Nathan Road, Hong Kong
The lower end of Nathan Road Kowloon used to be known as The Golden Mile. I can only assume that this was because the touts lined their pockets with tourist "gold". It is well documented (by VT members and travel bloggers) that this area of Hong Kong is where tourists are most likely to be parted from their money by dubious means.
By all means join the crowds that jostle for space on the footpath day and night. Its a vibrant area and as you head up Nathan Road you will pass the legendary Chungking Mansions on the right hand side between Middle Road and Mody Road.
Despite it being a fire trap that should really be demolished Chungking Mansions remains firmly entrenched as a tourist attractions of sorts. Its an eclectic collection of retail stores, grimy hole in the wall Indian restaurants and shabby guesthouses. There is nothing to see inside. I would just stop and think "oh that's where the infamous Chungking Mansions is" and then walk on by. Honestly if you can afford to be in Hong Kong you can afford to stay somewhere other than Chungking Mansions. The YMCA in Salisbury Road would be a much cleaner and safer alternative. The Dragon Hotel is also a good budget option.
Unique Suggestions: This is not a reputable area for buying electronic equipment so dont allow yourself to be talked into buying a new camera or even a rolex watch for that matter. Even if you think you are smart enough to know when you are being scammed take a few moments to read tips from fellow VT members about their experiences with camera shops in this part of town.
Touts will approach you but wont harass you so a firm no to their requests to purchase a copy watch or copy handbag is all that is needed. I know they want to make a sale but I think to pass the time they quite enjoy picking out tourists in the bustling crowd. Don't bother trying to blend in, they can spot a tourist a mile away figuratively speaking.
We didn't read these posts before shopping on this road, and like everyone else here got ripped off horribly. The Gallant Store is just a den of thieves.
Went back to the store and called them on it, they basically agreed that yes they had ripped us off, but so what, its your own fault. Absolute crooks and thieves, and I will never return to HongKong based on my experiences in just 2 days here.
Unique Suggestions: If you come to HongHong, avoid NathanRoad entirely. I would not shop here at all. better to do duty free shopping at the airport.
Fun Alternatives: My honest advice, simply avoid HongKong all together...it is overhyped, polluted, overcrowded, pushy, garish, and full of crooks just waiting to take your hard earned money.
I cannot find one positive thing to say about this place.
We were ripped off horribly at New Year 2013 by salespersons in this store. They are deceitful and cheaters. Never give them your credit card and make sure that you check the product model numbers and that everything is included. OPEN THE PRODUCT and do not let them go out the back to repack it. DO NOT EVER GO THERE. They will steal your money. The products we bought were not what they said, twice the price they are in OZ and did not have all information.
Stay away from PERFECT DIGITAL. People there are liars, thieves, and scammers! First they will lie to you about the availability of the product you intend to buy and its price. When they get you to sit down, they will offer another product that's much more INFERIOR with all sorts of lies surrounding it (that it's newer, it's better, etc) at an EXTREMELY EXORBITANT price - about 5X its actual market value. You will only realize this sadly after you've made the wrong decision to purchase. So please take it from me - STAY AWAY FROM PERFECT DIGITAL! It's a TRAP!
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go to a tourist trap, at least follow these rules
1. Remember to STICK to what you had intended to buy. DON'T BE SWAYED.
2. Confirm the price
3. When they say they have a new stock, CONFIRM the new stock (WAIT FOR IT, inspect it, and HOLD IT IN YOUR HANDS. DO NOT PAY FOR THE PRODUCT/THE NEW STOCK UNTIL YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR HANDS. DON'T PART WITH YOUR CASH/CREDIT CARD UNTIL YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THEY HAVE THE PRODUCT IN STOCK, and that THE PRODUCT IS IN YOUR HANDS.
4. After careful inspection of the product, only then should you pay for it. TRY TO PAY IN CASH, as you'll never know what they'll do with your credit card.
5. BE DEAF TO THEIR OFFERS TO PURCHASE OTHER PRODUCTS.
6. After making payment, leave.
However, the best advice is still this - STAY AWAY FROM THESE SHOPS!
Fun Alternatives: There are still reputable bargain shops. The best thing to do is to . . .
1. Check out the blogs for the user reviews,
2. Listen to your friends (those who have already gone to those safe bargain electronic / camera shops), or
3. Just go to FORTRESS.
Gallant store, 80 Nathan rd, Hong Kong. Stay away from this store. They are thieves. They are deceitful and rude. Do not give them your credit card and make sure they open any products in front of you. DO NOT GO HERE. They will surely rip you off.
