Shopping, Hong Kong
Watch the guys who try to sell you stuff on the streets. I'm sure they prey on tourists to sell them 'cheap' electrial goods and similar things... More often than not, they're not any cheaper than anyone else...they are just trying to make a quick sale.
A good way to not have to worry about them is to not make eye contact and not say hello...as soon as you acknowledge them they think they'll sell you something. If you must say something, then just say "no thanks".
I've been recommended to go to Li Yuen Street (off Central) several times, but when I finally checked it out, I found it to be grossly over-rated.
The street contains several export outlets, but they are not really the big-name stuff. I'm also not too sure about the authenticity of most of the goods, but if you're not particular, you just might find something here.
On weekends, the narrow street is chocked full with foreign workers on their day off, and it's a hassle to navigate through the street.
Unique Suggestions: You can still pick up some surf-y t-shirts at prices from about HKD 20-50 (USD 2.50 - USD 6). But sizes can be limited.
There's also the constant fear of pickpockets due to the heavy human traffic, so hang on to your handbags!
When buying copy purses, insist on the vendors "best" check inside to make sure the finish is of good quality. Check all the zippers to see if they work. Talk them down to at least 1/2 of what they are asking.
A brit friend of mine recommended us to come to Stanley for shopping and sightseeing.
Well, there is not much sightseeing to do ther apart of the landscapes, quite spoilt and the Tin Hau Temple (the temple of the Queen of Heaven and Protectress of Seafarers which was built in 1767. During the First World War period, villagers took asylum from war in this temple. Since then, on the 23rd of March, according to the lunar calender every year, the birthday of TinHou, people come to worship in this temple.
for the shopping, don't come here. Really.
You will get the same stuff in any street market of Mong Kok at a fraction of the price.
I think that the shops here are abusing of the reputation of Stanley to increase prices.
Restaurants are not very good either... Not great quality and quite expensive. I ate at MacDonald's... that gives you an idea of the rest for offer.
Unique Suggestions: Buy your souvenirs elsewhere.
I found this "ALL STAR" T-shirt for kids in Chung King Mansion.
Doraemon and Pikachu are compiled at once on a Hamutaro labeled, Hello Kitty bland T-shirt!!! Anything goes, here!!!!!
Unique Suggestions: Just laugh away!
Fun Alternatives: Buy it!
Stanley Market should be approached with care because some of the items for sale are often a great deal more expensive than they are in other places.
For example; I bought a Powerpuff Girls pencil case for $19 HK (with haggling!!) but I saw it in Fa Yuen St later for $10 HK! I was annoyed to say the least....
This is not to say "do not go there" or "do not buy anything" but just bear in mind that it is more expensive than some other markets.
REMEMBER! Stanley does offer *some* good buys though! I bought a very nice "A&F" mini skirt for $49 HK and a pair of "A&F" short shorts for $10 HK. I never saw those in Fa Yuen St.
Unique Suggestions: I do recommend a visit to Stanley as it is a major tourist attraction, just make sure you don't buy anything unless it's very very cheap!
Visit Fa Yuen St first so you don't get ripped off at Stanley.
Fun Alternatives: Go to other markets, such as Fa Yuen St in Mong Kok (take the KCR to Mong Kok and exit for Grand Century Place Mall then follow the signs to Fa Yuen St, go down the escalators and turn left or right - it's got two sides!
It sells mens' and womens' clothes (and childrens'), shoes, bags, purses/wallets, toys, watches, stationary, Hello Kitty/other charecter items etc etc. You may see Diesel, Miss Sixty, FCUK, Morgan, Paul Frank, Lovers' House, Roxy/ Quiksilver and more. Some are obvious fakes and they go bad after one wash, but others seem to be of better quality. I've heard that some of the clothes from the actual shops on the sides are just rejects. Avoid buying clothes from the stalls as these are almost certainly fake and are of poor quality.
They are set up to trick unsuspecting tourists. Hong Kong is duty free everywhere!
I personally do not understand why tourists would think that a select number of stores would be permitted by the government not to charge sales tax. : (
I have seen many unhappy tourists come back from Hong Kong saying that they were ripped off by buying expensive (& sometimes defective) electronics from the DUTY FREE independent electronic shops.
