Hong Kong Bargain Hunting – Clothes and Home Essentials That Won’t Break The Bank!
Hong Kong is often billed as a shoppers’ paradise….and after a stroll past the string of designer shops in Central or through the crowded stalls of the Ladies’ Market, it is easy to believe that if you can’t find something in Hong Kong, it simply doesn’t exist.
However when it comes to simple but necessary household items – the sort of thing you know you could easily pick up at Target or Asda, finding the exact item one is looking for can prove to be quite elusive.
Fortunately, we’ve been prowling the streets and have some suggestions for streets or areas that contain loads of the same type of store. Even just minutes from Central, there are a surprising number of local alternatives to the big department stores.
For a one-stop-shop on the Island, look no further than King Tak Hong Porcelain. Located on 126-128 Queen’s Road East in Wanchai, it offers everything from dishes and storage containers to kiddy training chopsticks and cleaning supplies. Prices and quality are moderate – this is probably not the place to shop for wedding china, but most items are a step up from a chain shop like Japan Home and the staff are extremely helpful.
If time allows and you are feeling more adventurous, check out Shanghai Street in Kowloon. Take exit B2 from Yau Ma Tei MTR station, head east on Waterloo Road and cross left down Shanghai Street. Here you will find everything from traditional bamboo steamers to luxurious industrial quality pots and pans. Shops carry and assortment of all things kitchen related – speciality deishes and cooking tools, cookie cutters and whimsical cake pans, chopping boards and knives – it’s all here. Though most of these shops do wholesale business, the majority are also happy to sell to retail customers and we’ve never been made to feel unwelcome while browsing. Check out our Shanghai Street low-down here.
Located along Wellington Street (just west of the Central-Midlevels Escalators, towards the wet market), a string of small shops sell electrical items (cables, power strips, light bulbs, fuses), plumbing needs, and general hardware items such as tools, tape measures, spray paint, buckets, and twine. The shops are extremely crowded with a vast selection of goods and staff do not always speak English, so it is helpful if you can come equipped with a photo of what you need, as you may have trouble finding it yourself in the mishmash. Not all stock is displayed; it is likely someone will shimmy up a ladder or down one into a crawl space or basement to locate your request.
A smaller grouping of hardware shops can also be found along Hollywood Road at the intersection of Possession Street; and there are two electric/plumbing supply stores (which do not sell hardware items) located on Peel Street just below Caine Road.
For wood items (such as 2x4s, plywood, and decorative baseboards and trimmings, check out the western end of Wellington Street (near Bonham Strand) for several shops. There are a few plumbing shops in this group as well. Alternatively the areas around Lockhart Road and Thompson Road in Wan Chai have a good selection of small hardware and electrical shops as well as a few stores supplying paint, paint brushes and other items if you are going to do some cosmetic work to your home.
Electronics and gadgets
There are several large “Computer Centres” on Hong Kong Island.
Here are the most popular:
- Wan Chai Computer Centre, (130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, exit A4 Wan Chai MTR)
- Broadway Computer Centre (2-12 Queen’s Road West in Sheung Wan)
- Golden Shopping Centre, Sham Sui Po (located at Yen Chow Street, exit D2, Sham Shui Po MTR)
- Mong Kok Computer Centre (located at 8 Nelson Street; closest MTR stop is Mong Kok-E2).
Shops inside these multi-story shopping centres carry everything from headphones and speakers, to mobile phones and laptops, to computer components for DIY techie types. These are generally also good places to find someone who can repair a cracked iPhone screen or help you recover lost data from a hard drive. It is worth price checking several stores before making your purchase and doing your research on prices and item specifications before you visit to reduce the risk of over-paying.
Furniture and Curtains
Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau may be hailed as the furniture capital of Hong, but there are other locations which are must-visit if you are on the hunt for some new furniture for your flat.
Queen’s Road East is home to a stretch of shops selling everything from traditional Chinese furniture to sleek, ultra modern pieces. Towards the eastern end of this grouping are several shops specializing in customized children’s furniture, so if you are looking for beds for the kids, it is best to start east of Hopewell Centre.
This same stretch of road also has numerous upholstery shops where you can have curtains and cushions custom made. A few light fixture and bathroom fitting shops are located on Queen’s Road East, but for a wider selection, head north to Lockhart Road (see below).
Lighting and Bath Fixtures
The stretch of Lockhart Road between O’Brien and in Wan Chai offers a plethora of options for bathroom fittings of all varieties (taps, tile, toilets, tubs – you name it), as well as some lighting shops. For a condensed selection of stores selling light fixtures, visit Morrison Hill Road in Causeway Bay – the shop windows quite literally glitter from all the crystal chandeliers on display, but simpler, more modern fixtures are available as well.