Hong Kong

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 p
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
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 drin

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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  • 1. LockCha Tea Shop

    Western | Specialty Stores

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

  • 2. Select 18 and Mido Eyeglasses

    Western | Jewelry/Accessories

    Across from the sprawling Oolaa restaurant, two of Hong Kong's best vintage hangouts are in one convenient store. Select 18 has everything from...Read More

  • 3. Squarestreet

    Western | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    You might stumble upon this local gem while wandering around Sheung Wan's evolving Po Hing Fong neighborhood. Founded and designed by Stockholm...Read More

  • 4. Asia Art Archive

    Western | 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...Read More

  • 5. Chateau Zoobeetle

    Sheung Wan | Jewelry/Accessories

    As the only international outpost from French leather goods maison Zoobeetle Paris, this stylish Sheung Wan address combines a few of the best...Read More

  • 6. Eu Yan Sang

    Western | 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...Read More

  • 7. Gaffer Ltd

    Western | Art Galleries

    The city's first gallery specializing in studio glass has a bilevel backdrop of modern glass sculptures by artists from Southeast Asia, Australia...Read More

  • 8. Grana

    Sheung Wan | Clothing

    Founded by Pieter Paul Wittgen and Luke Grana, this online-offline fashion company is known for must-have basics made with quality fabrics,...Read More

  • 9. Lee Fung China Ware Co., Ltd.

    Western | Household Items/Furniture

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

  • 10. Lee Kung Man Knitting Factory

    Western | 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 before...Read More

  • 11. PMQ

    Western | Clothing

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

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  • 12. Sambag

    Western | 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. Find strappy...Read More

  • 13. Sang Woo Loong

    Western | Crafts

    Born in 1915, Mr. Leung Yau Kam is Hong Kong's oldest lantern maker, and he has refused to move his workshop across the border like all the...Read More

  • 14. Sin Sin Atelier

    Western | Clothing

    Everything Sin Sin does is dynamic, exciting, and unique. Her conceptual, minimalist clothing, jewelry, and accessories retain a Hong Kong character...Read More

  • 15. Sin Sin Fine Art

    Western | Art Galleries

    Works by diverse emerging and established artists from Indonesia, Thailand, mainland China, Hong Kong, and other Asian and European countries...Read More

  • 16. Sincere

    Western | Department Stores

    Run by the same family for more than a century, this eclectic department store has several local claims to fame: it was the first store in Hong...Read More

  • 17. Tào Gallery

    Western | Antiques/Collectibles

    Unusual old and new objects from around the globe are sold at the Tào Gallery. Look for black-and-white photography and contemporary or rustic...Read More

  • 18. Vivienne Tam

    Western | Clothing

    You know it when you walk into a Vivienne Tam boutique—the strong Asian-motif prints and modern updates of traditional women's clothing are...Read More

  • 19. W.O.A.W.

    Western | Jewelry/Accessories

    Quirky travel gear, handsome leather goods, hipster accessories: W.O.A.W. (World of Amazing Wonders) stocks an array of smart and stylish items...Read More

  • 20. Wah Tung China Arts

    Western | Household Items/Furniture

    This reliable manufacturer and retailer of predominantly handcrafted ceramics has been in operation since the early days of trade with the West...Read More

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