One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to go shopping in its various markets, outlets, specialty stores, and luxury malls. The diverse selection suites a variety of budgets and tastes. Some Hong Kong shopping even appeals to the younger set if visiting Hong Kong with kids.
Nearly anything you forgot to pack can be sourced after arrival. I can tell you that when people came to visit us in Hong Kong with only one suitcase, they wound up buying another to cart various treasures home with them. (I’ll tell you also where to pick up inexpensive large bags and luggage if you find yourself in the same situation).
As I was writing this, more stores I love kept coming to mind. There are seriously too many fantastic places to shop in Hong Kong. So, I tried to narrow this list to include markets, malls, boutiques, shopping streets and outlets that are worthwhile if pressed for time on a short stay. Which you choose depends on your itinerary, where your Hong Kong hotel is, and personal taste.
Hong Kong Markets and Shopping Streets
Sham Shui Po (Top Pick)
Kowloon Neighborhood: Sham Shui Po
MTR Station: Sham Shui Po (exits depend on which street you choose)
One could spend an entire day leisurely browsing Sham Shui Po and its various shopping streets. This working-class neighborhood was the heart of Hong Kong’s textiles industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The area is still popular with local and international designers with many vendors offering wholesale pricing.
It’s a must visit for anyone interested in crafts, sewing, toys or electronics. I know people in the fashion industry who head to these Sham Shui Po streets for inspiration and products. You will not see variety like this in such a small, walkable area anywhere else in the world.
Tip: These streets don’t get going until 10:30 a.m. or even a bit later. Come up early to skip the lines at the original Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan. That way you’re fueled up for shopping and ticked one of their legendary baked barbecue pork buns off of your to-do list.
Yu Chau Street (Bead Street)
Go here to find beads, shells, crystals, stones, ribbons, and more for making jewelry, crafts, bedazzling or whatever else your crafty self desires. This street is why I have shelves of ribbon for gift wrap.
Ki Lung Street (Button Street)
Buttons of every shape, color, and size adorn button street. You’ll also find bolts of fabric to choose from, ribbons, zippers, and other fantastic sewing and craft accessories.
Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street)
Buy ribbons on reels or cut what you need from the mindboggling selection on ribbon street. You’ll also find lace, iron-on patches, pom poms and other adornments. You’ll find most where Yu Chau Street meets Nam Cheong Street.
Tai Nan Street (Leather Street)
Offerings on Tai Nan Street used to be much more robust, but there are still a handful of places to buy leather and leather goods like handbags. Stop into Luen Cheong Leather Hong Kong, which has been in business since 1948, to take a peek at their vegetable tanned leather.
Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar
This Hong Kong gem is earmarked for demolition, but many of the vendors have been selling from these stalls for over 40 years. You’ll find loads of family-run stalls with every usable space jammed with bolts of fabric and accessories. It’s a packed outdoor market covered by a metal roof beloved by design students and the fashion industry. It’s sweltering here in summer but pop in and take a look while you can as it will be a tragic loss.
Fuk Wing (Toy Street)
Yes, plan room in your suitcase for whatever catches your kids’ eyes here. Typically, you’ll find whatever the latest craze is (fidget spinners galore) in addition to dolls, school supplies (loads of cute pens, pencils, lunchbox accessories), games, balls, pool toys and more. It’s a good place to buy kids’ party favors.
Apliu Street Flea Market (Electronics)
Get your senses ready for the enormous selection of new and second-hand electronics from clocks to phones to stereos to computer gadgets. Be mindful of your country’s voltage requirements when shopping for electronics. You’ll also find watches and other trinkets floating around.
Dragon Centre the only real shopping mall in Sham Shui Po. It’s nine stories of mostly small specialty shops with some dining outlets and more prominent names mixed in. There is so much to see inside that you might want to make it a separate visit after walking the various nearby shopping streets. Kids (and you) will like the Apple Mall on floors 5-7 where one can find Hello Kitty, stationery, fashion and more.
Also inside is the iconic Leung So Kee umbrella company. They’ve been fixing and making umbrellas in Hong Kong since 1885 (not always at this location), a true art. Dragon Centre is at 37K Yen Chow St.
