Hong Kong: Shopping – Top 7 tips and places

Three pairs of new shoes, two old, including one pair that couldn't be replaced on account of massive feet.

Three pairs of new shoes, two old, including one pair that couldn’t be replaced on account of massive feet.

Hong Kong is renowned as a shopping destination, and has everything from the highs of high fashion to the cheapest of outdoor markets. It has midrange shopping malls filled with more H&M, Zara and Uniqlo stores than you’ll find in any of Australia’s major cities. You don’t need my help to find those, or the major markets (any guide book will take you to the Temple Street Night Markets or Jardine’s Bazaar), so here’s a few things you might either overlook, or need to know when you’re there:

1)      Buy your pants at Bossini/Giordano/U2/G2000 on the first day that you get there.

This is what a Bossini store looks like. Find one early in your trip.

This is what a Bossini store looks like. Find one early in your trip.

Although some stores, like Giordano, have made their way overseas, the thing about the Hong Kong midrange clothing chain stores is that they all will tailor your pants to suit your leg length for free. They’ll usually take about 4 days, but if you’re in a rush, they can sometimes do it faster. Still, go in and get your trousers done early. And if you have the choice between going to one of these places, Zara or H&M, shop here. You’ll mostly be getting basics, but it’s a great place to stock up.

2)      Most of the good places don’t open until noon—at the earliest.

A lot of the following places don’t open until noon at the earliest. Many of them are best to visit after 3PM. So if you’re going to pack the most into your day, I suggest doing something touristy in the morning, and going shopping in the afternoon. Or you could just sleep in until lunchtime and start your day later. Your call really.

3)      Place: Causeway Place, 2-10 Great George Street, Causeway Bay – Urban Fashion

The best place for men's Urban Fashion in Hong Kong--according to Matthew.

Crazy Fashion in Causeway Place: The best place for men’s Urban Fashion in Hong Kong–according to Matthew.

Causeway Place is two stories of funky local fashion toys and bric-a-brac for men and women. It’s largely for the locals, but you can often get by with English. Causeway place is one of the most easily accessible places where you’ll find trendy urban street fashion that’s years ahead of the west at a lower price than you’d pay for something more generic in Chadstone. For men, I particularly recommend visiting Crazy Fashion, which now has three stores on the second level. Not only can you pick up some great pieces for about AUD $50 each. I’ve been visiting this place for about 7 years, and it’s been around for 8 or so, and it has everything from printed t-shirts to assymetrical tops to subtly two toned pants. Also, the designer, Keith, ensures that there are sizes available for Caucasian men too, as he sells to the US market as well. If you’d like a preview, you can find Crazy fashion on Facebook, or shop at the online store in the US. If you want to bring Crazy Fashion into Australia, Keith is looking for a distributer here, so by all means get in touch with him about it.

Most stores here open after noon, but for best results, don’t bother showing up until at least 3PM.

4)      Place: Oriental 188, 188 Wan Chai Street, Wan Chai – Urban Fashion and electronics

188 is a little tricky to get to, but you can either catch a bus, or walk from the Wan Chai or Causeway Bay MTR Stations. It’s a place I discovered late in my recent trip, but it’ll be high on the list next time around. 188 sells a mix of video games, fashion, consumer electronics, anime and collectable figurines. You’ll find some funky duds that aren’t available in some of the other malls, and the staff speak enough English that you shouldn’t have any problems. If you’re staying on Hong Kong Island and are after video games, come here. If you’re on the north side, you’re probably better off going to Golden Computer Arcade in Sham Shui Po.

5)      Place: Wan Chai Computer Centre, 130-138 Hennessy Rd – Computer hardware, desktops, laptops and tablets

If you’re looking for a new computer, you’ll probably find it cheaper in Hong Kong. Let’s face it, most of the components that go into the computer are made in China and Hong Kong is much closer to China than you probably are. While you’ll find software and peripherals anywhere, this is still the place to go for the computer itself, and they’re used to tourists coming through to shop. I recommend knowing exactly what you want before you go (down to the processor core, RAM and model number if you’re buying a laptop or tablet), and don’t forget to ask for the best price—in several stores if need be. You can easily walk away with a deep discount on your local retail price if you know how much you’d pay back home.

The first shops will open at 10AM. For best results, come after 11AM. 12 noon is better.

6)      Place: Trendy Zone, Chow Tai Fook Centre, 580A-580F Nathan Rd – Urban Fashion

Not as good as Causeway Place or 188 in my opinion, but this is probably the place the go on the north side of the harbour. It’s a bit more mass produced, so expect to find a number of stores with the same clothes—or the same clothes that you might see in other malls in the area. You’ll probably find it a little easier getting through this place than some of the other malls though. They probably won’t look on in shock if you walk in here with a white person (or two in my case).

7)      Fa Yuen Street, Yau Ma Tei

Sneaker Street

Also known as ‘Sneaker Street’, this is the place to go to for brand new shoe designs at outlet prices—expect to pay up to AUD $90 (HKD $600) on the newer models. You’ll find store after store after store here selling Nikes, Adidas, Converse as well as the occasional Puma, Lacoste and other big brands. You’ll occasionally find a few one off shops here, but expect the price to double for more unique brands. Shoe sizes on Fa Yuen street top out around European foot size 45 for men, which is UK 10.5 or US 11, so if you’re a man who needs big shoes, you’re probably going to have to shop in the US, or online. Sorry ladies, but not having travelled with a woman with extremely large feet I can’t help you with your top sizes. I can tell you they don’t make ladies shoes in the double digit ranges (for US and UK), but that’s only because one of my male friends really wanted a couple of women’s shoe designs that they just didn’t have in his size.

Most shops on Fa Yuen street don’t open until at least 10AM. For best results, come around 4 PM.

And…that’s it. That’s pretty much my top tips for a Hong Kong holiday. Hope it helps if you’re planning a visit anytime soon.



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