The hustle and bustle of Hong Kong makes it one of the most exciting places in the world – you are never sure what you will find. This is particularly true in the markets. Antiques, flowers, clothes, branded sneakers, hidden gems for the home, traditional foodstuffs, and more. With everything under the sun available, and never knowing if you’re getting a good price, it can be hard to navigate the flea markets.
First thing to remember is to always bargain. Even if it’s a little, you never know what you can save. So here’s your guide to the best flea markets in Hong Kong!
Ladies’ Market — Clothes & Accessories
Don’t be fooled by the name, as there’s something for everyone in the more than 100 stalls of Ladies’ Market. If you are looking for fashion, this is your go-to spot. While they are infamous for their branded knock-offs (you can find fake Gucci, LV and Adidas shirts, shoes and bags), you can also find well-priced kid’s clothes, menswear, women’s clothes including lingerie, and a ton of accessories such as jewellery and bags. As it gets darker, lights turn on and create a vibrant night market scene. This is a known tourist spot, so if you are conspicuously not a local, charges might be hiked up. It’s the perfect chance to practice your haggling skills, as it’s definitely expected and welcome. We recommend asking 40-50% off the original price as a starting point.
Opening times: 12.30pm to approx. 11pm. Open every day of the year except the first day of the Chinese New Year.
Address: Tung Choi Street, located in the middle of Mong Kok (short walk from MTR Exit D)
Temple Street Night Market — A Bit of Everything
Temple Street Market is Hong Kong’s very own night market. Not only can you find everything you’ve ever wanted, you also get scrumptious food, live Cantonese opera, portrait painters and even fortune-telling stalls. In terms of shopping, keep a look out for some great souvenirs, whether it’s the I heart HK t-shirt, or cute signs of local streets and areas. There is a ton of menswear, although ladies will also definitely find something. There are also a ton of ethnic items, such as Chinese arts and crafts, traditional dresses and jade jewellery. Again, don’t be afraid to bargain!
Opening times: 4pm to midnight. It is most lively after dark. Open every day.
Address: Temple Street between Jordan Road and Kansu Street (midway between Jordan and Yau Ma Tei MTR stations)
Flower Market — Flowers
Whether you are a local or a tourist, the flower market is a must visit. With fresh, colourful and just beautiful plants and flowers coming in every morning at 7am, it is truly a sight to see. You can also find all your planting needs from seeds to fertilizers to every size and shape of vase imaginable. A haven for people with a green thumb! During Christmas and Lunar New Year, the blooms and potted plants are accentuated in gold and red decorations, and you can even pick up a well-priced poinsettia or Christmas tree. The shopkeepers are knowledgeable, so feel free to ask which plant is best for indoor air purification or how to care for that new bonsai tree you’re taking home. And if you need a break, right in the middle of the market is Café Hay Fever, the well-known flower café, serving great coffee and cakes.
Opening times: 7am to 7:30pm daily, although officially most shops open at 9:30am. Open every day of the year except the first day of the Chinese New Year.
Address: Flower Market Road, Prince Edward
Jade Hawker Bazaar & Jade Street — Jade
Jade is one of the most popular gemstones in Hong Kong, with a whole market dedicated to it! This green stone that comes in many hues and tones is considered lucky and is associated with nobility, perfection, constancy, and immortality. The jade you’ll find in this market is not always of the highest quality, as premium jade easily costs tens of thousands of dollars. But if you’re looking for a souvenir for a friend or a personal keepsake, you’ll be happy you stopped by because the selection is vast. Not limited to just jewellery, you can also find jade figurines like belly-baring Buddhas and Chinese luck charms.
Opening times: 10am to 5pm, closed Sundays
Address: Jade Street (Junction of Kansu Steet and Battery Street) and Yau Ma Tei Jade Hawker Bazaar (261 Shanghai St) in Yau Ma Tei
Stanley Market — Souvenirs
While not the easiest place to access, requiring a bus ride away from Central or Causeway Bay, Stanley Market is definitely worth a visit. The street market is great for tourists, selling traditional and modern art, antiques, costume jewellery, small furniture, souvenirs, and even toys! There are a couple of linen shops that sell great duvet covers, table mats and tissue box covers, that even locals visit often. The market is mostly covered, making it a great choice for browsing in poor weather. And once you’re tired of shopping, you are spoilt for choice with tons of restaurants and bars at the seafront.
Opening times: 11am to 7pm. Open every day of the year except the first day of the Chinese New Year.
