Things to see and do in Hong Kong: Markets and shopping

Ladies’ market/flower market/jade market/bird street in Mongkok

How long will it take?: ½ day is likely to be all you can take!

How to get there: All easily accessible by bus or MTR

No matter what anybody tells you about Central, Mongkok is the real heart of Hong Kong. That said, real hearts are actually rather unattractive organs, and so it is here. Mongkok is a grid of impossibly crowded streets; a weekend afternoon can see you literally at a standstill in pedestrian traffic. Weekdays are somewhat better, and I’d pick one to check out the standard ‘markety’ sights here: the Ladies’ Market, comprising a couple blocks of street stalls with cheap clothes and baubles; the bird market, where the accoutrements for keeping your bird are almost as interesting as the birds themselves; and the flower market, which just smells nice. There’s a jade market, too, but be careful there – you can get seriously ripped off if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You may also want to use a visit to Mongkok to do some more conventional shopping, too. If so, see our guide to shopping, and our three articles on buying electronics.

Indoor shopping in Pacific Place, Ocean Terminal-Harbour City-Gateway, or Times Square/Causeway Bay

How long will it take?: Variable – the TST mall complex can take all day!

How to get there: All easily accessible by bus or MTR

If you really want to see what it means when they say HK is a ‘shoppers’ paradise’, you have two choices: you can go to Mongkok or Causeway Bay on a Sunday afternoon, or you can mall it. Either way, you’ll discover how shopping is HK people’s number one recreational, and possibly even spiritual, obsession.

See also our more extensive guide to shopping in Hong Kong.