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Temple Street Hong Kong: Night Market Tips (2019)

Temple Street is a street market that many tourists like to visit. It is close to the attractions that draw tourists by the millions to the Tsim Sha Tsui area each year. People look for street bargains or to have some inexpensive Chinese food. The Temple Street Night Market is one of Hong Kong's tourist shopping highlights.

We have put together this Temple Street information page and a simple touring plan to help you understand the street and know how to take advantage of the street optimally for a couple of hours for shopping, dining and having a good time during your visit to Tsim Sha Tsui.

temple streetTemple Street when it is filled with stalls in the evening.

What Is Temple Street Hong Kong?

  • A more cozy or "homey" shopping street: It is homey because it is easily accessible and comparatively small. The main part of the pedestrian market is about a kilometer long, so it is hard to get lost. Many food stalls and restaurant tables serve up good and comparatively cheap fare on the southern side of it.
  • More down to earth: It is down to earth because the stalls are laid out on the straight and comparatively short street, and there is a mix of different kinds of goods that can be bought conveniently along it.
  • But NOT A SERIOUS SHOPPING STREET, so to avoid disappointment and wasting time, don't go there with serious shopping in mind.

For convenience and fun: Temple Street in Hong Kong is one of the most popular tourist market streets for new tourists to Hong Kong who just want to browse and have a good time. It is not a serious bargain hunting street, but it is a place to get cheap souvenirs and inexpensive gifts and eat.

It is more of a tourist street for foreign (not Chinese) tourists. There is a combination of accessibility, simplicity, quietness, a mix of products, and food that has earned the street the reputation of one of Hong Kong's foremost tourist shopping streets.

It has a nicer feel and is more relaxing than overcrowded Mong Kok that is often full of crowds of young Chinese people. Mong Kok has bewildering winding lanes and a confusing mix of various different market areas.

It feels quieter and more airy especially around sunset. The street is closed to vehicular traffic during the market hours.

Entertainment: Free street entertainment is often put on by performers or others hoping to get some cash. But unlike other places, the noise level isn't grating. It may seem unusually quiet for a Chinese shopping street.

For Attractive Bargains

China street market

Popular with first-time tourists: A lot of tourists read about Temple Street online, and coming in from various points along the Nathan Road Golden Mile and Victoria Harbour, they eagerly walk there first. They look for bargains on things such as souvenir T-shirts, suits, and other things.

The available products range from clothes, to jewelry, to souvenirs, gadgets, toys and electronics. This makes casual shopping for various products more convenient.

In contrast to the Ladies' Market in Mong Kok, the street is known as more of a street for products for men though there is probably equally as much available for women. But it isn't a market for fashion. Many stalls sell tourist T-shirts.

Street market hours: The street market officially opens at 2. But most stalls are open about 4 pm when the buildings cast their shade. They close around the middle of the night.

For the best bargains: Avoid the stalls and main shops fronting the street where most tourists usually browse. Try to find stalls or small shops selling the same things behind them.

Beware of their bargaining tactics: Also, you need to bargain down for good prices. Check prices at adjacent stalls and expect that they might initially charge you 10 times more than something is worth. Realize that much of the things on sale are fakes.

For Authentic Eating

Temple Street dinnerDinner on Temple Street

A place for informal dinner and snacks: Temple Street is for people coming in after seeing the attractions in Tsim Sha Tsui so that they can have a place to relax, browse and occupy a dinner table with friends for a while before going off to someplace more exciting or going to bed.

Eating on the street: Many tourists also know it as a street for getting a cheap, authentic Chinese dinner on the street. Many foreign tourists wander in to the southern side after dark and sit down at the open-air restaurant tables. The beer glasses and tea cups are brought out. The fare is average, and the price is a little below average.

Restaurants put out their tables by around 6 or 7 pm depending on the season or weather.

You can also eat indoors in the small restaurants along the street and those in the adjacent side streets. In order to see what local food you can eat, read Hong Kong food.

Our Suggested Temple Street 2-Hour Tour Plan

You'll probably only spend two hours or less there. There are plenty of more exciting and attractive things to do and see in the area, and if you are in Hong Kong for serious shopping instead of just buying a few things, then it would be better to go to other places to shop.

Late Afternoon or Evening Arrival

An hour before dusk: A good time to hit the street is an hour before dusk. This is so that you can have adequate lighting to see the things on display and comfortably see the surroundings before you have dinner or refreshments. We suggest heading to the southern section closest to the harbor where the experience is better.

Warnings: Conditions on the street, partly due to bigger crowds and more stalls, have worsened on the street in the last several years as it has in other popular Hong Kong shopping streets. Take some precautions because the crowds of people can press closely.

Secure against pickpockets and purse snatchers. Make sure people can't snatch your bags or belongings as you walk and when you sit down to eat.

Note that there are now more prostitutes on the street, unlike in the past, so it might not be good to take kids there. 

Enjoy dinner, snacks and refreshments: As it gets dark, enjoy refreshments or a meal on the street if the weather is suitable. There is something about eating on the street as opposed to eating inside that is more fun and refreshing somehow, especially if the weather is warm.

Take a rest and refresh yourself before heading out in the evening. Remember that the Symphony of Lights starts at 8 at the Avenue of Stars.

Transport: For public transport, we recommend taking the MTR to nearby Jordan Station. Or for an enjoyable scenic walk along Nathan Road, get off at Tsim Sha Tsui Station and walk north.

Try to pick up an Octopus Card and load it with some money for convenience when you arrive. See the Transport information below for details about the Octopus Card and travel.

Not for serious shopping: Remember that the street is mainly for convenience and having a good quick visit. For information about the best places for shopping for different kinds of products, see The Top 8 Shopping Areas in Hong Kong — Luxury Malls to Street Markets and Top 7 Street Markets in Hong Kong.

Transportation

Hong Kong Star FerryStar Ferry to Temple Street is about a 25 minute scenic walk.
  • MTR: Getting there is easy. Jordan MTR is for the recommended southern section. It is a few minutes walk. From Jordan MTR, take Exit A and turn right on Jordan Road for three blocks until you get to southern Temple Street. From the Yau Ma Tei MTR further north, take Exit C and turn left. It is the second street you come to.
  • On foot from Star Ferry: Walking to Temple Street from the Star Ferry takes about 25 or 30 minutes. You can walk down Nathan Road or cut through Kowloon Park.
  • Bus: Bus 7 that goes down Nathan Road to the Star Ferry pier is ideal. The fare is about 4.2 HKD (0.54 USD).

Our China Highlights travel advisors can help you with arranging accommodations, reservations, and private transport. We can facilitate a day tour as per the described in this Half-Day Hong Kong Island Tour and include Temple Street or accommodate you in assisting your Hong Kong visit in other ways according to your plans. We take care of the tickets and transportation.

Octopus Card

Temple Street

Get an Octopus card: Hong Kong is fairly unique in the world because you can purchase a Octopus card that allows quick and easy payments for public transport and many other things such as paying for purchases at supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants.

With the card, you can travel without standing in line to buy tickets. Simply swipe you cards as you go, and your fare is deducted electronically. You can buy these at the MTR station ticket windows and then use them for more convenience to pay for things in Temple Street.

No ID is required to buy one, and you can add money as you wish and return the card to a station window for some money back.

Nearby Attractions

  • Kowloon Park is nearby. You might want to stroll around Kowloon Park, about a seven minute walk away, and see the animals or exercise before or after dinner.
  • The Harbour City Mall, the Space Museum, the Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, the Museum of History, and the Science Museum are all in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Stop at Temple Street on Your China Tour with Us

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