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24 hours in the market

  • Written by NewBase Content

Paul Chan takes his love of Hong Kong right to the streets. As the founder of Walk in Hong Kong, a local company offering off-the-beaten-path explorations of the city’s various sides, his tours bring in both tourists and locals alike. Here, he gives us a 24-hour breakdown of one of his favourite city spots, the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market. 


I’m often asked by tourists where they can buy the best quality fruit in Hong Kong. I always say Gwo Laan wholesale market . It’s a wholesale market that turns retail during the day. The wholesale part starts around sunset, with the market opening up around 8pm. Workers start delivering boxes of fresh fruit on hand-pushed and electric carts, and by midnight, things get really busy. 

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market


As morning starts to creep in, the bidding starts. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners come from far and wide to source the best quality fruit. The person offering the highest price gets the best fruit, but bidders try not to disclose how much they’re offering, except to the wholesaler. Sometimes, you can still see stall owners rounding up their numbers with an abacus instead of an electronic calculator. 

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market


By early morning, all transactions are done. It only really comes to life again when regular work hours start, as the wholesale market becomes a retail market. The retail side is pretty recent and was only introduced a few years ago. The shops only sell the highest quality fruit, including Japanese Kyoho Grapes, Japanese strawberries and yellow pitaya. But the shopkeepers are very friendly and are happy to share their knowledge.

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market


During the afternoon, the market is also a great place to see remnants of old Hong Kong. Back in the ‘50s, Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market was a hotbed of crime, but these days, everyone walks freely along its paths. It’s a place almost frozen in time: stone stalls covered with terrazzo, banyan trees growing between houses. Throw yourself into the market and enjoy getting lost among its little lanes.

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The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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