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Location / Nearby Mongkok
Fish, Flowers, Birds and Famous Street Markets
Ladies Market in particular can be a lot of fun but it’s not for everyone. It can be claustrophobically overcrowded and on a sunny day, it can take a bit of stamina to stay the course. You can quickly find yourself hot, sweaty and exhausted. If you have dragged a reluctant partner with you, they will tire quickly and want to go home. You’re better off going on your own or with a like-minded friend.
However it’s also a treasure trove of copy shoes and handbags, cheap souvenirs and novelty items, clothing, toys, T-shirts, backpacks, leather belts and caps. Fierce haggling and bargaining are essential because the starting price will be wildly over the top. Generally you won’t find be offered a more realistic price until you start to walk away. Do take cash.
Don’t be tempted to go early because there’s no advantage. Nothing much opens in Mong Kok before midday. I’ve been caught out going early and having to hang around. On the plus side, everything stays open late (until 10pm or later).
GETTING THERE: By far and away, the best way to get to Mong Kok is by train. Get yourself an Octopus card and use the MTR. The station is large and may appear confusing but its very well organised. Before you leave the station, check the signs that list each exit, for example I use D3 for Ladies Market. This exit brings me up just 1 minute away from the start of the market. Its also helpful to look for one of the large wall maps and take a photo so that you can get your bearings (see photo below). Once back up on the street, most of the normal tourist destinations will have bright pink signs pointing you in the right direction
Nelson Street Wet Market
There are numerous street markets scattered around Mongkok, one that I like is the Nelson Street Wet Market found on the west side of Nathan Road and Langham Place shopping mall and situated between Tong Mi Road (west) and Reclamation Street (east).
Nelson Street is lined with vegetable, fruit, meat, seafood, sundries dealers. You’ll find loads of delicious fresh food as well as peculiar finds including fresh tofu blocks, thousand year eggs, Chinese medicine packs, frogs and other things you will rarely if ever see in western wet (food) markets.
The market is under large red umbrellas offering shade during midday when the sun is out. Still better to go from mid to late morning (9.30am) when stalls are stocked up and at their best for pictures. The trade-off is that the street can be packed with shoppers at this time of day as well.
In the end, you can actually traditional wet markets all around Hong Kong. If you are in Mongkok and interested in seeing one, this is a convenient and fun one to visit. Otherwise, it is rather easy to find good options elsewhere around the city as well.
The true Hong Kong
Ladies markets, goldfish market, bird market, wet market (fruits, veggies, meat, seafood and fish), sneakers street... I could go on and on like that. Go to 618 Shanghai St freshly opened. These old HK houses were saved for a greater purpose and it’s superb.
Getting lost in Mongkok is amazing. Look around and you might remember some of the areas that served for movies.
Make a pit stop at Cordis Hotel near the Langham Mall. It’s the only luxurious break you can have in this neighbourhood. Great bar above the reception and the Chinese restaurant (1* michelin) is affordable and yummy.
Enjoy the real Hong Kong! It’s all in there
Hip & Gritty Neighborhood
shopping shopping shopping
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