So they say, when in Hong Kong, just eat and shop all day long. It is true. Two of life’s greatest pleasures is what one should indulge in when taking a holiday in the Pearl of the Orient. Apart from the mass availability of food, there is a lot to shop too – shops by the streets, in random alleys, huge malls, night markets… I could use a shopping trip to Hong Kong on an annual basis.
Whether you are a fan of luxe fashion and high street labels, or have a thing or two for Taiwanese/ Japanese fashion, Hong Kong will not disappoint.
For a start, here is a Beginners’ Guide to Shopping in Hong Kong.
Ladies, get your credit cards ready.
This is the world’s most densely populated area. Located in the Kowloon side, Mongkok is perpetually packed and very happening. You can find almost anything and everything in this area – street snacks, book cafes, dessert shops, manicure parlors, gyms, offices, night markets, hotels… and the best part about hanging out at Mongkok is that operation ends as late as 1am.
When in Mongkok, check out:
Langham Place Shopping Mall – an uber chic one-stop destination. Apart from its restaurants and entertainment offerings, expect to find an array of shops that will easily keep you occupied for half a day – beauty brands like Nars, Lush and Jill Stuart, high street labels and cult brands like H&M, i.t., une nana cool and :Chocoolate, shoes and bags specialists like Staccato, Rabeanco and Dr. Martens etc.
New Town Mall @ Agryle Centre – a heaven for females. I always have this belief that if locals can be seen at that place (be it a restaurant or a mall), it should be substantial. And here at NTM, or Wang Jiao Zhong Xin, more than half the shoppers are actually locals. Think of this place as Bugis Village or Far East Plaza, but with much better offerings at more competitive prices. 4 levels of crazy shopping, mainly Japanese and Taiwanese inspired fashion – apparels, accessories, bags, shoes, lingerie, costumes, cosmetics, toiletries, stationery and random whatnot. Prices begin as low as HK$20 for a top and HK$50 for a pair of shoes.
Tip: Bargain. The shopkeepers will always quote a marked-up price, especially for tourists. But for shops that have price tags displayed, they are pretty much fixed and will only be subjected to a small discount if you buy at least 2 pieces. And, bring (lots of) cash. The shops here only accepts cash payment.
Ladies’ Market – a highly popular night market that stretches across a few streets and opens till late night. Even if you are not a shopaholic, it is fun to just take a stroll down the stalls and you will be enthralled by all that they have to offer – from little accessories and to mobile casings, from an insane amount of counterfeit commodity to unbelievable ranges of sex costumes. No joke.
Over at the Hong Kong Island, locals flock to Causeway Bay for a more sophisticated shopping experience. Generally a more expensive area, Causeway Bay is home to the luxe Times Square and Sogo. You may also find shopping malls like Island Beverly, where local designers congregate to offer alternative fashion options, and less expensive mainstream fashion at random zones like Jardine’s Crescent.
Tsim Sha Tsui
A classier version of Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui is less crowded, but nonetheless bustling. Also with a lot to offer and serving all sorts of commercial purpose, this area in Kowloon is popular with both locals and tourists alike. And you will be thrilled to know that Tsim Sha Tsui is another fascinating shopping spot.
When in Tsim Sha Tsui, check out:
Harbour City – A large shopping mall where international and local brands congregate. You may find fashion giants like Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood, and smaller & mainstream labels like Superdry, Zara, Adidas Originals and Club Monaco. Yes, it is like a complete paradise to feed all your fashion needs and to inspire a wardrobe revamp.
On a side note, Harbour City is destination for food lovers, boasting more than 60 restaurants and cafes – perfect for meals in between shopping, or just a nice cuppa and some delectable desserts for a midday boost. If there is one place to dedicate a whole day to when you visit Hong Kong, it is undisputedly Harbour City.
The One – A favourite among the younger crowd, The One stands at 29 floors, and is Hong Kong’s tallest retail complex with a comprehensive store listing from luxury jewellery and watches, to beauty bazaars, to a premium supermarket. And if you fancy alternative fashion and street style, The One houses many cult brands and local designers’ boutiques.
Kimberley Road – Brides and Grooms-to-be will be keen to know that this is an enclave of gowns and suits boutiques. Whether you are looking to have your wedding photos taken, or on a search for the gowns and suits for your Big Day, or to simply get inspiration, this street will have something for you.
If you are at the Lantau Island, you won’t want to miss Citygate Outlets. As the name has suggested, this is a mall of discounted goods. Citygate Outlets excites with a diverse tenant mix, and definitely has something to offer for anyone at any age. Here, you can find brands that stocks discounted past season merchandises for both adults and children – Esprit, Nike, Roxy and Guess, just to name a few. The females will be delighted to know that there are also popular names like OnPedder, Club 21, Anteprima and Burberry.
Tip: Citygate Outlets only opens at 12pm, so there is no rush to get there.
I hope this guide gets you excited! Now you see why I go to Hong Kong every year, and you see why it is compelling for you to make a trip there too?
Words by Melody Yap, photographs by ladyironchef