In Hong Kong, you can dress a bride, redo a house and amuse a child one street at a time. The South China practice of grouping similar businesses on one street means you can do much more: goldfish, birds, clothes, electronics and shoes – if it’s worth shopping, it has a street here.
Cat Street – Antiques
No cats are on sale on Cat Street, but if your home is missing that final finishing touch, this is the place to find a piece of rare Ming dynasty furniture, an ancient snuff bottle or a Cultural Revolution propaganda poster. With its fantastic congregation of antique dealers, curio merchants and art galleries, this is also the place to go for bargains in jade, silk products, embroideries and wooden handicraft items.
Hong Kong’s Flower Market is a jungle of exotic blooms and scents that’s worth immersing yourself in. The dozens of shops and wholesalers here sell auspicious blossoms and luck-bringing houseplants to an enthusiastic crowd all year round.
But the lead up to Chinese New Year is when things really heat up, as families flock towards the market to carefully select flowers and greenery that attract good luck and fortune as a new lunar cycle begins.
With over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs, the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street provides a one-kilometre stretch on which to practise your haggling skills. It gets its name from the huge amount of clothing and accessories on sale for women of all ages; however, with watches, cosmetics, bags and trinkets also up for grabs, you don’t need to be in the market for a pair of nylon stockings to find something within its crowded aisles.
Temple Street Night Market
When the sun goes down, the traders have already laid out their wares and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. Welcome to the Temple Street Night Market, a popular street bazaar, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movie.
Trinkets, tea ware, electronics, watches, menswear, jade and antiques are scrutinised and haggled over, while claypot rice, seafood, noodles and other treats are consumed with gusto.
Temple Street Night Market is an enduring example of the theatre and festivity of a Chinese market. And it’s on show nightly.