There’s lots of cheap shopping to be enjoyed all over Hong Kong—and Hong Kongers certainly do love to bargain! From crowded street markets to high-end malls, shopping is a daily hobby, and some even say a sport, in the SAR. But if you’re looking for good brand names at decent prices, and the shops in The Landmark are out of your budget, where do you go?
Hong Kong outlet malls and factory outlets do exist, but are few and far between. Also, they are quite different to outlet malls in North America, where the shops offer rock-bottom prices for out-of-season stock. In Hong Kong, outlet malls lean more towards high-end brand names and luxury goods. So if you’re determined to own a Prada bag or a Burberry coat, outlet malls offer a treasure trove of high-end goodies.
Top outlet malls in Hong Kong
The granddaddy of all outlet shopping in Hong Kong, Citygate mall on Lantau is the original factory outlet in town. This three-storey mall connected to Tung Chung MTR Station features brands like Armani, Coach, Furla, Dior and more. Citygate is so popular with mainland tourists that certain stores have had to implement a queue system, complete with bouncers and lines reminiscent of a nightclub. The only truly affordable bargains in Citygate are Giordano, Club 21, G2000, UNIQLO and Gap, and a handful of sneaker shops.
What’s nearby? Citygate is a stone’s throw from the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car which takes you to the Tian Tan ‘Big Buddha’, sitting serenely in the mountain top of Lantau Island. From Tung Chung you can also take ground transport to other Lantau attractions, like Tai O, Discovery Bay, and Mui Wo.
With local and international brands at discounted prices, Bazaar in Harbour City is an accessible outlet mall right in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. Surrounded by the glitz and gleam of high-end brands that dominate Canton Road, Bazaar is an affordable option in an expensive part of town. You’ll find fun and funky clothing like Darth Vader socks, designer sneakers, suitcases with anime characters on them, sunglasses and other accessories. There’s lots of stuff for kids and babies, like clothes, books and toys. Be sure to also visit Harbour City’s awesome Ocean Terminal Deck, with uninterrupted views of Victoria Harbour.
Harbour City Bazaar
Promising discounts of anywhere from 10% up to 80%, Florentia Village is similar to Citygate in terms of its luxury fare, but quite a bit smaller. Located a few steps from Kwai Hing MTR Station, this is the place to stock up on Italian brands like Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace. Before you go, be sure to check their Special Offers page to see which stores are offering the best discounts.
This huge 25-storey mall specialises in furniture and home accessories, and is the place to go when you simply can’t bear to buy IKEA. Other than swank home furnishings, it does have fashion on offer, with brands like Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Shanghai Tang and DIESEL. If you’re taking the MTR, it’s about a 15-minute walk from South Horizon Station (Exit C), though there are buses leaving from Exchange Square in Central.
What’s nearby? Horizon Plaza is located in Ap Lei Chau, a small island connected by bridge to Aberdeen. If you’re in the area, you’re close to the notorious Jumbo Floating Kingdom, as well as the super fun Ocean Park. Or, after a long day of shopping, enjoy a post-purchase drink at the amazing rooftop bar at ABOVE by Komune, in Ovolo Southside.
Alternatives to outlet malls
If you’re not into brand name shopping, you can find lots of alternative places to spend your dollars. There are certain areas in Kowloon known for their wholesale shops. These are the kinds of places where, if you walk in, pick up a blouse and ask them “how much?”, the typical reply is “how many?”. Not all shops will sell just one piece, but many do, so it’s worth taking the time to look around and see what you’re interested in. You won’t find fancy brand names, but you will find lots of the latest fashion coming out of Asia, often from local designers. This is a type of shopping that few tourists ever venture out to do.
Cheung Sha Wan Road
This is the biggest and busiest wholesale area, with loads of fashion at wholesale prices. Cheung Sha Wan Road runs through Sham Shui Po Station all the way to Lai Chi Kok Station. International traders are drawn to this area, so English is widely avaialble for negotiations. You likely won’t be able to get a changing room to try things on; after all, this isn’t a retail store. Hopefully you can eyeball your size.
Shopping tip: Did you know that Sham Shui Po is also THE place to go for wholesale crafting? Whether you need beads, hooks, buttons, lace, barettes or bows, this area is a haven for beautiful DIY goods. Check out our article on the Craft Lover’s Guide to Sham Shui Po to learn more.
Hong Kong Industrial Centre
Also on Cheung Sha Wan Road, right opposite Lai Chi Kok MTR Station, is the huge Hong Kong Industrial Centre. Every Saturday the wholesale shops in the warehouse open up to retail customers, and there’s a strong focus on fashion. Come here to get jeans, cute Korean designs, dresses, bags and accessories, and lots more. The warehouse is a bit dingy, but worth it for the prices.
If you’re in the market for shoes, head to Fa Yuen Street—known widely as ‘Sneaker Street’—in Mong Kok. While not strictly a wholesale area, Sneaker Street is full of brand name sports shoes at great prices. You can especially get good discounts on last year’s styles and models, so look around and try on a few pairs.
Also in Mong Kok, Shanghai Street specialises in one thing only: kitchenware. If you love to cook, then this area will be heaven for you. It’s especially good for finding Asian cooking tools and utensils, like bamboo baskets, tea pots, chopping boards, woks, knives, molds, and more. Be sure to step back and look around at the old Chinese-style shophouse buildings in the area, as this architecture is disappearing fast.
Shopping in Shenzhen, China
It’s no secret that shopping in Shenzhen, the boom town that neighbours with Hong Kong, is way cheaper. You will, however, need a visa and a train ticket to cross the border into Mainland China. If you don’t want the hassle of planning this trip yourself, it’s easy to find a guide who can take you to the best shopping areas in Shenzhen, including wholesale markets. It’ll be a long, whole-day trip, but you’ll enjoy the exciting adventure into Shenzhen’s shopping spree areas, with a knowledgeable guide who knows where to find the best bargains.