On a deep natural harbour at the crossroads of East and West, Hong Kong claims a privileged location where visitors enjoy some of the best shopping in Asia.
From gleaming malls to trendy boutiques or street stalls, Hong Kong is a shoppers’ dream, the place to pick up a bargain or indulge in a special treat. Prices have risen in recent years but markets such as Stanley or Temple Street are flooded with cheap goods, and there’s fashion at bargain prices for those in the know. Reputable shops display a QTS, or quality tourism label but major purchases, like Chinese antiques, jade or jewellery, always benefit from expert advice.
Main shopping districts include Tsim Sha Tsui for factory outlets and bargain hunting, Central and Admiralty for glitzy stores, arcades and malls and Causeway Bay where the mega complex of Times Square claims 230 shops.
Shopping in Hong Kong, Chinese Antiques and Jade
Genuine Chinese antiques come at a price but there are some excellent reproductions as well as fakes. Favourite objects range from blue and white Ming porcelain, opium pipes and snuff boxes to cloisonné vases, painted screens and traditional garments. Heavy items, such as Ming furniture, can be shipped on request.
Jade is easier to take home. The Chinese have been crafting jade for 3000 years and Hong Kong remains world leader in the trade. Jade comes in different grades, most exquisite the emerald-like stone renowned for purity. Quality jade is sold by approved jewellers and to some extent, in the Jade Market where earrings and pendants mingle with auspicious turtle ornaments.
Shopping in Hong Kong, Fashion and Jewellery
Fashion is big business in Hong Kong, from international labels like Gucci or Versace to local designers William Tang or Walter Ma. Modern designs are available alongside traditional Chinese wear rich in embroidery, brocade and silk. Barely flawed seconds are found in the markets but the ultimate treat is a dress or suit, made to measure by a local tailor in less than 48 hours.
Jewellery is the perfect complement. Hong Kong is awash with gems, diamonds and pearls, enhancing pendants, rings or novelty watches. Some jewellers craft items on request, with stone and design chosen by the customer. Silver is popular for costume jewellery but gold is regarded as Hong Kong’s best buy.
Bargain Shopping in Hong Kong, Stanley Market and Temple Street
Hong Kong claims dozens of colourful markets where bargaining is essential, starting below half the asking price. Some cater to locals, others to tour groups in search of a last minute bargain or another souvenir or two. Silk, bracelets, T-shirts, factory seconds, landscape paintings, trinkets and curios, Stanley market has it all, cheap, reasonable quality, crowds a bonus.
In Temple Street, the night market has its share of shirts and socks, CDs and copy watches, jade, reading glasses and toy dogs wagging their tail, but it’s full of local colour. Chinese cooks chop and stir in open air kitchens while astrologers do a brisk trade on Tin Hau Temple Square.