Whether it’s colonial-era laneways or bustling street markets, Hong Kong is an ideal city to explore. There’s a reason why so many visitors return time and time again to its atmospheric streets – you can find everything from electronics and antiques to the latest sneakers on sale, all the while enjoying the traditional street food and historic buildings.
1. Dried Seafood Street
Whether medicinal or culinary, this is where locals pick up all the dried seafood they need. Image: Getty
Properly known as Des Voeux Rd West and located in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong Island, Dried Seafood Street is home to a variety of vendors selling salted, pickled and dried ingredients for Chinese food dishes and traditional medicines. The shops can offer a fascinating insight into traditional Chinese culture, offering a range of products many visitors probably did not even know existed.
2. Granville Road
A high-street of fashion, Granville Rd in Kowloon features a large variety of boutiques covering everything from youth fashion to streetwear and avant-garde fashion. Fashionistas of all styles and interests will doubtless find something to appeal and impress here.
3. Cat Street
Whether it’s a Chairman Mao poster, an antique vase or a collectible from a bygone era, Cat Street – officially known as Lascar Row and located on Hong Kong Island’s northwest side – is the place to find it. Artworks, jade, silk and wooden handicrafts also feature, as do watches, clocks, stamps, calendars and many other collectibles and curios.
4. Temple Street
Make a night of it at vibrant Temple Street. Image: Getty
Located in front of an Eastern Temple, by night this street turns into a very popular night market with a variety of goods for sale including tea accessories, curios, electronics, watches and antiques – all of which can be followed by traditional Hong Kong cuisine from one of the food vendors.
5. Shanghai Street
Arguably one of the most interesting streets in Hong Kong, Shanghai St is located in Kowloon and features a range of building types, shops and residences, including several traditional shophouses combining a shop on the ground floor with a residence above, as well as the red brick historic Engineers Office of the Former Pumping Station. Shops here are known for their cooking utensils and kitchenware, covering everything one might need for their culinary creating.
6. Li Yuen Street East And West
Chinese silks and other fabrics are just some of the wares on sale at the Li Yuen St markets. Image: Getty
An exotic mix of modern and traditional, the Li Yuen St markets are located in the middle of Hong Kong’s bustling financial centre yet hark back to an earlier time, evoking a traditional bazaar selling a range of fashion items including clothing, accessories, tailored items, factory outlet specials, leatherwear and silk products. Drapery can also be found here, along with souvenirs and ornaments.
7. Nathan Road
The main thoroughfare of Kowloon, Nathan Rd, features a number of historical buildings and sites along the street, including the Peninsular Hotel, the Chungking Mansions, St Andrew’s Church, the Former Kowlooon British School and traditional shophouses, as well as Kowloon Park.
8. Chun Yueng Street
Located on the northern side of Hong Kong Island, Chun Yueng St is a famous series of wet markets, selling fish, poultry, meat and vegetables along the narrow street. Visitors looking for a unique experience can enjoy a ride on one of the island’s famous trams down the street, enjoying the exotic sights and sounds, while those seeking out an essential ingredient can explore the many stalls searching for something special for their cooking.
9. Sneakers Street
Fa Yuen Street in Kowloon is affectionately known to footwear enthusiasts the world over as Sneaker St – and may be one of the world’s largest collections of shoe shops, with the very latest trends and designs available. The focus is on sports footwear, with a range of offerings from well-known brands alongside accessories and general sporting goods as well.
10. Jade Street
There's no shortage of jade in the markets of Hong Kong. Image: Getty
Jade, associated with long life and good fortune, has been an important part of Chinese art and culture for thousands of years. The Jade Market in Kowloon is accompanied by a range of stores part of Canton Rd, which has become known as Jade St, selling a huge variety of jade products, including buttons, rings, pendants, earrings artworks and more – ideal souvenirs or gifts for someone special.