Beware of a chinese woman who sell mini dried abalone along the wet market in Reclamation Street near Jordan/Shanghai Street. She is a swindler, who cheat tourists of their money together with her few other accomplice putting up a show having 1 of her accomplice (call her accomplice1) pretending to be a customer standing at the stall picking a bag full of mini abalones just to attract potential prey especially the tourists to stop and browse at the stall. When a potential prey stop by the stall, the accomplice1 will start talking and keep on emphasising that "the mini abalones are really really cheap... blah...blah...blah... with the promotion of buy 1 jin get 1 jin free.... she usually buy a lot when the price are good like this stall as it is rarely that cheap... blah..blah...blah", accomplice2 and accomplice3 now walk to the stall pretending to be attracted by the crowd and then start picking hardworkingly and accomplice2 who have picked 2 full bags then pretending to pay and keep saying it's cheap... accomplice1 and accomplice3 continue picking the mini abalones with their talk about how cheap they are as they picked.
Actually, the abalone aren't really that cheap only the tourists would fall for it as most of the shopkeepers there knew about it. I or actually my mum (we're not local) was a victim who fell for the trap. I happen to found out about it recently after secretly observing the swindlers from a far corner when I walk pass the same stall one weekend and find the customer (accomplice1) familiar when she had just finish picking a full bag of the mini abalones and I decide to watch if she is really paying for them. No she didn't, she pass the bag to the stall owner and the stall owner actually empty the bag and pass the empty bag back to accomplice1 who again continue to pick the mini abalones. I've been watching them for about 30-45mins and noticed that they talk as they picked and accomplice1 would picked 5 but only throw 1 into the bag, the stall owner also pretend to help her to pick and would occasionally pass her 1 or 2.
There is nothing I can do even when I knew about it after consulting some local friends and colleauge about it even if I want to report them. I'm damn frustrated and unhappy about it as I've spend about 2k-3k the last time when I can't do anything after finding out!
Nathan road is filled with shops selling cameras and lenses. BEWARE. PLEASE BUY WHAT YOU NEED AND NOT WHAT THEY RECOMMEND AS THEY WILL CHEAT YOU BY OVER QUOTING WHEN IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY IT WILL BE FAR CHEAPER. BUY IN FORTRESS OR BROADWAY . I GOT CHEATED BY A CLEVER SALESMAN. I WANTED TO BUY 24 - 105 LENS. ALMOST PURCHASED IT, BUT THE SALESMAN CONVINCED ME AND SOLD ME A SIGMA 18 -200 MM LENS FOR A HIGHER PRICE THAN THE ACTUAL SHOWROOM PRICE. CONNED!!!!!!!
Unique Suggestions: BUY WHAT YOU HAVE REFERENCE POINT OF. DONT BUY WHAT THEY SUGGEST.
Fun Alternatives: GO TO FORTRESS.
hello everyone!thank you for all those who took time to share their experiences in hongkong here and be able to help others by writing the "real life" encounters they had. we are visiting hongkong almost every year for the past 15 years and much to my surprise we had a real bad experience during our last visit, which was just recently (june 28, 2012). my husband and I were on our way to "the one mall" when we decided to stop at "GALLANT STORE" along nathan road very Giordano cor humphrey's ave. and nathan rd. we were looking for a sony lens and we were assisted by a guy names "KENI". he gave me a good price for the lens which was actually $200 less of the current price in the philippines. then my husband asked for the price of an ipad 3 and gave him a good deal too. keni turned me over to another guy who referred to me as a "camera guru". he asked for my credit card and let me signed the receipt which was manually done and told me to wait for the new stock.while i was waiting, my husband was offered by an "ACER ICONIA A500" by keni and told him that the ipad 3 he was looking for was not a good choice that it was a US version and cannot be updated.we were shocked to know that there are ipad 3's on this status and condition. he made my husband buy this acer iconia a500 promising him it was the latest one from acer and the price was down to 4000hkd. he immediately asked for his credit card, swiped it and signed the electronic receipt so that he can explore and test the product. we called our friend from the philippines and had her checked the price of the acer iconia a500 since we were not aware of this one because my husband was after the ipad 3. to cut the story short, KENI fooled by promising that it was the latest from acer when acer already released the a510. we went to other stores (chungking side) and it was only 2800hkd. SO PLEASE, NEVER LET YOURSELVES BY FOOLED BY THESE KIND OF PEOPLE. NEVER PATRONIZE GALLANT STORE ALONG NATHAN ROAD, TST. BETTER TO GO AND BUY FROM FORTRESS AND BROADWAY. LET'S BE ONE IN AVOIDING "GALLANT STORE" ALONG NATHAN ROAD, VERY NEAR GIORDANO HUMPHREY'S MTR STATION, TST, KOWLOON.!
