Hong Kong – Shopping Hotspots

 Although I’ve been to HK a gazillion times, I’ve never had a chance to really really go shopping.  I’m usually too caught up in a flurry of lunch and dinner appointments with my granddad and a whole bunch of relatives to do anything else.  So this time, because it was just The Hubs and I, family committments were kept to a minimum and I finally had time to hit the shops.  Man, I don’t think I’ve ever walked so much in my life!  We just kept on shopping until the shops closed and because this is HK, it meant we were shopping until way past 11pm each day.  I was shuffling my way back to the hotel each night because the balls of my feet hurt so badly.  In fact, as I am typing now, my pinkie toe has been numb for almost a week.  But it’s OK! No need to feel sorry for me because I’ve never had more fantastic shopping.  The only downer is that I have a self-imposed shopping ban for the next 6 months.  That’s right, you heard me, I’m not allowed to buy anything until the end of the year *cough, unless there’s an amazing sale, cough*

Disclaimer:  DO NOT go beyond this point if you are a person with zero interest in shopping. I am on a shopping high and the rest of this super loooooong post is going to be just my ramblings about my fave shopping spots in HK and some of the fab buys from this trip.  You have been warned. 

For the men or those interested in toys, there’s something for you right at the end of this post so you can skip everything else.

Hotspot No. 1 – H&M

 You’ve just gotta love the Swedish! Not only have they given the world Ikea, they’ve also given all shopaholics H&M.  I’m a huge, huge fan but sadly right now, our closest outlets are the HK and Shanghai ones. H&M is a Swedish fashion store with amazing variety at very good prices.  Think Ikea except this time, it’s floors of fashion for men, women and children.  They also have a really strong selection of accessories at great prices.  It’s hard to walk into H&M without wanting to pick up something which explains the frenzy you’ll witness at most of the HK and Shanghai branches over the weekend.  In fact, I heard that when H&M first opened its doors at Central, there were 1,000 people queuing to get in and some had been in line for more than 24hours. While it’s not so bad now, queues for the fitting rooms are still ridiculously long over the weekends so unless you know your size and are prepared to skip the fitting rooms like me, your best bet is to go early in the mornings when the store just opens.  My top pick is the Central branch cos here’s where you’ll get the greatest variety and its merchandise is surprisingly well-organised and easy to find.

Here are my top 2 favourite buys from H&M this round – a pretty halter neck dress (S$20) and a gorgeously soft burgundy shoulder tote (S$32) which I used immediately in HK.

 


How to get there:
H&M @ Langham Place (Take the MTR to MongKok station, Exit C)
H&M @ Elements (Just above the Kowloon station)
H&M @ Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (Near the LV flagship store, on the opposite side of the road)
H&M @ Central – 68 Queen’s Road (Take the MTR to Central, exit Peddar Building, walk down from the Coach flagship store).

Hotspot No. 2 – Cheung Sha Wan

Psst … here’s a little secret – this is where all the garment wholesalers are gathered. Prices are really low but read the signs posted outside the shops before you venture in.  Many of the shopkeepers only deal with wholesalers so they don’t have to manage pesky little bargain hunters like me.  But there are quite a number of shops who do retail and for the others, they usually have a rack of clothes (mainly surpluses and samples) that they let go at dirt cheap prices just outside their shop.  Prices are so low that there’s really no need to bargain, and when you do attempt, you usually get a gruff reply "no bargaining!".  Go on a weekday because many of the shops are closed during the weekend.  I got a pretty decent haul this time but I suspect it’s because it’s the right season with many of the shops selling summer stuff.

Fab buys from Cheung Sha Wan this time include a really cute green polka dot top (S$4), 2 white ruffle tops (S$10 each), a pretty chiffon lavender top (S$15), a black/white printed skirt (S$15) and a blue flowy top (S$8)

How to get there:
Take MTR to Sham Shui Po Station, Exit C1 and walk towards Cheung Sha Wan Road.

Hotspot No. 3 – Citygate Outlets

This is the only outlet mall in HK.  Here you’ll find brandname outlets like Kate Spade, Esprit, CK, Adidas, etc, and by the end of this year, there will also be Mango and Coach outlet stores available here too.  Be sure to check out the Club21 outlet store where I gleefully stumbled upon a wide array of Armani Exchange, DKNY and CK stuff.  Prices are slashed by about 70% so you end up paying slightly less than what you pay for regular Zara and Mango stuff.  My fave buy here includes a fabulous DKNY cropped jacket with ruffled trimmings for only S$120.


 

How to get there:
Take MTR to Tung Chung Station, Exit C.
 


