Guide to Hong Kong: Urban Buzz
A series of stories, recommendations and tips on Hong Kong from people in the know. Explore our city based on the travel experiences that interest you and get itineraries for off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods.
Hong Kong offers the ultimate shopping experience: from its giant designer malls and packed street markets to its bargain outlets, you’ll find fabulous clothes, gifts, gadgets and souvenirs. The city is also home to celebrated fashion designers, quirky shopping malls and a wealth of independent boutiques, as well as local fashion brands and offbeat neighborhoods that create a buzz you won’t find elsewhere.
Shop ‘til you drop
If you’re after the big brands, you should head for one of Hong Kong’s swanky malls, such as the Landmark or prestigious Harbour City. However, there’s much more to the city’s shopping mecca than famous international brands, and some of the best stores are a short walk away from this glitz and glamor. Tucked away in a backstreet of Tsim Sha Tsui’s shopping paradise is Granville Road, a hub of independent boutiques that showcase Hong Kong’s own fashion designers. If you’re looking for quirky and fun gifts and household bits and pieces, Homeless, with branches in Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Sha Tin, should be on your list.
In the buzzing urban district of Causeway Bay, revamped shopping center Fashion Walk is making a name for itself among shoppers looking for locally designed apparel. Enter Liger: a funky fashion brand started in 2009 by designer friends Hilary Tsui and Dorothy Hui, who curate unique statement pieces from around the world. In the same complex you’ll find Juice, a cool fashion and lifestyle store.
Old and New
Despite Hong Kong’s buzzing modernity, there are still aspects of the city’s shopping scene that are timeless. Since colonial times, it has been one of the foremost destinations to have a suit made, with Apsley and La Elite two of the best known local tailors. For a more contemporary retail experience, head for the Star Street precinct area of Wan Chai, which exudes a distinctive fashionable vibe, being home to numerous Hong Kong designers, quirky boutiques, vintage shops and funky bars.
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Spotlight on: Yau Tsim Mong
For such a compact district—it only measures about seven square kilometers—Yau Tsim Mong, which comprises the popular areas of Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok, is one of the most densely populated in Hong Kong. It’s absolutely chock-a-block with cultural sights, historic buildings, themed streets and shops: this is the area to visit if you’re searching for super-trendy shopping malls, wholesale outlets, street markets, bazaars, local fashion designers and much more.
Many shops are packed together, often in themed streets, to offer a real bargain for the consumer as well as something a little out of the ordinary. Step into the Sino Centre for example and you’ll find a whole world of Japanese comic and popular cartoon paraphernalia, while just around the corner in Kimberley Street is the Hong Kong branch of kitsch Tokyo concept store Bunkaya Zakkaten. Next door to the Broadway Cinematheque is Kubrick, one of the city’s best film, book and disc stores.
Yau Tsim Mong’s themed streets include “Bird Garden”, (Hong Lok Street), “Korean Street”, (Kimberley Street), and “Ladies’ Market” (Tung Choi Street). If you’re on the hunt for local fashion, head to Fa Yuen Street, often referred to as “Sneakers Street” for the numerous footwear stores here. Buried along here is the hidden gem, Mee & Gee (Me & George) Import Shop: va popular second-hand vintage shop popular with Hongkongers.
Remember to Recharge
Shopping is hungry work, so be sure to plan a pit stop during your day at one of the many trending Hong Kong eateries in Yau Tsim Mong. “Korean Street” is aptly named as it is home to some of the city’s best “hof” bars: Korean Fried Chicken and beer joints that are taking over the city, while for more local delights, head to Dundas Street, which is renowned for its savory street snacks such as those you will find at Kai Kee Snack.
Head online to www.DiscoverHongKong.com/InsidersGuide to create your personalized itinerary for Yau Tsim Mong.
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