Fa Yuen Street: Sneaker Street and Market
Kowloon Neighborhood: Mongkok
MTR: Mongkok, Exit D3
Like sneakers? Go to Fa Yuen Street (between Soy and Argyle Streets) to find a mindboggling selection of sneakers throughout 50 shops including foreign brands and limited edition styles. Most are authentic, and you can try to bargain a little, but beware of knock-offs.
Keep walking north, and you’ll find Fa Yuen Street Market (pictured above) which offers a random assortment of food, clothing, toys, electronics, handbags, hair accessories and much more. It’s a smaller, yet still fun, version of the Ladies Market.
Kowloon Neighborhood: Mongkok
MTR Station: Mongkok Station, Exit E2
Ladies Market lines Tung Choi Street and, while touristy, we always enjoy stopping here because there are bargains to be had. Like other Hong Kong street markets, bargaining is the norm. It’s also an excellent place to pick up an extra suitcase and not just for the ladies. In addition to fashion, socks, undergarments, and handbags, shoppers can find electronics, housewares, toy, food and more. There are hundreds of stalls and shops along this street which is why it’s one of the most popular Hong Kong Markets.
At the end of the street, you’ll find the Goldfish Market as well, which is a handful of stores displaying gorgeous fish in what amounts to to-go bags. And, you can continue walking to the Flower Market.
Kowloon Neighborhood: Mongkok
MTR Station: Prince Edward, Exit B1 (Walk east along Prince Edward Road West until you reach the market)
While your need for fresh flowers on vacation might be slim, make a quick stop into the Flower Market for a look at giant chrysanthemums and flowers of all colors. I’ve also purchased party supplies, vases, and other flower arranging materials here over the years. It’s particularly beautiful during Chinese New Year when vendors display gourds, citrus trees, and other decorations.
Kowloon Neighborhood: Yau Ma Tei
MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei, Exit C (walk toward Nathan Road, turn right on Nathan Road and then right on Kansu Street)
Over 400 stalls sell jade of all quality ranges and colors including carvings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, rings, figurines, and more. I particularly like the trivets I’ve purchased here over the years.
The Jade Market rests at the intersection of Kansu and Battery Streets. It’s helpful to know a little bit about jade before heading in so that you are armed with knowledge before making a substantial purchase.
Truthfully, this Hong Kong shopping experience is better for inexpensive to moderate trinkets, pendants, and bracelets. For top quality jade from a reputable dealer, try Chow Tai Fook, Edward Chui (this store has moved to Landmark Prince’s, and I adore his designs), or Chinese Arts and Crafts (more on this store below).
Temple Street Night Market
Kowloon Neighborhood: Yau Ma Tei
MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei, Exit C or Jordan Exit A
The Temple Street Night Market is also a very popular Hong Kong market that is touristy but fun. Go shopping for similar trinkets found in other markets like pashminas, cheap cheongsams, gadgets, handbags and souvenirs. However, this market is a little more like a festival with street performers and fortune tellers to entertain. One also goes for street food.
The Lanes (Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West)
Island Neighborhood: Central
MTR Station: Central, Exit C (walk west on Des Veoux Road) or Exit D2 (turn right in the little alleyway, then immediate left on a pedestrian street until you see Queen’s Road. Then, turn right and walk to Li Yuen Street East and start there)
Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West, known as “The Lanes,” are conveniently located just off Queens Road near the Mid Levels escalator. You’ll find knick-knacks galore, pashminas, cheongsam dresses, souvenirs, underwear, luggage (I tell people to go here for cheap extra suitcases) and more.
Walk down one lane from Queens Road, then head either left or right on Des Voeux Road (depending on which lane you start in) and continue onward in the other lane to complete both in a “u” shape. They’re not big streets but make for a nice detour when exploring this part of Central.
Also, Pottinger Street market is across the street on Queen’s Road.
