Hong Kong Shopping and nightlife
Shopping in Hong Kong
Whether shopping in modern air-conditioned shopping centres or more traditional street markets (where bargaining is still practiced), the range of goods available in Hong Kong is vast. Many famous brands have opened outlets in Hong Kong, bringing the latest styles and great variety. Look out for the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) sign, which is given to accredited shops and restaurants under a scheme run by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Generally speaking, Central is a good bet for high-end shopping including lots of designer goods and department stores, such as Shanghai Tang (which is outfitted in 1930s Shanghai style). There’s good general shopping in Causeway Bay, which is home to the huge Times Square mall. On a smaller scale, the Western Market (near Sheung Wan station) is an Edwardian-style building that was renovated into a shopping complex in the early 1990s. It’s a pleasant place to look for handicrafts. Nathan Road in Kowloon used to be the place for cheap electronic goods, but these days there’s too much chance of getting ripped off. Visitors are better off heading somewhere like Wan Chai Computer Centre or Mong Kok Computer Centre for these items.
For an authentic market experience, head to Mong Kok in Kowloon, which is home to a bird market, ladies’ market (for clothing), goldfish market (the fish are said to bring good luck) and flower market. A few streets south, in Yau Ma Tei, are the jade market and Temple Street night market (where there is plenty of choice of food stalls as well as all manner of cheap goods). To the northwest of Mong Kok, the down-at-heel district of Sham Shui Po has a popular flea market and cheap clothing sold from wholesale warehouses.
Except for a few items, such as alcohol and cigarettes, Hong Kong is a duty-free port.
Shopping hours may vary greatly, so the following are approximate. Hong Kong Island (Central and Western): 1000-1900 (1000-2000 along Queen’s Road). Hong Kong Island (Causeway Bay and Wan Chai), Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok): 1000-2130. Many shops are open on Sundays.
Nightlife in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a good mix of nightlife, with lively nightclub and bar scenes – which tend to get going late and carry on until dawn – as well as cultural events such as concerts, plays and exhibitions. The best areas for a drink include SoHo (‘South of Hollywood Road’), which can be reached via the Central-Mid Levels Escalator and is particularly popular with expats. Nearby Lan Kwai Fong is a little rowdier with lots of bars and restaurants spilling out into the street; Wan Chai is also known for its nightlife (including a rather seedy main strip). Over in Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui buzzes at night, particularly around Knutsford Terrace.
Major events are held at venues including the distinctively stark Hong Kong Cultural Centre (www.hkculturalcentre.gov.hk), which has a 2,100-seat Concert Hall, 1,750-seat Grand Theatre, and a studio theatre with 300 to 500 seats. Hong Kong Art Centre (www.hkac.org.hk) in Wan Chai also holds a wide variety of performances. There are also many smaller venues putting on theatre, dance and other events; some bars have regular live music.