Travel Log, Hongkong June 2009

There are two way to shops in Hong Kong : Shop like the local by that means "Street Market Hopping" or go "Shopping in Haute" just like the A list does it in Hong Kong. So, what's it gonna be for you?

Hong Kong Street Market, disappointingly not as I imagine.

Hong Kong may be known for its conspicuous consumption, but there is also another side to the city, that of bustle and bargains, far away from the world of high finance, luxury hotels and designer labels. Wedged between the skyscrapers, high rise buildings and incessant traffic are the street markets of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

Ranging from indoor markets to covered street markets and impromptu collections of street vendors, markets proliferate throughout Hong Kong. Depending on what you are looking for, there is a market to suit every one's taste (well at least that's what everybody else been telling me), be it for cut-price electrical goods, discounted clothing and nick-knacks, or displays of fruit and vegetables that cry out for a photograph. The markets and the areas surrounding them are also a great way to get an insight into the day-to-day life of the city; there is something to be seen from early in the morning to late at night.

One word of warning: by international standards, Hong Kong is a safe city, but crowded markets are the ideal hunting ground for pickpockets, so make sure that you are always on your guard. There was this shocking news I read on the news paper about acid crime in Moon Kok area just a few days back. More than 20 people got acid splashed on them and were injured badly. Not to mention all public school in Hong Kong is closed for two weeks from the H1N1 virus alert. My oh my, is this the wrong time to visit Hong Kong? Just keep my finger cross and hope for the best.

The region's traditional low-end markets draw tourists — Stanley Market, Kowloon's Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market.

Temple Street Market in Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon (Jordan MTR) is one of the largest of Hong Kong's markets. It starts at 4pm, but the best time to visit is after 7pm when the light starts to fade and things really buzz. Also known as the Night Market, it first began as a place for dai pai dongs food stalls for working-class men. Until the Seventies the market was lit by lanterns, but now it's illuminated by neon signs and electric lights. Although not officially condoned, you might just find cheap copies of the latest designer goods.

There are impromptu performances of street theatre and opera, all of which are staged more for the local population than the tourists but which are still fun to watch. On nearby Pak Hoi Street you can have your fortune told; many Chinese fortunes tellers believe it's more effective to read the lines on the face than the palm of the hand.

Also stop and have a bite to eat. Temple Street in particular is littered with Dai Pai Dongs, street vendors serving cheap local snacks such as noodles, tofu and stir fries. The government has waged a war on illegal street vendors selling food and hasn't issued any licences for some time, but there are still plenty of holes in the walls and small cafes where you can fill up or simply take time out from all the action.

Stanley Market is a daytime market in the fishing village of Stanley on Hong Kong Island. You will find an array of little shops selling silk garments, sportswear, art, Chinese costume jewelry and souvenirs.

For me, what's interesting about it is the beautiful beaches that are popular with windsurfers. And when you're feeling peckish, you'll find a wide variety of funky bars and great restaurants to enjoy. Among the more interesting restaurant sites on the waterfront is Murray House, a 160-year-old restored three-storey colonial building that was dismantled in 1982 from its original site in Central and then rebuilt in Stanley. It re-opened in 1999 and now houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum as well as restaurants.

I wouldn't say the market was great. It was more like Blok M Market in Jakarta. I was disappointed since Stanley and the other market in Hong Kong seems to have such a good review. Di bandingin Mangga Dua sih gak ada apa-apa nya. I would say Bangkok Night Market is still the best market I've ever been to.

Gimana cara nya ke sana niiih?

1. MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D and take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 at Exchange Square Bus Terminus.

2. MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit B, walk to Tang Lung Street then take green minibus 40.
3. Bus 973 from Tsim Sha Tsui East Bus Terminus or Canton Road outside Silvercord Centre.
4. Mini Van 40 from Wan Cai or Causeway Bay. Cost HK$ 9.

Ladies Market this daylong Kowloon Peninsula market gives visitors a good look at the colorful streets and alleys of urban Hong Kong. Among the sale items are clothing for men, women and children, wigs, cosmetics, toys, small electronics and watches. Very poor quality, nothing much I could say about this market. (Tung Choi Street, noon to 11:30 p.m. daily.)

I wouldn't say the markets in Hong Kong was great. It was more like Blok M Market in Jakarta. I was disapointed since Stanley and the other market in Hong Kong seems to have such a good review. I would say Bangkok Night Market is still the best market I've ever been to.

Shopping in haute Hong Kong

Hong Kong, where the A-list does its luxury shopping.

Ranking alongside New York, London and Tokyo as one of the world's economic giants, Hong Kong pushes the envelope on design, architecture and obsessive consumerism. It's an exotic port of call with superb hotels, exceptional restaurants and flashy nightlife.

And, of course, world-class shopping: If you can't find what you want, you probably can have it made in a day or two.

Multistory malls have sprung up crammed with designer shops. The latest additions in the Central District — the international business center — are Harvey Nichols, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, which join veterans Chanel, Cartier, Prada, Fendi and Dior.

The Festival Walk, a mall in the center of Kowloon, has a multiscreen movie theater and an ice rink

Although prices on designer and brand-name clothing seem similar to those in the U.S., there's no sales tax and the selection is vast. The best times to find deals are during the annual Shopping Festival, late June through August, and Winterfest, which begins in late November and ends Jan. 1. Sales also take place on the four days before Chinese New Year. Prices are very low, and the parade and fireworks are spectacular around this time of the year.

Where to stay
  • The Peninsula Hong Kong. It is a must to stay in this hotel for once in a lifetime experience. The Peninsula Hong Kong merupakan salah satu hotel terbaik di dunia. Dan memang tidak bisa dipungkiri, pelayanan mereka sangat luar biasa, suasana hotel yang luar biasa, matras di kamar tidur yang luar biasa, tak lupa tarif hotel yang luar biasa juga. Sekitar HK$ 4000/malam. Bandingkan dengan JIA dan JJ Hotel.
  • JIA Hotel, Causewaybay. Salah satu hotel favorit dalam list hotel saya. Design Philip Starck yang sangat unik, lokasi strategis walaupun untuk harga agak mahal. But worth to try. Tarif HK$2000/malam untuk kamar studio 1.
  • JJ Hotel, Wan Cai. Highly Recomended. Hotel nya bersih, kamar tidak terlalu kecil, design menarik dan lokasi sangat lah strategis. Booked hotel ini via internet, harga jauh lebih murah dari pada booking langsung atau beli voucher hotel. Coba booked lewat, harga yg saya dapat bulan juni kemarin u$ 103 untuk 2 malam atau HK$ 354/malam.
  • Disneyland Hotel, Lantau Island. Highly Recomended. Berkunjung ke Disneyland Park harus disertai dengan menginap di Disneyland Hotel. Sarapan pagi di Enchanted GArden dengan karakter Disney, pancake dengan bentuk Mickey Mouse, dekorasi kamar dengan karakter Disney merupakan pengalaman unik yang tak akan terlupakan bagi anak-anak maupun orang tua. Tarif kamar deluxe HK$ 2200/malam.
More information

Hong Kong Tourism Board: or 800-282-4582.


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