Pottinger Street Market
Island Neighborhood: Central
MTR Station: Central, Exit D2 (turn right in the little alleyway with stalls, then immediate left on a pedestrian street until you see Queen’s Road. Then, turn right and cross the street when you can. You’ll see the steps leading to the market before you hit the escalator.)
From Queen’s Road, walk up the stairs to the Pottinger Street market, a mecca for costumes year-round (or walk it downhill from Wyndham Street/Hollywood Road to see it in full).
Outside of Halloween, this little market comes in handy for Rugby Sevens costumes, kids parties and whatever else you can think of. We’ve raided this street for photo booth props, which are trending where we live (like 25 feather boas and wigs for a recent birthday party).
The vendors here sell seasonal decor and props for various holidays including Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Chinese New Year.
Island Neighborhood: Between Central and Sheung Wan
MTR Station: Central or Sheung Wan
Cat Street Market (Top Pick)
Island Neighborhood: Sheung Wan
MTR Station: Central, Exit D2 (Turn right in the little alleyway with stalls, then immediate left on a pedestrian street until you see Queen’s Road. Then, turn right and walk to the Mid-Levels escalator. Get on the escalator and exit on Hollywood Road. Walk about 10 minutes to the market. You’ll see Man Mo Temple on the opposite side of the street.)
This is the place to go for Chinese memorabilia like propaganda posters and Little Red Book copies also mixed in with genuine Chinese antiques and inexpensive trinkets. You’ll also find jade, silk products, handicrafts, and home accents. My daughter bought a box full of jade rollers for $6 each (which are selling for $30 each at Sephora).
The street is called Upper Lascar Road and is accessible from Hollywood Road, across the street from Man Mo Temple. Pair a visit to Cat Street with a stop into the temple.
We walk to Cat Street Market down the Queen’s Road from Central hotels there are other shops to be seen. You can stop into Pottinger Street and The Lanes along the way, too.
Tai Yuen Street (Toy Street)
Island Neighborhood: Wan Chai
MTR Station: Wan Chai, Exit A3 (Walk toward Johnston Road, and you’ll see it.)
This toy street on the island in Wan Chai delivers all sorts of games, school supplies, and gadgets that kids will love. It’s possible to buy in bulk and where we purchased 25 dolls that we turned into mandrakes for my daughter’s Harry Potter party. It sells many of the same goods as Fuk Wing Street so no need to visit both toy streets unless your kids insist or this one happens to be close to your hotel or other stops on your itinerary.
Island Neighborhood: Causeway Bay
MTR Station: Causeway Bay, Exit F (Look right after exiting the tunnel and walk a few paces to the small market entrance.)
Jardine’s Crescent is referred to as the Ladies Market of the island because you’ll find handbags, clothing, accessories. The entry is easy to miss. It’s next to a Bonjour cosmetics store. The market doesn’t look like much, but it is rather large and fun if you can take the time to walk through it.
Island Neighborhood: Stanley (south side of the island)
MTR Station: None. Take a taxi or bus.
If there’s no MTR Station then why would you make an effort to go all the way over to Stanley Market? The answer is because you want to see the quieter side of the island. Stanley Market offers more or less the same items for sale, with more clothes though including some brand names. Favorite purchases here include some limited edition watercolors of Hong Kong that hang in our home. It’s also easy to have name chops made (your name in a Chinese character), a souvenir that kids love.
It’s easily a good half-day trip between browsing the many stalls, walking around and a bite to eat in the market or at one of the bars and restaurants. Sitting on these patios in good weather is lovely.
A taxi ride from Central takes about 45 minutes and as the roads can twist and turn those prone to motion sickness should take caution. A bus can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes depending traffic and on where you catch it. Most people catch the bus at Exchange Square.
Revitalized Historic Buildings and Boutiques
Recently, several historic buildings have been revitalized into lifestyle destinations that tourists and locals both love.
Island Neighborhood: Sheung Wan
MTR Station: Central, Exit D2 (Turn right down the little alleyway, make an immediate left on a pedestrianized street, go right on Queen’s Road, get on the Mid-Levels escalator and exit on Staunton Street. Walk a few minutes to PMQ.) or Sheung Wan, Exit E1 (Turn right to Des Voeux Road Central, then turn right to Gilman’s Bazaar. Go straight towards Queen’s Road Central. Walk along Aberdeen Street for around 7 minutes, and you’ll see PMQ.
