Hong Kong Ladies Market, in a tourist's eyes, is at Tung Choi Street, Mongkok. But it is different to any Hong Kong people depending where you ask this question.
Inside Jardine's Crescent. Some stalls open at 4/5pm
More Than One Ladies Market???
"Really????" I know that's the question you are going to ask me. It sounds confusing. But let me give you some background.
There is actually more than one. For instance, if you ask my mom, she will refer to the one in North Point where she lives.
If she is shopping in Causeway Bay or Wanchai when you ask her this question, her answer will refer to Jardine's Crescent or Tai Yuen Street respectively.
Pick different Hong Kong people and ask the same question at different location will get different answer. It is just because there is not only one Hong Kong Ladies Market. Mystery solved :-)
Hong Kong Wet Markets
A typical Hong Kong wet market crowded with people from every walk of life and traffic....
I will talk about Hong Kong wet market here as well. Why? Because the wet market and the Hong Kong ladies market are always next to each other. Literally, neither one of them can exist or survive without each other.
I remember when I lived in the city, I was approached by so many tourists at different times. They were so amazed at the Hong Kong wet market. In the back of my head, I asked myself, "What is so special about the dirty Hong Kong wet market?"
Back then, that was the only place for people to buy fresh produce. Besides, there was a long period of time that I visited the Hong Kong wet market every day. I know what I could get almost anything in the market. But the environment was definitely not I would be thrilled about, especially on a rainy day. In my eyes, there was nothing special at all.
Not until I moved to the States, I finally understood why it is such a unique place in the eyes of a foreigner. You can find almost everything in a market. You can't find any place as dirty as in a Hong Kong wet market, although it can't compare to what it used to be like.
At the same time, things you find in the Hong Kong wet market is always fresh and reasonably priced. The freshness part had never been changed. I think it is actually getting better and better every day.
Hong Kong Ladies Market Now and Then
In the past, you could literally get everything you need in life in the Hong Kong market. People got grocery and daily necessities in the wet market and the ladies' market respectively. Think about we got school and office supplies in the Hong Kong ladies market back in the day.
So, that's the reason why they exist at the same time.
I got to tell you that there is a big difference of now and then.
Back then, there were not many department stores or supermarkets. Even you shop in those stores, there were not enough varieties for the Hong Kong people's daily lives.
You only went to those stores buying "luxury" items and things that were not a must in your life.
Because of the standard of living is getting better and better, the Hong Kong ladies market and wet market are no where close to the size of what they used to be. It is definitely cleaner now.
The Hong Kong Western Market is the best example of changing a Hong Kong Wet Market to a stripe mall. It is preserved as one of the Hong Kong historic monuements.
You may wonder why they still exist. Well, the old setup and there are still many Hong Kong people go to the Hong Kong markets to buy their grocery. People sell things in these Hong Kong markets are small business owners. They are the foundation of the prosperity of Hong Kong. On top of that, travelers seem discover a great place for shopping. So, may as well to keep them.
The following is the list of Hong Kong ladies markets (as mentioned; the wet market is next to each one of them). Each has its uniqueness.
To learn about what you can buy and what you need to be aware of, check out the Hong Kong market main page.
List of Hong Kong Markets
Most of the stalls do not open until 11am.
Here are the list of Hong Kong Markets. They are in order by the
route for ease of your travel planning:
i) Ladies' Market (Tung Choi Street) - Located in one of the most densely populated areas of the world, Mongkok, Kowloon, this HOng Kong ladies market is really geared for people buying clothes. They are always crowded. Many Hong Kong people love to shop here. I'm not the kind of person that likes to rub shoulder to shoulder. So, I don't visit this market very often. But I have to admit that stuff over here are awesome. If you really plan on checking this Hong Kong ladies market, make sure to allow yourself at least 3 hours to walk through it from one end to the other.
MTR Mongkok Station Exit E2
ii) Temple Street Night Market - While you are in the Ladies' Market in Mongkok, check out the Temple Street Night Market. It is just two MTR stations away. Compared to the Ladies' Market, this is much smaller. But if you are interested in Chinese street food and fortune-telling, this is the Hong Kong ladies market for you.
