Hong Kong's Best Street Markets for Tourists (with Tips)
Maybe you have a few days to enjoy yourself and shop in Hong Kong, so we suggest you head to the three favorite tourist shopping streets: Ladies Market (for better deals), Temple Street (for the atmosphere and meals), and Ap Liu Street (for electronics).
As a tourist in Hong Kong, we recognize you don't want a lot of hassle or to spend too much time rummaging around. We also recognize most Hong Kong tourists want to buy bargains and souvenirs or to buy hard to find products back home.
Temple Street for Tourist Fun
Of the three locations, Temple Street is the best place to go for some enjoyable browsing and a good time. The other two are meant more for serious shopping for bargains: Ladies Market for clothes and Sham Shui Po for other products.
Ladies Market for Bargains on Clothing
Both Ladies Market and Ap Liu Street are more like Chinese local street markets than Temple Street. Ladies Market is known more for its clothing and products for especially women, though there are plenty of men's products sold too.
Be aware that a lot of fakes and copies are sold. Check out each item you consider buying carefully. Check to see if they allow for returns. This isn't common in Chinese-style markets. The market lies along a kilometer stretch of Tung Choi Street and on adjoining side street areas. You may find the crush of crowds of young Chinese people in the late afternoons and early evenings hard to bear.
- Transport: It is about 1.5 kilometers north of Temple Street. You can simply take the MTR to Mong Kok Station or take Bus 6 along Nathan Road. You might enjoy a walk along Nathan Road.
Ap Liu Street for Bargains on Electronics and Other Products
The Ap Liu Street area next to the Sham Shui Po MTR station has even cheaper products than Ladies Market because it is further north from the main downtown Tsim Sha Tsui area. Ap Liu is known for bargains on a wide variety of new and used gadgets, electronic appliances, and computer products.
In the shops in the area, you can also find toys and gifts for children, antiques, watches, coins, and clothing.
- Transport: Take the MTR to Sham Shui Po Station. It is about 3 kilometers north of Temple Street. Hours are about 12 noon to midnight.
Street Market Bargaining Tips
The street markets are generally where you'll find a lot of low priced Chinese-made products. These are often copies and fakes and might even be illegal to buy in your countries. You’ll find a lot of factory reject products too.
If you are from a country like the US where people rarely bargain in stores, you might have a hard time getting the best deal. So, for going to street markets, here are some helpful tips:
- Go with your instincts: Is the person or people lying or trying to trick you? Are they telling the truth?
- Compare prices: Check to see what other shops are willing to sell for.
- Bargain: They may try to sell something to you for many times what the product costs.
- Check the product carefully: A favorite tactic is to wrap an inferior product in a package for another product (switch and bait). Another tactic is to take out pieces of a product (so some functions won’t work). Ask them to let you test out the particular item you are thinking of buying.
- Electric or electronic compatibility: Check the voltage and broadcast of any item you want to buy.
- Watch your bags and watch out for pickpockets.
If Problems Arise…
- Returns: Most stores won’t allow returns.
- Fakes and copies: Products might be expertly packaged and designed, and actually work, but are fake. Remember that these items might not pass customs, and there might be customs prosecution.
- Consumer Council Hotline: In a dispute or problem, try calling 2929 2222 for assistance. Remember, even local uniformed police in these areas may not support you.
Other Places to Shop in Hong Kong
Questions and Answers About Hong Kong's Best Street Markets for Tourists (with Tips)
I updated this article on April 3, 2013
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