PMQ is home to local design galleries, including outlets of popular local brands like G.O.D. and Vivienne Tam, in addition to bookstores, cafes, and offices. If you like to support local businesses and get a glimpse of up-and-coming designers during your travels, this is an excellent place for it.
Queen’s College, an elite school where many of the country’s leaders studied (Dr. Sun Yat Sen studied, albeit he attended when it was at a different location), was built on this site in 1889. The college was destroyed during WWII. Hollywood Road Police Married Headquarters (PMQ) was built in its place to increase police recruitment. The 140 single room units and 28 double room units for the rank and file officers serving at the nearby Central Police Station are now galleries and boutiques. The buildings have been expanded as well to accommodate even more local talent.
I particularly love the homewares and gifts. On Saturdays, there is usually some sort of fun activity happening in the courtyard. Be sure to shop all sides of the complex.
Tai Kwun (Top Pick)
Island Neighborhood: Old Town Central
MTR Station: Central, Exit D2 (Turn right down the little alleyway, make an immediate left on a pedestrianized street, go right on Queen’s Road, get on the Mid-Levels escalator. On the walkway above Hollywood Road, you’ll see steps leading into a large building. Take them into Tai Kwun.)
That Central Police Station referenced above in PMQ? Well, it’s also been revitalized into a fantastic centre of arts and heritage that opened in the last year. Go mostly for the culture but wedge in a stop at the boutiques and grab a bite to eat. Boutiques I like include Loveramics (neat housewares), LockCha Tea Shop and the gifts in the Visitor Center.
Other things to do at Tai Kwun include free guided tours (register on their website or via their app in advance), a self-guided scavenger hunt for kids that they can stamp along the way, walking through the former prison yard and cells, a drink al fresco in the courtyard, and more. Do check to see what exhibitions are happening at the various galleries during your visit. Be sure to grab a map as the complex is rather large.
Island Neighborhood: Sheung Wan
MTR Station: Sheung Wan, Exit B or C (Head down Connaught or Des Voeux Road and you can’t miss the building)
Tip: You can pair a visit to Western Market with a walk down Dried Seafood Street which is Des Voeux Road West. While, yes, it’s a shopping street I might consider this more sightseeing than retail therapy. The same goes for Tonic Street which is a plethora of exotic Chinese medicinal ingredients on Wing Lok and Ko Shing Streets.
Island Neighborhood: Sheung Wan (or NoHo for north of Hollywood Road)
MTR Station: Sheung Wan, Exit A2 (On Wing Lok Street walk left toward Central, turn right on Man Mah and left on Bonham Street. Continue to Wellington Street, turn right on Aberdeen Street until you reach Gough Street) but you can easily walk from Central.
Boutique lovers should walk Gough Street, regarded as the coolest street in Hong Kong. It’s an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, hipster boutiques, old-school favorites, and housewares. It used to be a street of printers, and there are a handful of printing and stationery shops left.
Tip: If there’s no line at Kau Kee (dare to dream) get a brisket noodle soup bowl here even if you’re not hungry. They’re famous for a reason. Kids will love a Hong Kong waffle ice cream at Oddie’s.
Island Neighborhood: Wan Chai
MTR Station: Admiralty, Exit F (Look for the Three Pacific Place Underground Link and it will take you there.)
A combination of Star Street and adjoining lanes Moon Street, Sun Street, and Wing Fung Street, Starstreet Precinct is home to art galleries, home decor and furniture stores, and cafes. This center of design and lifestyle stores is likened to London’s Covent Garden. You’ll also find various cafes. Starstreet Precinct surrounds Three Pacific Place so you can pair it with a visit to Pacific Place Mall.
Hong Kong Shopping Malls
Hong Kong is famous for its mega luxury malls, many of which are attached to hotels providing another layer of convenience for tourists. It’s hot in the summer so having an MTR station, grocery store, drug store, and more nearby without ever going outside is a significant perk.
