A Shopper's Guide to Hong Kong

If you are one of those people that has heard about the amazing things to buy in Hong Kong but doesn't even have a clue where to start, the Paranoid Traveler has the answers for you. From branded overruns to popular gadgets, we'll tell you where to shop, where to spend the night and what to buy in Hong Kong...

Where to Shop for What in HK

best places to shop hong kong
Hong Kong Shopping Cheap / Image Source: Beijing Feeling
Hong Kong is one big shopping strip. No one can escape its robust commercialism where urban capitalism is alive and very much well. It might not even be an exaggeration to say that whatever you need, you can find it here---if you know where to look. Below are five of the most popular shopping destinations that will either help stretch your wallet or drain it.

hong kong shopping street
Image Source: Wikimedia
Take the Mass Transit Rail (MTR) and get off at the following stations: 
(The text colors below correspond to the color schemes of the actual MTR lines.) 

CHAI WAN LINE

Wan Chai

If you’re looking for branded export overruns, Wan Chai is littered with shops that sell both unbranded and branded clothes at a very cheap price. To find them, just hit every store following the tram tracks. Don’t expect glossy shops announcing what they carry. Most look very unassuming even disorderly. Some just dump everything in a wooden box for you to rummage through. You need to be quick when you do this because you have competing customers looking for the same stuff. I once had a slight tug-of-war with a big man over a D&G leather jacket priced at HK$100 that I easily gave in. Not worth getting beat up over it.


what to buy in hong kong
Hong Kong Shopping Mall / Image Source: Wikimedia
Causeway Bay

If you don’t feel light battling it out, get off at the next station, Causeway Bay, where you will find malls and big shops side by side: Sogo, Time Square, Hysan Place, Island Beverly Centre, Fashion Walk, etc. Squeezed in-between are smaller (but equally competitive) shops and flea market types.


TUNG CHUNG LINE

Tung Chung

If you don’t like to pay retail for branded clothes and don’t like to rummage through export overruns as well, Citygate Outlet Mall is for you. It houses brands as high-end as Burberry and Bally down to the mid-priced brands like Giordano and Esprit at knocked-down prices. But beware: just because it’s an outlet store doesn’t necessarily mean they’re super cheap especially the luxury brands. Some are still way too pricey that only die-hard fashionistas with no cash problem can afford to shop. I can only afford to try them on.


hong kong shopping blog
Hong Kong Shopping Factory Outlets / Image Source: Wikimedia
TSUEN WAN LINE

Tsim Sha Tsui

Fortress and Broadway are the more popular electronics chain shops in Hong Kong and they can be found anywhere. But if you want them cheaper, head to Tsim Sha Tsui. By cheap, we mean, at least it’s cheaper compared to Manila. I once bought a digital camera, priced in Manila at PhPP55,000, for PhP35,000 but shop at your own risk. The sales clerks will circle around you like vultures for  psychological pressure. Some will try to pull a fast one on you. They will insist that the product that you want is in stock somewhere else that you have to make a down payment first before they will bother to retrieve it for you to see. I’ve experienced this and I just walked away. Some try to dissuade you from buying what you came for and offer a newer model with a higher price tag to which I actually succumbed. (No regrets though with my purchase, at least I was not conned in to buying something fake.)


hong kong shopping markets
Hong Kong Shopping Electronics / Image Source: Wikimedia
Mongkok

But if you’re a flea market shopper, go to the night markets at Mongkok where you will find all sorts of things to satisfy the shopaholic in you from clothes to accessories to toys to linens. Some clothes though are obviously fake so be careful unless you’re into that. You can haggle with the vendors but you need to be firm. You counter them with a fair price (as they need to earn to make a living) and walk away if they refuse. Don’t be surprised when seconds later, you hear someone shouting and running after you, agreeing to your terms.
Hong Kong Shopping Street / Image Source: Lonely Planet
Mongkok is also the headquarters of the one of the world’s most popular collectible action figure manufacturers, Hot Toys. Its main shop even resembles a museum complete with geeky Star Trek-ish slide doors.


Traveler's Notes: Get the Tourist Day Pass which you can use for 24 hours if you’re planning to hit all districts successively within that time frame. It will save you time and money. You just need to present your passport and date of arrival.

However, if you want a breather, get the Octopus card which is a prepaid card for your commute (as well as grocery and fast food expenses) to avoid wasting time waiting in line at the ticket machine.

Alternatively, you can do both: get a Tourist Day Pass for the first 24 hours and an Octopus for the succeeding shopping days.

If you want to treat yourself on the flight over, give Cathay Pacific's Premium Economy Class a try. It's an affordable way to enjoy an enhanced in-flight experience that is a step well above the rest. 

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