Start your tour of the markets early afternoon, then proceed from the Flowers to the Birds, then to the Goldfish and finally to the Ladies, that way you catch them all when they are thriving!
Mong Kok, often abbreviated as MK, is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District in Hong Kong. It’s quite bonkers: with a soaring population density of 130,000 people per square kilometre, it once earned the dubious honour of being the busiest district in the world from the Guinness Book of World Records. But if you can handle the crowds, MK surely has the best shopping that Hong Kong can offer.
It’s the heart of a modern metropolis, but it has retained its essential, traditional character by providing a home for the dazzling array of markets, small shops and food stalls that have been squeezed out by development in other districts. Now certain streets have earned unofficial nicknames thanks to the trades and wares that are concentrated there: Ladies Market, Sneakers Street and Goldfish Market, to name a few.
The Ladies Market is perfect for those faux-designer goods. If you’re hankering for some Mulberry or Louis Vitton, then this could be the place for you. It’s always busy, and always fun. Even in the evenings when stalls start closing it has a great atmosphere. Goldfish Market is very nearby and is quite literally where you buy goldfish. But you can also find all sorts of other aquatic creatures and equipment here, from crabs to mudfish to seahorses. Even if you aren’t settling down with a pet in Hong Kong, it’s well worth a visit.
Other highlights include the brilliant bouquets of the Flower Market — it’s particularly beautiful near the Chinese New Year when it’s brimming with narcissi, orange trees and plum blossom for locals to decorate their homes with. In a similar, natural vein, the Yuen Po Bird Garden is a treat — you’ve most likely never seen anything quite like it. Keeping songbirds is a popular pastime for elderly Chinese folks, and here shaded stalls are packed with chirping and chirruping birds of all kinds. Watch the stall owners feed them live crickets with chopsticks!
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