Mongkok is a unique area to spend time in Hong Kong. This is a thriving, lively and crowded district that has something for everyone. Frequented by locals who enjoy cheap dining and shopping, it is also a popular place for foreign visitors, eager to go shopping in Hong Kong and to check out some of Hong Kong’s best street markets. Below is a summary of the famous street markets in Mongkok
Located along Tung Choi Street, the Ladies Market is amongst the most frequently visited street markets in Hong Kong. From mid-afternoon until late in the evening, the street is lined with stalls selling all manner of t-shirts, clothing, shoes, handbags, costume jewellery, watches, luggage, accessories, knick-knacks and a wide range of cheap souvenirs.
The Ladies Market is a fun place to browse you’ll probably end up buying something. Take a tip and don’t be shy about shopping around as many stalls sell the same items. Do check prices with several vendors before purchasing.
Do note that everything is negotiable at the Ladies Market and be ready to haggle if you spot something that strikes your interest. Vendors commonly start 25 to 200% above their sell prices but come down to reasonable amounts in order to make a sell.
Politeness, patience and a smile are key to finding a mutually agreeable price at the Ladies Market.
Fa Yuen Street Market
While the Ladies Market is a tourist hotspot, nearby Fa Yuen Street is where locals hunt for everyday practical items and consumables sold at discount prices. Located between Prince Edwards Road (north) and Mongkok Road (south), the Fa Yuen Street Market opens at 10am and is busy until around 10pm.
Here you will find a hodgepodge of vendors selling low cost clothing items, cheap jewellery, accessories, toys, gadgets as well as fruit, vegetable, nuts and candies. This is a good spot to pick up Chinese New Year souvenirs as well if visiting near the holiday period.
Unlike the Ladies Market, fixed prices are the norm on Fa Yuen Street. Most items have marked prices and everything is quite cheap so no need to worry about haggling if you find something interesting to purchase.
Sneaker Street Market
Further south along Fa Yuen Street, between Argyle (north) and Dundas (south) Streets, is an area referred to locally as Sneaker Street where you will discover a high concentration of shoe shops and outlets. Stores open up around 10am and can be visited until late in the evening when business dies down.
Shoe shoppers will find brand name athletic footwear such as Nike, Adidas and Converse along with Timberland for outdoor and hiking boots. Crocs and a variety of other casual, children’s and dress shoes are also readily on offer on Sneaker Street.
Note that prices are competitive on Sneaker Street due to the volume of dealers found here. However, don’t expect deep discounts compared to brand name retails shops elsewhere in Hong Kong.
Goldfish Street Market
Goldfish Street is the most peculiar of the street markets found in Mongkok. It is located along Tung Choi Street between Nullah Road (north) and Bute Street (south). It is lined on both sides by specialty shops, selling aquariums, equipment, accessories as well as a fancy array of tropical and exotic fish and other aquatic life.
Serious buyers and curious onlookers alike regularly flock to Goldfish Street to see aquatic pets for sale. You’ll find numerous fish species, crabs, shrimp, turtles and frogs.
A couple shops specialize in more exotic pets like rhino beetles, emperor scorpions and other creepy-crawlies. Meanwhile, traditional pet shops with the more familiar kittens, puppies and rabbits can also be found at the Goldfish Street Market.
Note: Be aware that the shops on Goldfish Street make a rather late start each day but stay open quite late in the evening. As such, best to wait until early afternoon or later if you want to see this street market at full action.
Flower Street Market
Near the Goldfish and Fa Yuen Street Markets, past Prince Edward Road, is Flower Street Road, which is where you will find one of the largest flower markets in Asia. Hundreds of florists have shops here, selling a wide variety of cut flowers, bouquets and plants.
Orchids, in particular, are a popular purchase amongst locals so you can expect to see many throughout the market. There are dedicated shops selling impressive orchid arrangements that are worth a good luck. These are good places to take beautiful pictures of the Flower Street Market.
Note: Flower Street transforms into a massive Chinese New Year (CNY) market during the holidays This is a great time to see seasonal flowers and plants; including kumquat trees, peach blossom stems, lucky bamboo, chrysanthemums, daffodils alongside the traditional orchids and perennials found here throughout the year.
Yuen Po Street – Bird Market
The Bird Market at Yuen Po Street an extension of the Flower Market. It’s right next to Mongkok Stadium. A fair number of bird species are sold at the market and there’s also an outdoor bird garden.
This is also a popular meeting place for local bird owners. During weekends with good weather, you will find local bird owners, with lovely parrots and other birds meeting here. Owners are usually quite obliging and allow you take pictures of their beloved birds.
A highlight for the children at the Bird Market is seeing the Scarlet and Blue-and-Yellow Macaws. There are usually a few pairs found around the market grounds. The parrots are tame, quite photogenic and always nice to see.
Eating in Mongkok
After several hours of browsing the local street markets, you can easily work up an appetite. After enjoying the unique sights and smells of Mongkok, why not enjoy some of the tastes of Mongkok as well?
This district is famous for cheap eats, where you can find a wide variety of local and international food types and cuisine. There are thousands of small eateries available. Food is cheap and delicious. You’ll find dim sum, noodle shops or street food as well as traditional Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and other international eateries.
For those with a sweet tooth, there are many interesting dessert shops that dot the streets of Mongkok as well. Just look around, find something interesting and give it a try. It is all part of the Mongkok experience.
Taking Photos in the Mongkok Street Markets
Taking pictures is part of the experience when visiting the various street markets and that certainly goes for the street markets in Mongkok. However, a few of the venders in the Ladies Market and certain shops in the Gold Fish Market display ‘No Photo’ signs.
It is best to respect their wishes and put the cameras down at these times. There are plenty of great things to see and photography in Mongkok so no need to worry about having a shortage of great pictures.
Brad Reynolds lives and works in Hong Kong and enjoys wandering the street markets found around the city.
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