Address: Stanley, Hong Kong Island
Li Yuen Street East and West — Fashion
Located bang in the middle of Central, these two small lanes house a host of cute and interesting items. You can find home trinkets, jewellery, clothes, masks and also get your shoes fixed, right next to each other! There are also a couple of bulk grocery stores including DS Groceries that offer your basics such as coffees, nuts and chocolates at discounted prices. The lanes sandwiched between towering office buildings also have a rich history. Post-WWII, the East lane was known as Newspaper Street because it housed a number of printing workshops. The central location allowed for easy daily delivery to the rest of Hong Kong.
Opening times: 11am to 7pm. Open every day.
Address: Li Yuen Street East and West, between Des Voux Road and Queens Road, Central
Cat Street — Antiques
This street in Central was historically a market for stolen items (or “rat” goods). Since cats are always chasing mice, the customers were called cats, hence the name of the market. While the items there may not be genuine antiques, you can find lots of interesting, quirky and affordable souvenirs. Expect historic coins, vintage movie posters, Buddha statues, figurines and replica Ming dynasty ceramic vases. No cats for sale here, incidentally, except for those lucky ones waving their arms. Be sure to bargain, although prices are not likely to fall below 20% of asking.
Opening times: 11am to 6pm, some shops are closed Sundays.
Address: Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan
Apliu Street Market — Electronics
Sham Shui Po is an absolute wonder for shopping, and Apliu Street is one of the most popular areas. With rows of shops and stalls selling electronics, although they no longer sell collectable vinyl records, you can find a number of the latest in audio, television, and home device equipment. Expect mobile phone accessories, speakers and audio cables, camera equipment, lighting and much more! A mecca for electronic bargain hunters, you can also find secondhand products such as electrical and mechanical devices including rice cookers, manual typewriters, vacuum cleaners, radios and fans, which are, of course, a lot more affordable.
Opening times: 10am to 8pm. Open every day of the year except the first day of the Chinese New Year.
Address: Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po (exit C1 from Sham Shui Po MTR station)
Tai Yuen Street Toy Market — Toys & Party Goods
Tai Yuen Street is also known as the delightful Toy Market, which isn’t just for kids. Adults who spent their childhood in Hong Kong will get a kick out of the classic toys on display that were once made in stores along the road, and youngsters will drool at the selection of the latest games and gadgets. Inexpensive beach balls, giant stuffed animals resembling your favourite characters, and everything anime and manga-related can be snapped up here. Following the playful theme of the shopping zone, you can also find party goods such as flashy decorations and balloons, not to mention fun baubles for goodie bags.
Opening times: 10:30am to 8pm. Open every day.
Address: Tai Yuen Street until McGregor St on the South, Wan Chai
Fa Yuen Street — Sneakers
Not too far from Ladies’ Market is Fa Yuen Street, most popular as a haven for all major sneaker brands. Called “Sneaker Street” in Cantonese (bo hai gai), shoppers can find stores dedicated to all the big names like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Skechers and Converse and even high end brands such as Supreme and Yeezy. Though prices for shoes and other sports gear may not necessarily be cheap, you’ll be sure to find something just based on the amount of choice! Recently the street has also gotten some inexpensive Korean and Japanese fashion so it’s a great option for those who are not able to take the busyness of Temple Night Market or Ladies’ Market. The best time to shop is early afternoon, when everything is open but it’s not too crazy.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm, Open every day.
Address: Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok
Dried Seafood Market — Dried Seafood
Walk through a piece of local history in this area of Sheung Wan that once housed several salted fish stores. Today, you won’t see fish drying on rooftops to be sold later. Instead, hustle with the locals who come here for a variety of dried seafood including scallop, abalone and sea cucumbers, the latter prized for its anti-aging effects. Other dehydrated foods, including dried snakeskin, black fungus and maw (dried swim bladders of large fish) are coveted for their overall healthy properties, which are drawn out when cooked in soup. The market, made up of individual shops, is especially animated during Lunar New Year when families stock up for festive dinners, but year-round it’s a trip for a taste of Hong Kong’s tradition and culture.
Opening times: Opening hours vary by shop. Open every day.
Address: Des Voeux Road West and inner streets, between Queen Street and Centre Street, Sai Ying Pun
Goldfish Market — Fish
Tung Choi Street North, better known as the Goldfish Market, is a wonderful sight. Where else will you be confronted with row upon row of fish of all varieties darting around in small plastic bags? It sounds a bit cruel, but they will be quickly snapped up to be a child’s pet or to float in home aquariums. Indeed, goldfish are said to bring good luck and many a feng shui devotee has them in their home. There are other fish varieties to admire, such as beautifully hued tropical fish, and even other small creatures such as reptiles and hamsters. Kids will love it.
Opening times: 10am until late, hours vary by store. Open every day.
Address: Tung Choi Street North, Mong Kok
Header image credits: Johnlsl via Flickr