Hong Kong is never quite what you expect. If it’s a piece of Singapore in China or a financial hub that moves at a frenzied pace, you will definitely find it here but that’s not all. Hong Kong defies definition because of the diversity of its multicultural population and the many layers of vibrancy they add to the skyscraper adorned landscape.
This diversity and vitality is also visible in one of its favourite pastimes: retail therapy. Renowned worldwide as a shopper’s Mecca Hong Kong is truly an “everything under one sky” sort of retail experience. Hong Kong Island is of course the home base of the nation’s premier malls such as Causeway Bay which houses super department stores including the World Trade Centre, Island Beverley, Times Square, The Lee Gardens, Fashion Island, Lee Theatre Plaza and Lee Garden Two while in Wan Chai Spring Garden Lane and a host of local markets are located. Some of the must-visit super malls in Hong Kong Island include those in Admiralty which specialize in mainly luxury brands and exclusive items while the Lane Crawford department store and Pacific Place are also worth the time.
The city’s Central District is home to some of the most luxurious shopping venues of all, including The Galleria, The Landmark, the IFC Mall, Alexandra House and Prince’s Building where atriums and marble surfaces create a fantastic shopping atmosphere. Those on the lookout for antiques should head down to Hollywood Road and professional and wannabe photographers will find a wide range of wares on Stanley Street. Test your haggling skills in the busy sidewalks down Sheung Wan, Li Yuen Street East and West.
Kowloon is another retail paradise with Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard and trendy Nathan Road. Other hotspots include Cheung Sha Wan Road Fashion Street and Apuli Street where consumer electronics and accessories reign supreme. Popular shopping centres in Kowloon include Elements, Harbour City and Festival Walk which is sprawled out across one million square feet. Sham Shui Po is ideal for gadget fanatics while the Golden Shopping Centre is a treasure trove for IT enthusiasts.
The local markets in Kowloon are also not to be missed as they offer much more than fancy goods, local delicacies in a cultural exchange that will be as memorable as the bargains. Tourists and locals alike frequent the Temple Street Market, Fa Yuen Street Market and the famed Ladies Market while the Jade Market houses over 500 stalls full of idyllic souvenirs made of the precious material. Those in search of local flavour should also check out the Goldfish Market in Tung Choi Street and the Flower Market Road in Mongkok where fresh flowers are abundantly available.
The Citygate Outlets Mall offer mind-boggling bargains and discounts throughout the year while other highlights in Lantau include the SkyPlaza and the Hong Kong SkyMart. Shopping in downtown Macau is also a shopaholic’s dream come true as it is the go to locale for those luxury items. Home to one of the largest Louis Vuitton outlets on the globe, Coloane Island also hosts several colourful shopping areas and markets while jewellery connoisseurs should go to Taipa Village while Taipa Island offers global brands at duty free rates.
Tsim Sha Tsui in Macau’s Outer Harbour is another must-see locale where furniture antiques and well-known brands are available at affordable prices. Often compared to Bond Street in London the area is a Mecca for those with a flair for style and bargaining.