Kowloon Neighborhood: Tsim Sha Tsui
MTR Station: Tsim Sha Tsui, Exit A1 (This station is enormous. Walk right on Haiphong Road to Canton Road. Turn left, and you’ll see Harbour City. From Central or Wan Chai, it’s easier to take the Star Ferry. Facing away from the harbour, the mall is to the left after you get off the Star Ferry.)
We’ll start with the largest shopping mall in Hong Kong, Harbour City, \conveniently located at the cruise ship terminal and steps from the Star Ferry. Over 450 retail stores offer a wide range of diversity (unlike Central malls which are mostly designer brands) from Muji to Gucci Kids.
The mall is divided up into zones for electronics, kids, sports, luxury goods, beauty and more so you will find like stores grouped together. Do download the Harbour City app or pick up a paper map. I’ve been visiting this mall for 15 years regularly and still find maps helpful. Teens and tweens should head to LCX where shops and stalls of brands that appeal to them are located.
Don’t forget to eat at one of the over 50 dining outlets. I recently enjoyed lunch at Hexa with its rare 270-degree view of Victoria Harbour (you can also see this from Harbour City’s viewing deck on the rooftop above the restaurant.
Tip: Canton Road and its hub of designer stores is right outside of Harbour City where you can shop Louis Vuitton’s largest store in Asia and Chanel’s Asia flagship store in addition to an enormous duty-free DFS Galleria.
Island Neighborhood: Admiralty
MTR Station: Admiralty, Exit F
Pacific Place is the luxury shopping mall that the Admiralty hotels (Island Shangri-La, Upper House, Conrad, and JW Marriott) are connected to. This provides enormous convenience for guests as there is no need to go outside to grab necessities or get to the MTR station (also inside the mall). Anchored by Lane Crawford department store, you’ll find the likes of Chanel, Tod’s, a chemist, and even an AMC movie theater. On the ground floor is a gourmet grocery store and food hall called Great. Take the escalators up to L4 (near Great), and you’ll see another set off escalators leading to Hong Kong Park.
Island Neighborhood: Central
MTR Station: Central, Exit G
Four buildings make up the Landmark, a luxury mall over 200 shops and restaurants. These buildings have been rebranded with new names, each starting with Landmark.
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and Harvey Nichols anchor Landmark Atrium, the central hub of luxury stores ranging from Gucci to Vivienne Tam that surround a grand atrium that is home to elaborate displays during holidays and special events.
Everything Armani exists in Landmark Chater with separate stores for Armani Fiori (gorgeous flower arrangements), Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani Beauty, EA7, and more. Some locals call it the “Armani Building” or by its old name Chater House.
Landmark Prince’s (otherwise known as Prince’s Building) borders Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Find Oliver’s gourmet grocery store, Bookazine (excellent for books and Hong Kong souvenirs), Altfield’s for antiques, and the third floor full of children’s clothing and necessities. Mothercare is a good stop if you forgot to pack baby gear.
Landmark Alexandra rests in the center of the four buildings, with walkways out to the other three. It’s mostly high-rise office space, but here you’ll find large Prada and Burberry stores in addition to Starbucks.
IFC Mall (Top Pick)
Island Neighborhood: Central
MTR Station: Central, Exit A or Airport Express Station, Exit F
IFC Mall is a massive luxury shopping mall full of designer brands, young brands, cosmetic brands, gourmet food brands, a city’super grocery store, multiple restaurants, dessert shops and a Lane Crawford department store. Whether you want Chanel sneakers or a Pierre Hermé macaron (we also like the green tea and chocolate soft serve at Godiva), you’re covered. Central Station and the Airport Expresss Station are also inside. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is adjacent to this mall as well.
Island Neighborhood: Causeway Bay
MTR Station: Causeway Bay, Exit A
This bustling and massive shopping mall has some designer brands and electronics stores but is mostly geared toward young fashion and local brands. It’s anchored by a Lane Crawford department store, Marks & Spencer and the fabulous city’super gourmet grocery store. The Causeway Bay MTR station is inside Times Square.
