Monday, May 26, 2014

Traveling Tuesday: Streets and Markets of Mong Kok

Mong Kok is always buzzing with things to do.  Today, we did the touristy thing and checked out most of the street markets:

1.  Goldfish Market
A good starting point for checking out the markets of Mong Kok can be starting with Goldfish Market on Mong Kok Road and Tung Choi Street.  They open relatively earlier than the other markets, so if you are jet lagged and are itching to get out and around, it's a good place to start.

2.  Fa Yuen Street
From the Goldfish Market (which sort of ends around Nullah Road), take a right and you'll hit Fa Yuen Street.  The Fa Yuen Street Market runs from Nullah Road + Fa Yuen Street to Mong Kok Road + Fa Yuen Street.  So, it is parallel to the Goldfish Market.

Here you can find housewares, toys, souvenirs, and some of the latest street fashions at incredibly sensible prices.  Make sure to check out the shops along the sidewalks because you might miss them if you just walk along the main street market.

We started out around 10 am and some of the shops were already open!

Fa Yuen Street Market
Shops along the sidewalk
The Fa Yuen Market continues across Bute Street and ends at Mong Kok Road

This market is one of my favorites because, if you walk back up it, in the direction of Nullah Road, then you'll see a Pacific Coffee across the street (Prince Edward Road West).  It's a good place to stop for a coffee and pastry.  And it also takes you in the direction of the Flower Market.

3.  The Flower Market
If you are exiting Pacific Coffee, turn left and you'll see Sai Yee Street in front of you.  Around you, you'll start seeing a bunch of flower and plant shops.  You will also see the famous Brighten's Flower Shop at the corner.  This is where Christmas Trees can be ordered and Chinese New Year ornaments can be bought (in their respective seasons).  It's such a wonderful store to check out...all three levels!

The Flower Market is such a beautiful little area to walk around.  A lot of the plants are similar to those found in Hawaii.  So, my parents had a great time going through and identifying Bird of Paradise, hibiscus, anthuriums, and all the fruit trees.  A lot of the shops are beautifully decorated and allow you to wander to your heart's content.

The Flower Market runs a little bit along Sai Yee Street, but most of the shops run along Flower Market Road, which you'll see when you walk a little ways up Sai Yee Street.

4.  Ladies Market
If you make your way back to Sai Yee Street, you can walk South (in the direction of Victoria Harbour) past Prince Edward Road West and past Bute Street to Arglye Street.  In front of you, on the second floor, you should see Starbucks.  It's always a good landmark point for Sai Yee Street + Arglye Street.

Turn right and you'll see Ladies Market.

This market is always an adventure!  There are a lot of copied/pirated/designer things that can be found here:  handbags, watches, belts...boardgames (SERIOUSLY!!!!!) and UNDERWEAR (SERIOUSLY!!!!!). There are also a lot of fun things to see:  like THE MAGNETS OF BAD TRANSLATIONS,  MINIATURE DIM SUM KEY CHAINS, "ANCIENT" CHINESE SCROLLS, CUT OUT PAPER CARDS, BEDAZZLED JEWELRY BOXES, SWIMSUITS, I <3 HK TEES and some of my favorite secondhand clothing shops (Mee & Gee).

Like the Fa Yuen Market, make sure to check out the sidewalks because you'll find some of the coziest little restaurants in the Kowloon District here.  Ladies Market runs all the way to Dundas Street...where you'll bump into another Starbucks (in the Gala Centre)...which makes another good landmark.

5.  Sai Yueng Choi Street
A good way to end the afternoon is to join the herds of other tourists along Sia Yueng Choi Street!  It runs parallel to Ladies Market and Nathan Road.  It runs from Dundas all the way back up to Argyle Street.

There are a lot of great shops here if you are in that mood:  Camera shops, phone shops, Body shops (!), brand shops (Espirit, Sasa, Bonjour, Pricerite, Izzue, IT, Giordano, Broadway, Fortress, Suning and the Cinema).  At around 5pm, you'll also start seeing street entertainers come out and set up their little stages.  This makes this street really LIGHT UP in the evening hours.

Today was such an incredibly fun day...

I end this blog post with this lovely photo of a family of striped tee-shirts on Sai Yeung Choi Street.  I have seen this particular look in so many places, but was fortunate to capture it on film today!  Here you can see a grandmother, father, baby girl, and mother all dressed in B&W stripes!  Things like this make me smile!