Whether it’s clothes, bags, shoes, belts, Chinese tea sets or souvenirs like Bruce Lee t-shirts, Ladies Market has it all.
The long strip of street stalls and hawkers that dominate Tung Choi Street—more commonly known as Ladies Market—is one of the top attractions in Hong Kong, and a fun, vibrant shopping experience, even if you don’t particularly need anything. You can, however, get some great bargains, if you know where to look, and how to haggle.
To get to the Ladies Market, take the MTR to Mong Kok Station, follow the signs to Exit E2, and walk along Nelson Street until you hit Tung Choi Street, which is the Ladies Market. You can’t miss the bright umbrellas and ubiquitous red, white and blue awnings stretched over the stalls.
The market really doesn’t get going until well after lunch, so don’t go in the morning, or else you’ll find the stalls closed up, and nobody doing business. The best time to go is the afternoon or early evening, when the market is in full swing.
Vendors will try to tempt you into their stall by showing off their goods, and you’ll hear the phrase ‘copy bag?’ or ‘copy watch’ repeated over and over as you explore. A lot of the stalls will have the same items, so be sure to shop around.
Don’t be offended if someone calls out that they have a ‘big size for you’, because Western sizes are indeed larger than Asian sizes, so be sure to walk with a smile, and a sense of humour.
Be aware that everything on sale in the Ladies Market has flexible prices. The act of bargaining here is almost like a dance: you show your interest, the salesperson offers you a price, you hem and haw (if you know what’s good for you), and make a counter offer. The salesperson hems and haws for a while, you pretend to walk away. They finally cave in, calling you back, satisfied that they have still made a decent profit. Unless something has a price labelled on it, then haggling is expected, and even welcomed, as part of the fun.
Ladies Market is an excellent place to pick up some Chinese souvenirs, such as cushion covers, chopstick sets, teapots, Chinese-style clothes, robes, slippers, fans, and art. Items such as jade are likely not authentic, so buyer beware.
Ladies Market is also close to a major electronics shop, the Mongkok Computer Center, at 8 Nelson Street. Chock-a-block with everything from SIM cards, external drives, cell phones and dongles, if you find yourself needing anything tech-oriented, this is the place to get it.