Hong Kong Shopping

They say the only way to get to know a place is to do what the locals do. When in Rome, scoot around on a Vespa and drink espresso. When in Hong Kong, shop. For most people in this city, shopping is a leisure activity, whether that means picking out a four-figure party dress, rifling through bins at an outlet, upgrading a cell phone, or choosing the freshest fish for dinner.

Shopping is

so sacred that sales periods are calendar events, and most stores close on just three days a year—Christmas Day and the first two days of Chinese New Year. Imagine that: 362 days of unbridled purchasing. Opening hours are equally conducive to whiling your life away browsing the racks: all shops are open until 7 or 8 pm; many don't close their doors until midnight.

It's true that the days when everything in Hong Kong was mind-bogglingly cheap are over. It is still a tax-free port, so you can get some good deals. But it isn't just about the savings. Sharp contrasts and the sheer variety of experiences available make shopping here very different from back home.

You might find a bargain or two elbowing your way through a chaotic open-air market filled with haggling vendors selling designer knockoffs, the air reeking of the chou tofu ("stinky" tofu) bubbling at a nearby food stand. But then you could find a designer number going for half the usual price in a hushed marble-floor mall, the air scented by the designer fragrances of your fellow shoppers. What's more, in Hong Kong the two extremes are often within spitting distance of each other.

Needless to say, thanks to travelers like you running out of space in their suitcases, Hong Kong does a roaring trade in luggage. No need to feel guilty, though—shopping here is practically cultural research. All you're doing is seeing what local life is really like.

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Hong Kong Shopping

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Asia Art Archive

  • Specialty Stores

The AAA saw it before the rest of us: contemporary Asian art is big. In 2000 the Asian Art Archive set out to address the lack of information...

Chocolate Rain

  • Jewelry/Accessories

The collections—dreamed up by a Hong Kong fine arts graduate—consist of pieces handcrafted from recycled materials, such as fabrics,...

Eu Yan Sang

  • Perfume/Cosmetics

The Sheung Wan area is a quaint and pungent place to shop for traditional Chinese herbs and medicines, but this reliable Asia-wide chain—in...

Gaffer Ltd

  • Art Galleries

The city's first gallery specializing in studio glass—which is gaining respect in the collecting world—has moved to the Western district...

Hanlin Gallery

  • Antiques/Collectibles

For Japanese works of art, antiques, modern ceramics, and woodblocks, visit this refined gallery run by specialist Carlos Prata since...

Lee Fung China Ware Co., Ltd.

  • Ceramics/Glassware

Friendly service and a decent selection of Chinese and western-style dinnerware make this a good one-stop shop. It also carries vases...

Lee Kung Man Knitting Factory

  • Clothing

This hole-in-the-wall shop has a surprisingly long history: it dates back to the early 1920s in Guangzhou, where the brand got its start...

LockCha Tea Shop

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

Beloved by connoisseurs, LockCha Tea House is a peaceful little enclave in the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. LockCha has a reputation...

PMQ

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

Formerly the Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters, this renovated heritage building now plays host to more than 100 of Hong Kong’s...

Sambag

  • Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

Aussie boutique Sambag touched down in Hong Kong in 2013, bringing its quality leather kicks and colorful summer accessories with it.

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