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Just north of Hong Kong Island is the Kowloon peninsula: a densely populated area with a plethora of markets. Along with modern shopping malls selling almost any product imaginable, there are traditional street markets unlike anything you’ll find back home. Spend an afternoon touring the best of Kowloon’s markets and get your camera ready…you never know what you’ll find.
Hong Kong’s largest outdoor market is on Tung Choi Street in Kowloon and is a great place to start. Tourists are common, but even though it’s not completely authentic, it’s worth a visit just to see the sheer number of vendors and items for sale. If you’re shopping and not just browsing, be sure to bargain!
Temple Street Night Market
Starting in the evening and lasting until midnight, the Temple Street Night Market is on every travelers’ checklist. Just about anything you can think of is for sale and street food is widely available. However, the real draw here is to watch musicians, singers, and other entertainers who travel the streets while the market is open.
In a bustling city, it may seem strange to stop and smell the roses but at Kowloon’s flower market, you’ll be greeted by natural fragrances. Beautiful orchids, tulips, and other flowers are arranged carefully and purchasing a bouquet is an inexpensive way to spice up the rooms in Kowloon hotels or surprise a loved one.
If you thought the flower market was colorful, wait until you see the goldfish market. In Hong Kong culture, it is believed that fish bring wealth, so goldfish and tropical fish make great pets for families. Additionally, the market is home to turtles, snakes, and lizards, making it an interesting place to peruse even if you have no intention of adopting a goldfish.
Since Kowloon residents often live in small apartments, another popular pet is the songbird. Usually, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden is frequented by old men, all feeding or cooing over their beloved birds. Further in the garden is the market section, with birds, cages, and live insects meant as bird food for sale.
If you’re shopping for jewelry or accessories, be sure to visit the Jade Market. More than 400 vendors sell products made from this green stone, though it’s important to know how to tell the difference between jade and fake, similar stones. Only real jade will protect you from evil spirits and it’s also thought to keep illnesses away.
Kowloon City Market
While many of the other markets in Kowloon are great for souvenir shopping, locals and tourists alike visit the city market to look for affordable food. At the city market, you’ll find tons of Asian fruits that make perfect snacks for touring. Purchase mangoes, rambutan, longan, and the infamous durian, which everyone either loves or hates.
Even if you’re not a shopper, you’ll want to check out these Kowloon markets to experience a large part of Hong Kong culture.
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