These days, if you’re abroad you’re more likely into Instagramming mementoes for friends and family rather than buying them something. For better or for worse, gone are the days of flimsy postcards and novelty key rings. Still, if any place on Earth is souvenir heaven, it’s Hong Kong. Home to a plethora of tongue-in-cheek, stylish finds, these souvenirs make great gifts for the people you’re obliged to shop for. And they’re all available for a bargain, at under HK$200.
Because who doesn’t love an ephemeral gift that doesn’t actually last? The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is an annual Taoist event held on the outlying island on Buddha’s Birthday. At the centre of it all is the famous Cheung Chau lucky bun. This traditional delicacy, filled with lotus seed paste is printed with the Chinese characters《平安》, representing peace and harmony. But if you’re not in town for the festival, though, there’s plenty of quirky magnets, keyrings and plushies of the steamed snack available on the island all year round.
While you certainly can’t pack dim sum into your carry-on, you sure can bring a waxed dim sum candle home. For $180, a siu mai candle from local artisan candle maker BeCandle can be yours, complete with a classic bamboo steamer. Made with high-quality vegetal wax, essential oils and fragrances, it smells nearly as good as the real thing. If you can’t make the trip all the way to Sai Kung, you can find these quirky candles over at’s Glue Associates too.
Tea-drinking is a huge part of Chinese culture and there’s no greater tea shop in Hong Kong than the folks at LockCha. Head to the flagship store into pick from its range of high-quality tea items, ranging from a light jasmine to a stronger and more intense pu’er tea. Don’t miss out on the clay teawares and Chinese-inspired apparel and silk scarves either.
Hong Kong markets are notorious for their inaccurate English translations. Taking that reputation in stride, many stalls at Mong Kokoffer a vast array of tongue-in-cheek idioms, phrases and sayings printed on placards designed to look like our city’s iconic street signs. It’s a riot picking out the best one.
Travelling can be a real pain and eye masks offered by major airlines just don’t cut it for the modern-day jet-setter. Instead, why not try an ultra-soft cotton-padded design by Hong Kong lifestyle brand G.O.D? Known for its kitsch yet ingenious way of blending local culture with homeware items, the brand's sleeping mask pays homage to Cantonese opera. With these, you’re sure to provide some much-needed amusement to your fellow travellers — just don’t forget to remove them at security!
A must-have in every Hong Kong kitchen, Lee Kum Kee’s premium oyster sauce is made using only the finest oyster extract. It’s the perfect savoury condiment to any homemade dish and it works with almost anything. Take home a bottle and add a splash of oyster sauce to your next meal for an authentic taste of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s MTR system is second to none, carrying over 1.6 billion passengers per year with a 99.9 percent punctuality rate. You can take home a piece of the city’s famously efficient transportation system with its range of souvenirs, including an adorable train carriage-shaped stapler. Maybe with it, you’ll be just as efficient.
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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.