Friday, 28 February 2014

Shopping tips for expats in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a wonderful city for expats and tourists alike, and it’s certainly a treat for anyone who loves shopping. The city has been built for every shopper from all walks of life, with every taste catered for – whether that’s haute couture or a good bargain. 

The thousands of visitors each year who come to Hong Kong to shop is testament to its reputation as a shopper’s paradise. A few spots around Central, Admiralty and Wan Chai, plus some areas of Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon cater for styles that Europe and North America are accustomed to.

Image source: Creative Common/Eric Chan

To get the true Hong Kong shopping experience, however, you must go to Temple Street in Jordan and Ladies Market in Mong Kok. Jordan and Mong Kok are both areas on Kowloon, only a couple of train stops apart. Mong Kok’s traditional Chinese tea rooms are packed at the weekend but great if you need a break from trekking through the market. Be brave and order a bubble tea beverage!

Image source: Creative Common/marim68821

Temple Street is a night market and comes to life in the evening after 5pm selling everything and anything a tourist could ever want. Just remember to haggle to get discount. Prepare for the traders to tell you that ‘you are a very bad person’—but the price, they are offering you, is much higher than what they offer local residents. You would be forgiven if you were a little overwhelmed on your first trip here as neon lights are blazing from every wall, and traders are all competing for custom and often don microphone headsets to be heard over the hustle of the crowd. Go to Spicy Crab restaurant on the street corner for a fantastic range of noodles, vegetable and seafood dishes as well as guilty pleasures such as crispy pork in sweet and sour sauce.
Image source: Creative Common/desmorider

Stanley Market on the south side of Hong Kong Island is a much calmer traditional market; however, bartering isn’t common practice here. Stanley wins on post-shopping activities as it has a beautiful promenade lined with classic British pubs—of course, this tiny fishing town is a haven for expats. The promenade truly comes to life during Hong Kong’s Dragon Boat Festival in June. Be prepared for the crowds—the atmosphere is electric and you can’t help joining in with the crowd’s cheering! It’s the perfect spot all year round to sit back and relax on a terrace in the sunshine with friends, food and drinks. 

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