Stalls in this market do not open until 4/5pm.
If you have friends living in Hong Kong, he/she may able to lead you to Temple Street Night Market by walking or bus which is more economical.
Otherwise, it will be safer and easier to take the MTR.
MTR Jordan Station Exit A. Turn right into Jordan Road, then right into Temple Street
iii) Jardine's Crescent - Located in the Shopping Center of Hong Kong, Causeway Bay, it's great for shopping for women's clothes and hair accessories at very low prices.
If you come from the direction of Sogo, you should not miss this "Jardine's Crescent" sign, except some blockage like this picture shown.
Entrance or one end of Jardine's Crescent right across the MTR station
Parallel with this street, it is Jardine's Bazaar, a.k.a. the "Mini-Bus Street", where you will see many red and green mini-buses. There are a lot of local "fast food" restaurants. If you love to eat and take the food adventures ('cos some people don't like real Chinese/Asian food), you will try the local dishes. My high school is about a 10-minute walk away from this street, I have been going here for many years during lunch time. Most of the restaurants have been here for decades. I had a lot of great times and great food here.
The stores and stalls at Jardine's Crescent close by 10-11pm. The price has been more expensive than the market in Wan Chai. My latest visit was even worse than before. The price is way too high for that kind of quality they offer.
But while you are around this area, check out the Sogo department store which is about a 2 minutes walk away. Times Squares is about 5 minutes away.
Book lovers, the biggest Hong Kong book store, Eslite, is right across the street.
iv) Island Beverly Centre
- Across from Sogo and Jardine's Crescent. It is another great place to shop.
If you have enough energy to stay after midnight, check out the hawkers outside of Jardine's Crescent and Sogo. They have gadgets, toys, clothes and many other neat items. While you are having fun shopping, make sure to keep an eye on your purse. Some people will take the advantage to steal in the big crowd. I had this experience before.
Hong Kong Island
MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit F
v) Tai Yuen Street - Located in Wanchai, my mom always calls it "Little Tortoise Street". When it comes to Christmas time, she always loves to come here to check out the toys and other gifts ideas. She is a bargain shopper so she always finds some great deals.
There is a store called the Elegant Tang Dynasty near the end of the Hong Kong tram station. They sell Chinese artwork, accessories and so forth. Man, oh man.....I always love to shop in this store for souvenirs and gifts. If you come from the side where the tram or MTR is, walk down the street, it is about the 10th store on your right hand side.
You can also find some stalls selling jade. Of course, the grade and the quality is not that great. But the price is very reasonable.
Unfortunately, urban redevelopment shortened this Hong Kong market at least a quarter of it. I found some items cost way too much. Great thing is that I still found some great deals. You got to be selective.
Hong Kong Island
MTR Wan Chai Station Exit A3
Wahchai wet market connected to Tai Yuen Street
The picture was taken before 11am when most of the stores are opening for the day.
Urban redevelopment shortened the Wanchai market to 3 quarters of its original size. I hope it won't get any shorter.
vi) Li Yuen Street East and West-Merchandise in these 2 streets are very similar to those in the Jardine's Crescent Hong Kong ladies market. But they have higher-end clothing and accessories. It is mainly because it is located in the metropolitan area of Hong Kong, Central.
Hong Kong Island
MTR Central Station Exit C then walk along Des Voeux Road Central towards Sheung Wan
vii) Stanley Market - When I was in Hong Kong, I sometimes liked to take a bus ride to appreciate the beaches. Make sure to go on the second deck where you will have a better view.
As you saw from the pictures, all Hong Kong ladies markets are outdoor. In my opinion, if it rains, it is no fun walking on those streets, not to mention shopping. Sometimes, rain lasts for several days in Hong Kong.
So, here is an alternative for you, Japan Home Centre. It may not be as exciting as checking out in a big market. It does have a lot of great gadgets and merchandizes that you can hardly resist. The majority only costs for HKD10 (or USD1.3) per item.
Any branch locates in a stripe mall or shopping center could keep you in there for at least 90 minutes. You may find a lot of awesome steals in there.
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