines and jewelry. Jade signifies good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture, and many people wear them as amulets to ward off bad luck.

This market is found in Kowloon’s Yau Ma Tei district. You can find bangles, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and pendants, as well as animal figurines. The jade won’t be high quality, but that doesn’t take away from the charm of the market. As a general rule, a decent piece of jade should feel cool to the touch and have an intense hue – usually green, but sometimes lavender or even orange. The Jade market is open from Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Maureen Didde/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
Maureen Didde/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

Stanley Market

Stanley Market is located next to the touristy seaside town, Stanley. Unlike the other markets on this list, this one is entirely geared towards tourists, selling souvenirs, paintings, ornamental chopsticks, fans, fridge magnets, toys, silk garments, and more. If you’re already in the area, it’s worth a quick browse to pick up some cute memorabilia or gifts.

This isn’t an all-out local experience, so as a general rule most vendors won’t be willing to haggle much.

Byron Villegas/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
Byron Villegas/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

Temple Street Night Market

The Temple Street Night Market, situated in Yau Ma Tei, is the biggest and liveliest flea market in the city. Spanning eight blocks, it runs from Man Ming Lane in the north to Nanking Street in the south, and right in the middle is Tin Hau Temple. The market is active from 2pm til midnight, and is liveliest from 7pm onwards.

In addition to the market wares, this vibrant market is known for its food stalls, fortune tellers, live portrait painters and Cantonese opera performances. Don’t be surprised to see an impromptu opera performance by local amateur troupes.

Daniel Chodusov/CC BY-ND 2.0/Flickr
Daniel Chodusov/CC BY-ND 2.0/Flickr

The clothing here is skewed towards men’s fashion and accessories (it’s sometimes called Men’s Market, as a counterpart to the Ladies Market), but there’s apparel for women, too. You can also find plenty of accessories, counterfeit watches, pirated DVDs, trinkets, teaware, antiques, and even sex toys and adult magazines. Just like the Ladies Market, feel free to bargain hard.

The market is close to Yau Ma Tei station Exit C or Jordan Station Exit A. If you’re coming from the latter station, enter through the temple gateway on Jordan Road.