Apart from eating, the other national sport of Hong Kong is shopping. It’s hard to choose between the 100-plus shopping malls. The metropolis seems to be a maze of shopping paradises, busy promenades and craft shops. Fortunately, each neighbourhood has its own products and prices. With a little preparation you’ll know exactly where to go.
The most popular shopping districts are Central and Sheung Wan. These 2 bordering districts on Hong Kong Island boast the chicest shopping centres. The surrounding office blocks and hotels tower almost as high as their prices and this is the most cosmopolitan region of Hong Kong. Alongside world-famous brands, you can also find local boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. Chic restaurants, often with Michelin stars, are also dotted around the neighbourhoods.
Mong Kok means ‘busy corner’ and this is no exaggeration: this neighbourhood in Kowloon is the busiest in the world. Nathan Road divides the district and offers a kaleidoscopic view of the city. The shopping promenades in this part of Hong Kong are always crowded, at any time of day. Salespeople weave through the crowds with their billboards held high in the air. The latest cameras and smartphones can be seen on both sides, while neon signs compete for attention above the street.
You can escape from all the hustle and bustle by entering one of the megamalls. These are not small, mind you, and can contain up to 23 floors of shops and restaurants. On Grandville Road, a side street of Nathan Road, factory outlet stores sell international and local clothing brands with huge discounts. With a design academy on the corner, the street is popular with students and local fashion designers, who aim for everything except traditional designs.
The beating heart of Kowloon is home to ‘1881 Heritage’. This monumental former headquarters of the Hong Kong Marine Police has been converted into a versatile shopping centre. The Victorian main buildings contain exclusive shops, a boutique hotel and fine-dining restaurants. Remnants from its colonial past are scattered around the complex, including the former fire station and stable blocks. The Time Ball Tower is another striking feature: at precisely 1:00 pm daily, a ball descended from the top of the tower which was in full view of the harbour and allowed sailors to accurately recalibrate their ships’ chronometers.