As part of my trip in January to Hong Kong, I took time to visit Temple Street and the market that takes place there each evening. I was getting a bit tired from walking around all day so I went early, around 6pm, just as the vendors were setting up their stands. Going a bit before sun down will also give you a better chance at the inventory as the market tends to get very crowded at night.
Temple Street is a mainstay in the Hong Kong experience. Every travel guide you see or visit on the internet suggests a stop to Temple Street and to take in the experience. Vendors selling everything from textiles to electronics to typical “I LOVE HONG KONG” type souvenirs. The one thing I appreciated above all else is that you were not being harassed into visiting any vendor’s booth. Vendors readily let you browse and were quick to offer deals. The one word of advice that I would offer is that it is expected that you negotiate. I think the vendors actually enjoy the back and forth with a perspective patron. They also use it as an opportunity to increase the quantity of items you purchase so it helps them sell more and pack less to take home after the market ends.
For example, one vendor had a great selection of silk Table Runners and I was looking for some to bring back for my wife. She has decorated a couple of rooms in our home in an Asian theme and I thought the runners would be a nice and useful addition. The only problem was that there were dozens of patterns and colors to chose from. I figured when in doubt, buy several different ones in the hopes that a few would be acceptable. As I was sorting through literally dozens of different ones, I asked the price and was told they were $75 (Hong Kong Dollars, about $10 US Dollars). As I started pulling out the ones that I wanted, the price started coming down. I countered with my offer and we agreed finally on $50 ($7 USD) a piece. I was happy at the great deal, and the vendor was genuinely happy that she sent me packing with several of them. A win-win for both of us.
Temple Street however is more than just a collection boths with items for sales. There are also great food stands and restaurants in the immediate area. Everything from the typical noodle shops to seafood stands to traditional sit down restaurants. I was there at the exact time that they were bringing in that days seafood catch and were beginning to prep it for their menus. The variety of fish and other seafood was impressive. Tons of variety!
Images from the market:
Some of the food options at Temple Street:
To read my review of the Hyatt Regency as part of this trip, please click HERE. Other parts of the trip will be posted soon (Nathan Road, Mong Kok, etc).