Hotspot No. 4 – Granville Road
Not as glam as Citygate but along this road is a whole lot of factory outlet stores nestled among shops selling young, trendy apparel.  It’s quite a fun bargain hunting experience and you will most probably come away with good deals.  Just make sure to check your pieces for defects before bringing them home.  My fab finds here include a really cute robot tank top (S$5) from Lollipopop and original Quiksilver water shorts for the nephews at S$4 per piece.

How to get there:
Take MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui, Exit B1 and walk towards Granville.  There are very clear road signs.  

Hotspot No. 5 – Mongkok

This is the most densely populated area in Hong Kong and a great place to go shopping and soak up the Hong Kong atmosphere.  Ladies Street is where most tourists head to but my advice is to skip it unless you’re interested in haggling with shopkeepers over poor quality goods.  Instead, head towards Mongkok New Town Mall and Argyle Centre.  These are basically the equivalent of our Far East Plaza complete with a maze of small shops selling clothes, shoes and accessories for a fraction of what we pay back here.  Shops here open till late – past 11pm so shop till you drop, my friends.

My fab find here was a shop selling cardigans and I basically stocked up a year’s worth of cardis at about S$10 a piece – a steal compared to the S$30 that I usually pay!


 

How to get there:
Take MTR to Mongkok, Exit D

Toy Hotspots

Okay, this is for all the men and those interested in toys.  We didn’t really much time to explore but here are some great places we picked up toys for really good prices. Haven’t you ever wondered why the Hong Kong sellers on ebay are able to let go of their collection at such good prices?

(** Below contributed by guest blogger … no prizes guessing who) 

Fuk Wing Street

This is also in the Sham Shui Po area and here you’ll find a street full of toys wholesalers. A couple of the bigger stores carry huge, I mean HUGE, quantity of plastic models.  These are high quality Bandai Gundam, Macross and other robots model kits.  The gems amonst the sea of model kits are actually the tiny robots and monsters kits frozen in time!  These are actually the ones we had when we were kids! (bought a spikey monster just for old time’s sake for S$5).

If you are in the know of a bunch of cutesie characters who pilot robotic exo-suits – Keroro Gunso, these are going for half the price of what they sell in stores back home! (cheapest ones are from Toy Star, right beside the main road).

Limited quantity of Transformers also available here at – you guessed it, wholesale price.

How to get there:
Fuk Wing Street – Take the MTR to Sham Shui Po Station, Exit D2 and walk about 1 block down (use map located at MTR station as reference).

Sai Yeung Choi South Street

Here you’ll find:

Freeway Toys/Toy Clubz

We visited the branch at BC Mall in Mongkok.  At first glance, the store carries mostly Star Wars and Transformers toys from the current line, with pieces that mostly disappear the minute they are placed on the racks of regular toy stores.  In other words, they look like a freakin’ scalper store.

On closer inspection, however, there is one corner where a bunch of ‘vintage’ toys from the 80s and 90s are displayed.  If you are old enough to remember these Kenner toys – Sky Commanders, Mask and Star Wars before Kenner got taken over by Hasbro, you’ll be glad to find some at normal (non-la la land) prices.

Pretty cool.

How to get there:
1. Basement B1, 19A, Panda Place, 3 Tsuen Wah Stree, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
2. Shop B20C, Basement of Starhouse Plaza, No. 3, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
3. Shop 29, G/F HK Int’l Trade & Exhibition Centre, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
4. G/F, 99 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
5. Level 2, BC Mall, Mong Kok
 

Toy Mart

For those of us who visit China Square Central back home, this place is basically the equivalent in HK.  When we visited, the mart was not fully set up yet.  The stores that are up and running carries mostly current collectible toys (i.e. Star Wars, Transformers, vinyl collectibles etc.).  We’re unable to comment on the price compared to back home as no price tag was displayed and we didn’t really find anything interesting enough to initiate a negotiation.

Could be an interesting place to hunt for treasures.  Take note of the odd operating hours (4pm – 9pm) though.

How to get there:
CTMA Centre, Sai Yeung Choi Street South – Take the MTR to Mong Kok, Exit E2.  Just turn right and walk until you’re almost at the end of the street and can catch a whiff of the smelly tofu sold by the nearby street hawkers. 
 

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2 thoughts on “Hong Kong – Shopping Hotspots”

  1. I know this is an old post, but surely you are still the same determined and fabulous shopper you were back then! I can’t think of anyone I’d rather go shopping with in the unlikely event I ever got to Hong Kong! You know your stuff, you’re organized and intuitive — Brilliant! (And best of all, you love to eat!)

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