Night Market Shopping in Temple Street

This is part of 2016 Hong Kong Travel series. Few weeks ago I posted about affordable delicious food in Hong Kong. I thought I’d share my shopping experience in an older but touristy of Yau Ma Tei (formerly known as Waterloo), more specifically the famous shopping area called Temple Street (or “miu gai” in Cantonese).

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Temple Street is famous for a myriad options for cheap bargains.  I arrived Hong Kong at night and stayed at Metro Inn which was literally a street away from Temple Street. I didn’t plan it that way but it was certainly a nice place to be at, because I can always come back later at night and it’d still be buzzling with people shopping and eating until 11:00 p.m.

We had dinner prior to checking out Temple Street and I was not as thrilled during my first visit because only a few vendors who were selling cheap quality knock offs where still open and the humidity was also getting to me.

I was quite glad that I visited Temple Street again the next evening at an earlier time, around 6 p.m.  Indeed, the two to three blocks stretch of this street was filled with tourists and local shoppers hunting for bargains.

Jades jewelries can be found at many stalls. It’s quite common in Hong Kong as jade is significant in Chinese culture. It is a precious stone that signifies five virtues, benevolence(仁), righteousness(義), wisdom(智), brave(勇) and honest and clean(潔). Most of the jade you’d find in the streets though are just not of high quality.

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Souvenir Hong Kong T-Shirts are also abundant in Temple Street. Aside from the ones that has the word “Hong Kong” on them, there are also plenty of “Bruce Lee” t-shirts plus miniature figurine. So if you are a martial arts fan, you should come to Temple Street and go crazy with your fix of the late Chinese martial arts icon.

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Chinese Food Magnets and Trinkets. One of the cool finds in Temple Street for me were these cute magnets that looked like Asian dishes (dimsum, bowl of noodles with meat, sushi, tonkatsu bento box and etc.). I bought a few of these for myself and some for friends who love to eat or cook!  There are also plenty of cute key chains of popular Chinese cartoon and Japanese manga characters (Doraemon).

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Plush Toys are also abundant in Temple Street.  Although I’ve outgrown this phase of collecting plush toys, it was still very tempting for me to grab a few. They are so cheap here in temple street and if you are good at bargaining, you can get them at a steal.

One thing I’ll add about Hong Kong vendors in Temple Street is that they are motivated sellers and sometimes aggressive, so as long as you seem like a serious buyer to them, they will make a price offer that’s hard to resist.   But if you don’t look like you are really interested to begin with, some irate vendors might mutter under their breath and call you names in Cantonese for “wasting” their time. LOL.   This is based on what I saw happen to another foreigner.

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Traditional Chinese Clothes is to be expected although the quality won’t be superior. Still, if you are looking for a bargain and only wear these traditional outfit maybe for rare occasions, this is a good place to stop for qi bao.

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Affordable Massage Parlors are abundant in Temple Streetto entice the tired tourists from hours of shopping spree. On average, the cost of an hour of foot massage there is only $20 USD and around $40 USD for body massage. Don’t expect any fancy ambiance, real estate is at premium in Hong Kong so most places are cramped. Do your homework in advance and check online for massage parlors with positive reviewers before making reservations.

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I would highly recommend to anyone to checkout this area of Hong Kong for shopping even if not for the cheap finds, the energy around the area is quite worth the experience.

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