It’s easy to walk between here and Island Beverly in just a few minutes.
Island Location: Causeway Bay
MTR Station: Causeway Bay, Exit E
This shopping mall is full of boutiques for the younger crowd. Browse four floors full of local, Japanese and Korean fashion and even quirky toys and some skincare. You’ll see some knock-offs, but it can be fun to browse.
Hong Kong Shopping Outlets
Lantau Island Neighborhood: Tung Chung (Near Big Buddha)
MTR Station: Tung Chung, Exit C
Over 90 international brands have outlets at Citygate, Hong Kong’s first outlet mall. You can also find a movie theater, restaurants, a spa and one of the largest kinetic fountains in Asia. There are deals to be had if you find the right pair of shoes in your size, etc. A Ralph Lauren dress I’d just purchased at a store in La Jolla was 80% off. It’s a matter of getting lucky. Brands here include Tumi, Burberry, Kate Spade, Diane Von Furstenberg, Nike, Fila, Shanghai Tang and more.
This Hong Kong shopping mall rests at the base of where one catches the cable car to the Big Buddha so very easy to do both in the same day. It’s also only a few MTR stops from Sunny Bay station where you change to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Line, so we made a stop at my daughter’s insistence after a long day at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Prada Outlet – Space (Top Pick)
Island Neighborhood: South Horizons
MTR Station: South Horizons, Exit A (Look left, and you’ll see it.)
Space is a Prada outlet that retails past season handbags, shoes, accessories, and clothing from Prada, Prada Sport, and Miu Miu. Men and women can both shop here (though the men’s section is much smaller). I go every time we’re in Hong Kong. What you score depends on what you’re in the market for. There are quite a few handbags and shoes in addition to last season’s clothes.
Note that larger shoe sizes for women (above a 38) are hard to come by. Only a handful of people are allowed inside at once, so a small queue often forms outside. Space is usually closed on Mondays.
Island Neighborhood: Ap Lei Chau
MTR Station: South Horizons, Exit C (walk about 15 minutes along Lee Nam Road or catch a taxi from the MTR Station)
Thanks to the new South Horizon MTR line, Horizon Plaza is really easy to get to. Inside this industrial building awaits a myriad of designers, kids and furniture outlet stores. You’ll find past season clothing and accessories at discounts of up to 90%.
Not-to-be-missed is the Lane Crawford outlet. Lane Crawford is Hong Kong’s equivalent to Saks Fifth Avenue. You’ll need patience as clothes are sorted by color and style (all white dresses in one spot, for example) rather than brand or season but it’s very worthwhile. During our most recent visit, we also found incredible savings at Saint Laurent (really), Kate Spade and Shanghai Tang. You’ll find gear for young kids, too.
Brands that may not be familiar to you but are worth a stop include I.T. (designer fashion geared toward teens and 20s), Joyce (a retailer of high-end luxury brands), and Shiatzy Chen who makes gorgeous Chinese-inspired women’s clothing.
If you’re looking to set up a flat in Hong Kong, this is where many find furniture and accessories. You might enjoy popping into Indigo, Ovo and some of the other furniture stores to see what you can stuff into your suitcase or have shipped home.
Tip: Grab a map or take a photo of the stores you want to visit on the wall above. It’s a tall building, and the handful of elevators are slow so start on the top floors and work your way down, using the staircase instead of the elevator.
Shops Around Town to Look Out For
These fantastic stores and boutiques have outlets all around Hong Kong.
G.O.D (Goods of Desire) has multiple outlets around Hong Kong. It’s a local brand with contemporary jewelry, housewares, art, clothing, and accessories that celebrates everything eclectic and cool about Hong Kong, injecting a bit of humor at times.
Over the years we’ve bought everything from panda umbrellas to neat binders here. Kids who like to shop will enjoy this store, and the price point is reasonable.
Chinese Arts & Crafts
If you’re looking for high-quality Chinese jewelry (including jade), arts and crafts go to Chinese Arts & Crafts. This accredited shop has been around since 1959 with famous patrons including celebrities and politicians. I have purchased jade jewelry here and have been quite pleased with it. You’ll find top-quality art and souvenirs, too. Even if not in the market for art or jade, stop in and have a peek.
