Hong Kong: A shopper's dream
Thursday 01 March 2012
With its duty-free status, nowhere beats Hong Kong as an international shopping destination. There’s something for everyone, from beautiful Asian crafts to the latest electronics, or international designer labels and bespoke suits to incredible bargains from its numerous markets. Stores are open every day, late into the night, and with summer and winter sales offering discounts of up to 70 per cent, it is practically impossible to leave Hong Kong without buying something!
And with the sheer choice and variety of shopping on offer, from glitzy malls to traditional vibrant bustling street markets, you really owe it to yourself to take a look. Particular Hong Kong “ must-buys” include Chinese arts and crafts, Chinese clothing, Chinese tea, and Chinese tableware.
Best for Chinese arts and antiques, as well as old Hong Kong memorabilia, are Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Row (known as Cat Street) on Hong Kong Island. A visit can – and should – be combined with a detour to Man Mo Temple, a striking monument to the gods of literature (Man) and war (Mo).
Now, if you’re in Hong Kong for at least two days, why not spoil yourself with a tailor-made outfit or custom shoes? Make sure you allow at least two fittings for suits to ensure the best fit.
As for electronics, Hong Kong has no tax on electronic goods and cameras, so it’s a great place to buy the latest models. Look out for the QTS (Quality Tourism Services Scheme) sign in shops, restaurants, visitor accommodation and hair salons while you are shopping; it’s your guarantee that the merchant will provide clearly displayed prices, with clear information and superb customer service.
Hong Kong is rightly famous for its outdoor and street markets, such as Ladies’ Market, Temple Street Night Market and Jade Market on Kowloon. For a more relaxed ambience, a seaside setting and a great selection of cafes and restaurants, visit Stanley on Hong Kong Island’s south side. Famous for its day market, which sells amongst other things quality souvenirs, linens, pashmina scarves and local art, it also boasts a magnificent, restored colonial pier and Murray House, which houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Stanley is a great day out. You should take the time to enjoy the scenic route and follow the coastline to get there.
Hong Kong is home to a large number of prestigious department stores selling international brands alongside local Hong Kong-designed products. They’re all over the island, but the better known ones can be found in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. If fashion outlets are more your sort of thing, head to Citygate Outlets at Tung Chung near the airport.
The Hong Kong tourism board has developed some apps available free for iphone and android which could come in useful in finding your way around this fascinating city. These are the city walks app, 720◦ virtual tour guide app and a Discover Hong Kong AR app.
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