Bianca Reyes discovers the mecca of bargain shopping in Hongkong, while making time to sniff the flowers and steal into a new luxury hotel’s spa for a few hours of decadent pampering4 Hours In Mongkok
Visit flea markets, rows of shoe shops and a four-storey computer mall selling all kinds of gadgets and electronic items. When you get tired, check into the only five star hotel in the madding district and get pampered in Chuan Spa. Mongkok is a bargain hunter’s paradise, and also one of the few places in Hong Kong that sparkles with local colors.
Here in stands rows upon rows of stalls and carts that sell clothes, toys, trinkets, fake Rolex and Prada or LV bags, DVDs and many more. The prices are a bargain and you can still haggle with the vendor, which makes shopping more fun. Tourists normally don’t leave Hong Kong without a visit to the Ladies Market, which opens from late morning till around mid night. The place is extremely crowded and vendors’ attitude range from friendly to cranky. Tourists are advised to beware of pickpockets and not to bring small children to this area.
Fa Yuen Street
The south of Fa Yuen is also called the Sport Shoes Street. As the name implies, the neighborhood specializes in selling sports shoes and sportswear. Retailers, including Marathon Sports, sell a wide diversity of sportswear products, some you’ll not easily find in the malls. Most of the international brands like Columbia and Northface are available here. North of Fa Yuen Street is a market that sells similar items to those in the Ladies Market, plus some export and import fashion. Here you’ll find Calvin Klein and Victoria’s Secrets on sale if you’re willing to dig upon pile of bargain clothing. Products are cheap, starting at HKD10. Some shops allow buyers to fit jeans while others do not. Some products, like jeans, are allowed for fitting but not skirts. It’s not clear if price has to do with this.
This is a street where flower shops and street hawkers selling all kinds of flowers are located at reasonable prices. A dozen of roses costs about HKD20, and you’ll have plenty of colors to choose from, including pale blue roses! The orchids are pretty and can be had at about HKD100 or 120 for two. There is a wide diversity of flowers and plants, from fresh to plastic ones, imported and local, expensive and cheap. Some shops sell pots and soils as well as plant foods/fertilisers. Shops open from 0700 to 1930.
Langham Place Hotel
Located on Shanghai Street and next to the MTR, Langham Place Hotel opened in 2004 to become Mongkok’s newest and most sophisticated landmark. The hotel’s design is contemporary, enhanced by over 1,500 pieces of modern Chinese arts ranging from sculpture to paintings. The 42-storey hotel has 593 rooms and 42 club and suite rooms, and was designed with dvance technology. Therefore, you’ll find rooms equipped with plasma TV and DVD players, multi-function IP phone that allows you to check SMS and internet radio, free in-room broadband access, and a hotel mobile phone which allows you to receive calls outside of your room but within the hotel. Toiletries are luxurious as it gives away Bulgari shampoos, soaps and lotions. The restaurants are great but the best place to be is Chuan Spa, which offers massages, facials and body scrubs in a calm oriental setting.
Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
This is the favourite gathering place of Hong Kong’s song birds owners. Open from 10 am to 6 pm, the market is a favourite because it offers owners a meeting place to chat about their common interest, the owners also come for bird foods and nice bird cages. There are also some booths that sell birds.
Goldfish are popular in Hong Kong because they are said to give good luck when properly positioned at home, therefore this market is a favourite source of goldfish supply. There are dozens of shops selling various fresh water and marine fish, as well as different aquarium equipments. Located along Tung Choi Street, the market opens from 10 am to 9 pm.
Mong Kok Computer Centre
A four storey building that is a favourite of the techie and of ordinary people who wish to purchase computer or other electronic goods cheaper than those sold in the malls. The computer centre has around 50-70 shops selling various kinds of products, including laptops, computer software and hardware and accessories, PDAs, cameras, LCD displays and even DVDs. Pirated DVDs are sometimes sold here.