Lisa Rivera

If you’ve ever been to Hong Kong, you’ll know it’s a shopping mecca.

Whatever your budget, there are all sorts of malls and markets to satisfy everyone, from the budget shopper to the high-end designer lover. Shopping unquestionably is one of the best things to do in the city.

Admittedly more a fan of the former, there are so many great shopping spots in Hong Kong, and I’m here to tell you more!

One thing you may not know, is that most goods — except for wine and cigarettes — are tax free. Also, it’s worth noting the 2 sales seasons in Hong Kong when prices are even lower!

The areas to shop

A quick run-down of Hong Kong’s shopping areas:

• Central, Hong Kong Island is the business and economic center with top boutiques and large shopping malls.

• Causeway Bay is pretty much the heart of the action. Here you’ll find high-end shopping malls, medium-priced independent boutiques, department stores, and street markets.

• Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon is the place to really splash the cash. Expect luxury shopping outlets with many designer shops and restaurants.

• Sham Shui Po in Kowloon is for market lovers like me! It’s famous for selling gadgets, electronic goods and computer products at competitive prices. This is where you can also haggle!

The malls

Suffice it to say, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to mall shopping in Hong Kong. A simple way to distinguish between them is cost.

For designer labels and eye-watering prices, you’ll feel right at home at The Landmark on Hong Kong Island.

Here’s where you’ll find high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, as well as elegant restaurants to dine in after.

Pacific Place on Hong Kong Island is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex. There are more luxury than moderately-priced stores here, but the dining choices are excellent, as are the French leather seats in the cinema theatres!

I can’t mention malls in Hong Kong without writing about Times Sqaure in Causeway Bay. Opened in 1994, it’s the largest mall in the district, with 230 stores to shop in!

Pacific Place

Oh, that and it sits on top of an MTR Causeway Bay Station exit. It’s a great place for all budgets, plus it’s in a trendy district to explore.

The markets

As I mentioned above, I’m a total sucker for a good market, which is something that Hong Kong doesn’t disappoint.

For bargain-priced shoes, watches, clothing and cosmetics, visit the Ladies’ Market in Kowloon. This bustle of a market is in Tung Choi Street, and there’s no set opening times here.

Just arrive around noon-ish and wander your eye over the goods on sale. The market is open every day, except the first day of the Chinese New Year.

Temple Street Night Market is where to come, not only to shop, but also to absorb the electrifying atmosphere of the area.

Also located in Kowloon, here’s where you’ll find bargains on clothing, music and trinkets. If lucky, you may also spot a fortune teller or two!

Jardine’s Crescent is the market to visit if you’re looking for a really cheap find. Shop for accessories, bags, women’s clothing and mobile phone accessories along with domestic goods.

Jewellery market

When in China, it seems only fitting that you buy some Jade. A good starting point is the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei.

However, it may be worth bringing a local if you’re not familiar between spotting what is real and fake Jade.

Jade shop

Also, prices here can be steep, so brush up on your knowledge of the stone before making the purchase.

If pearls are more your thing, Hong Kong also offers a great range of cultured and freshwater pearls. Choose a reputable jewellery shop, such as those in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok as they usually cater mostly to tourists from the mainland.

Another good sign is that these shops will issue a certificate that states exactly what you’re buying, and guarantees that the shop will buy it back at a fair market price.

Independent areas

If boutique shopping, or unique brands are more your cup of tea, head to the areas of Sheung Wan, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. You’ll find more stores here from local designers that you won’t find in the malls.

Mong Kok

The styles are limited however, given there aren’t many retailers. That said, if you see something you like, don’t hesitate to snap it up!

Minimalls

Something I didn’t see during my trip to Hong Kong were the minimalls. Not minimals — as I read incorrectly — but mini-malls.

Tsim Sha Tsui

You can find these establishments in Tsim Sha Tsui, and they’re achingly hip. Items tend to be goods imported from the mainland or South Korea.

The minimall is also the place to come where you can haggle a lower price when buying more than one item.