There are several branches on the island including in Central on Des Voeux Road and Pacific Place Mall.
My very favorite Hong Kong luxury brand is Shanghai Tang. Deep down, I’m hoping that my daughter will use their Imperial Tailor for her wedding dress (I regret not doing the same for my wedding).
Go here to find colorful, contemporary Chinese fashion for mostly women with men and kids represented as well. Find china, gorgeous photo frames, decorative jars and more in the housewares section.
The flagship store is located on 1 Duddell Street in Central, but there are stores in the airport, Pacific Place, Kowloon and elsewhere. A few paces from the flagship, you’ll see the famous Duddell Street lanterns which suffered damaged in the most recent typhoon.
Sasa is basically the Sephora of Hong Kong. These stores seemingly dot every corner. Find the latest Korean, Japanese, Chinese and European beauty masks, salves and makeup here. My tween loves it, and the price points are reasonable.
Tip: Sasa on 88 Queen’s Road Central near the escalator is one of the rare stores that open at 9:30 a.m. (check hours during the day of your visit) which make it an excellent thing to do after landing early in Hong Kong on one of the overnight flights when not much is open.
Hong Kong Shopping Tips
Wear comfortable shoes that can survive streets, gutters, uneven pavement. Hong Kong shopping from morning until nightfall and beyond is entirely possible. It’s easiest to wear a sling bag. Backpacks can be tough in tight, crowded markets. Carry a collapsible, reusable shopping bag that you can wad up and take to the markets. Hong Kongers try to avoid handing out plastic bags if they can and retail outlets charge a minimum of HKD .50 for a plastic bag.
When shopping in markets, along Nathan Road and elsewhere in Hong Kong, you might be approached by a “tout” or person on the street who is trying to persuade you to go into a back room or shop full of fake handbags, bootlegged movies, or whatever. As tempting as a near-perfect Louis Vuitton copy might be, it’s not legal so let’s say these hidden shops are a bit shady all around. Please avoid them.
Can you bargain? Yes, in the markets. I very rarely buy from the first stall. Ask for pricing every time you see something you might want to purchase and get it from the stall which is offering the lowest price. I avoid bargaining for sport—these vendors work hard and live in an expensive city—but rather to ensure the price I’m paying is fair.
The Hong Kong Tourism board administers a program called the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme where stores must pass rigorous assessments for transparent pricing, high standards of service and quality of products. You can shop with confidence at these accredited stores. Look for QTS signage posted on the storefront windows.
If you’re not using a Hong Kong mobile carrier, Google maps may not work well for you in certain spots. It tends to get confused in places like Causeway Bay where the buildings are tall and close to each other. I sometimes take screenshots of maps before arriving. First timers in larger shopping neighborhoods like Sham Shui Po may even want to take a paper map from the hotel concierge because it’s easy to get turned around.
Take your hotel name written in Chinese with you as there are still plenty of taxi drivers who don’t speak English. I’d also take the name of your destination in case you get turned around and need to hop into a taxi to get you there. This is a Hong Kong travel tip that can apply to anywhere you need to go.
Hong Kong Shopping Tours
You’ll be able to stop into the various smaller markets on the island in between sightseeing. However, a tour of the Kowloon markets is helpful as it’s a more efficient way to visit many shopping streets in one go that otherwise might be a little difficult for a first timer.
Kowloon Market Walking Tour
This itinerary is a good one. You’ll walk the important markets in Mongkok including Flower Market, Goldfish Market, Bird Garden, Fa Yuen Street Market, Ladies Market, and Jade Market. You’ll pass Tin Hau Temple and eat famous street snacks along the way.
Private Customizable Hong Kong Shopping Tour
I use Context Travel personally for kid-friendly tours, food tours, and more worldwide. They offer the option to customize a private tour in Hong Kong tailored to what you’d like to do, including shopping. The upshot of a private tour is that you move at your own pace.