Mong Kok & Yau Ma Tei
Shopping Galore in Hong Kong: Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok Street Markets
Hong Kong is known around the world as a shopping mecca, and rightly so: the vibrant metropolis is home to countless malls and street markets, showcasing local wares and international brands side-by-side. To see this exciting contrast of East and West in action, TripGuru recommends going to the areas of Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok, home to the territory’s most popular night markets.
First up is the Mong Kok area, popular for the Ladies’ Market and Sneakers Street. Despite the name, the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street doesn’t just sell items for women. There’s a wide variety of apparel for men and women, plus souvenirs on sale. Meanwhile, Sneakers Street (officially Fa Yuen Street) is just a block away; true to its name, it’s basically a long row of shoe stores selling top brands at great prices. Contrast this with the Yau Ma Tei area, which has more traditional markets. One such night market is the one on Temple Street, named as such for the Tin Hau Temple in its heart; and the Jade Market, where the lucky stone is available in abundant quantities.
These stark contrasts between the markets are due to the areas’ different natures. The Mong Kok area is a very commercial part of town, with electronics and cosmetics stores lining its streets, their bright and flashy neon signs lighting up the night. Meanwhile, the Yau Ma Tei street markets cater more to residents, with some stalls even selling fresh food and produce. That said, it’s best to practice haggling for goods in both markets. Shopkeepers would often show you the price of items by punching it in on a calculator, while buying items in bulk can help you in negotiating for a good discount.
Since these street markets are popular among locals and travelers alike, several MTR stations service these areas. For Mong Kok, simply disembark at Mong Kok MTR station and walk east to reach the Ladies’ Market and Sneakers Street. Meanwhile, the markets at Yau Ma Tei can be reached by either walking from Yau Ma Tei or Jordan MTR stations. Several bus and mini-bus routes also connect these two areas to each other and the rest of the territory. It’s also best to visit Mong Kok on a weekend night—while there are more crowds, you can also watch street performers show off their talents as streets are closed to vehicular traffic. The Yau Ma Tei markets, meanwhile, are great to explore any day of the week starting in the late afternoons.