Wont bore you with additional details, as nothing has changed. It is January 2012 and I am staying in a hotel in TST Hong Kong. We are very near Nathan Road. The camera shop tourist traps are alive and well, stay away. By the way the prices at Fortress are comparable if not more than US prices. Stick to Amazon and EBAY, or buy in the US. No great electronic deals here in HK.
Hi, I just purchased a new camera at Gallant in Nathan Rd. I bought a Canon 600D with a new lense. Negotiated the price they thru in 16GB card lense filters etc, I was happy with the price paid for it had it packaged and then they tell me their camera Guru will come and explain how the camera works, I said no its ok my brother has one back in Aus I know how to use it. Any way cut a long story short I was forced to sit down and look at this camera. Next minute the camera guru is out talking to me about my camera and goes and gets another camera out of the window telling me this is the newest canon and was released this month in Oct '11. I got very confused googled it, the net tells me was released in september 2010???? after much pushing and throwing in more products I walked out without my Canon 600D but with a Canon SX30IS and a Rollei Macro lense!!!! Now I am back in Aus i realise the lens is worth nothing and Camera I could have got for $370 mot the $620 I paid!!!!
Fun Alternatives: Study hard if you are buying electronics and know everything including the price about them.
I wish I had come across the information on shops on Nathan road before I went to Hong Kong. It happened to me the way it happened to others who share similar experience of shopping in shops on Nathan Road.
I went into a shop, second right shop to the entrance of Chung King Mansion, asking for a SD memory card. Then I asked about IPAD 2, and we agree on the price. While waiting for the IPAD, the salesman tried to convince us that we cannot use IPAD2 as it was US locked version. Then he showed EPAD, ARCHOS model and give the higher price than IPAD. We were trapped with their reliable look. They do not look like cheating, they look like a smart salesperson trying to give good choice to customers.
This is not just one experience as I found later similar stories on the internet. If more than 80% never came across this warning, these shops are making huge profit and no attempt to stop them. Local people are aware of these, they can't do anything. There is no red light from official units, is it mean they are given a green light to do these business?
Fun Alternatives: Don't go inside or walk by these shops on Nathan Road.
Spread the information.
Everyone who will go to Hong Kong must be aware of this site.
You will notice sometimes men dressed as buddhist monks, with a metalbowl in their hand asking for money. Please DO NOT give them any money under any circumstances, because 100% ALL of them are fake!!! They are Central china men on tourist visas in HK working as a syndicate to cheat money from unsuspecting tourists. It's pathetic and sad to see they even thought up this cheap trick.
Unique Suggestions: Real monks NEVER asks money on the street, they are too busy with chores at their temples. Btw, buddhist temples never had to resolve to this kind method for donations, there are enough devotees from everywhere to provide them that. Just smile and walk away, call the police if they pester you further.
Fun Alternatives: By giving money to beggars, you are not helping them at all. Instead, they think this is a real easy way for some quick cash (and often it's true). Idf U had to show your kindness, at least pick your subject, like buskers who at least making an effort by playing some music.
United Power A and P, Nathan Road is a shop to avoid.
KNowing what I wanted and the price, I was persuaded it was not a good buy for me and my photographic skills.
I was consequenty overcharged by nearly £200 for a different camera.
Though I really like the camera and it is easy to use, they really ripped me off.
Lesson learnt; know exactly what yo want and what you SHOULD pay. (It was even £100 cheaper on the plane coming home!)
Thank you United Power, A and P, Nathan Road
Be very carefull when shoppinng for those in Nathan road and vicinity. Not all shops use bad tricks, but quite a lot. You should know exactly wat you want before, and prices in your country (for europe you could try for instance: http://geizhals.at/eu/)
Fun Alternatives: I usualy prefer to shop in Mongok
Nathan Road is one of the busiest streets in Kowloon, with a high number of Indian salemen lingering seeking out the naive Western tourist, they can be very direct and hands on. Some of the goods can be of poor quality, although there are many good Indian taylors here so don't assume they're all crooked.