Hong Kong is a center of trade and business no wonder that shopping is also big in Hong Kong. You can find all the major brands you can think off in many different areas and shopping centers throughout the city. But there is a secret place you should give a try which is most likely not in your tourist guide as it gives you a shopping experience of the “working class”.
Sham Shui Po is located in one of the probably poorest areas of Hong Kong but Sham Shui Po is getting more and more developed. However, Sham Shui Po is still not as prosperous as some other parts of Hong Kong. It’s shops and street market caters mostly two categories: electronics and clothing.
Besides the shopping, Sham Shui Po offers an authentic street food cuisine with many restaurants throughout the streets. This is the real Hong Kong experience and it’s far off from all the tourist traps and finance world.
Apliu Street Flea Market
The nerd in you can find computers, electronics parts, tools, gadgets, accessories and even children toys. Besides new stuff, you can find also cheap second-hand goods here as well. This is also a great spot for DIY fans. The market is open from late morning until late evening and the street is closed for traffic after 12 p.m. and is for pedestrians only. Come here in the early afternoon hours when all the shops are open but people are still working, which gives you more space to navigate the shops. Most shops are open every day except major holidays like Chinese New Year but even then you find some of the stalls in the street open. Most shops close here around 8 to 9 p.m.
It is located next to the historic Sham Shui Po Police Station. You will find dining, high tech shopping, and local brands on nine levels with a mini-mall called Apple Mall, which focuses on tiny shops offering funky fashion and accessories. Inside is a food court as well as a skating-ring.
Ki Lung Street
This is the perfect place if you are looking for fabrics, clothing and fashion accessories. It is a short walk from the MTR station. When you leave Exit C2 just walk straight ahead and after two blocks you hit Ki Lung Street.
How to get to Sham Shui Po:
The nearest MTR station is Sham Shui Po on the Hong Kong – Tsuen Wan line. Follow the signs towards Dragon Centre and Exit C2. This will bring you right to Apliu Street Flea Market. To get to the Dragon Centre walk down Apliu Street to the right after exiting C2 all the way to Yen Chow Street. From there you can see the Dragon Centre across of the street to your left.
Be prepared to point with your fingers to get what you want if your Cantonese is not very good. Only very few people here speak English but they are willing and open to communicate with you, even without speaking the same language. Many of the stores offer the same or similar products and items. Walk down the streets and check out all the shops before you buy something. Try to buy as many pieces in one place and you can even bargain with the shops to get a great deal.
I love shopping here as you can get great stuff for a very low budget. This is one of the best shopping places away from the tourist traps in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui.
By the way, did you know that Sham Shui Po was once a coastal settlement? I didn’t either until reading up on the history of this place. In the 1970s land reclamation cut off Sham Shui Po from the water and moved it inland where it is now. Hong Kong is constantly reclaiming land on both sides of the Victoria Harbour. You can see it in many spots throughout Hong Kong.