Fun Alternatives: If you are buying electronics of higher value, make sure you buy it at a large chain electronic store, like Fortress World. Otherwise, buy it at your own risk.
Personally, I would advise buying it back home, because unlike America or Canada, nothing in Hong Kong can be refunded. Also, many small end retailers have a no exchange policy. This helps to keep prices relatively lower.
Things to watch out for in Hong Kong........Indian tailors standing on the streets always wanting to make you a suit.....people on the streets offering to sell fake watches (they are not on show so you have to go inside to look at them).......old chinese men with Rickshaws who demand a 'model' fee if you want to take a photograph.
Unique Suggestions: Just learn to be tolerant and polite.
for people buy expensive stuffs like camera, make sure there is a guarantee certificate with it and dun throw the receipt. Keep it as a reference in case there is any problems with the goods you purchased.
it's quite safe when travelling in hong kong! but there's something a tourist must beware of !! first of all, when shopping in the street market,remember to bargain with the hawker, because they always set a high price! secondly, be careful when shopping in some shops which are selling hi-tech products like dvd or camera in mongkok or tsim sha tsui !! bcz the shop keeper always set a high price or sell some pirated goods !! so, remember to check the price with different shop and choose the shop which sell the goods with a lower price !thirdly, beware of the pick-pocket when travelling in mongkok and sham shui po !!
Be careful when buying herbs/ spices. Shop owners sometimes introduces a certain root. The price quoted in in 'ounce'!! If u do buy these things there, insist on NOT cutting the herbs. Then you can change your mind if you find the price ridiculous. (If it's cut, they will insist that you take it, at a very high price). It helps to bring a local friend along.
HONG KONG MARKETS
Almost everyone will find bargains galore in this lively open-air bazaar. It's open at 2pm and it is busiest from 7pm to 9pm. Its stallholders specialise in inexpensive men's clothing, novelty items, luggage and watches, and other inexpensive merchandise. Fortune-tellers and palm readers, and sometimes Chinese opera singers, make the market a fascinating street theatre.
Mong Kok lies a few blocks to the north. Although parts of the district have been modernized -- it is the site of one of Hong Kong's ambitious redevelopment master plans -- it remains a cheerfully crowded community and a hive of shopping activity.
This daytime equivalent to the Temple Street Night Market is on Tung Choi Street. Open daily from noon to 10:30pm.
With about 70 bird stalls showcasing a variety of melodious songbirds, this garden, with its courtyards and moongates, is a delight. Songbirds remain a favourite pet of some local men, and the garden is testimony to the excessive pampering they receive. Free; open from about 7am - 8pm.
On Tung Choi Street south of Prince Edward Road West, this market is where fish fanciers hook good deals on everything from intricate underwater furniture to fluorescent fish. Most shops open from 10am - 6pm.
Located on Flower Market Road near Prince Edward Road West, colourful blooms from all over the world are sold both wholesale and retail. Open from 7am - 7pm.
Stanley. Ok, it is beautiful, there are a lot of things to buy, and prices aren't ridiculous. But this would definitely stand out as the one place that is trumpetted by all the tourist brochures that to me doesn't really justify the hype. The market there is very touristy, vendors selling souvenirs that appeal to westerners. Perhaps that's what bothers me the most - the items sold there tend to more be the stereotype-perpetuating sort.
It is rather out of the way as well, but the ride to the southern part of the Island is a scenic one. And if you're checking out Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay, then this is a logical destination as well. In other words, if you do go, it's not a loss. Nice scenary, quiet spots, good transit connections. If you're pressed for time though, and are thinking of going there because it was recommended in the guidebook, then don't. Stop at Repulse Bay instead and save yourself a little bit of time.
Stanley market is a trap, but go to at least look around. And go there by double decker bus #6 or 6A. Most of the stuff is junklie and not particulary cheap. Most of this can be bought in any US Chinatown.
You should be carefull when going out shopping for expensive items at the markets in Mong Kok and Kowloon. Particularly on electronics, as you will find that by paying slightly more in Central will also give you assurance that you got what you paid for.