The Markets of Hong Kong

Hello! Welcome to my final Hong Kong post about the markets in Kowloon we visited on a tour with Urban Adventures. The city’s markets have been around for 100+ years so it goes without saying they are an integral part of Hong Kong’s culture and heritage.

The first market we visited was the Flower Market. Bursting with bright colors, unfamiliar fragrances, and exotic vegetation, this was my favorite out of the eight markets we saw. As you walk past dozens of shops and wholesalers you are immersed in a jungle of exotic house plants and vibrant floral arrangements.

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This Flower Market is an essential shopping destination especially before the Chinese New Year. Locals decorate their homes with “good-luck” plants before the holiday to bring prosperity and fortune for the coming year.

Pitcher Plant
One of these auspicious plants is the pitcher plant; a carnivorous plant with”pitchers” that is said to lure in all the good luck that the new year will bring.

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Solanum Mammosum or better known as “nipple fruit” (cue the ten year-old boy giggles) are used to create Chinese New Year trees because of their gold color and five “fingers”.

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Buddha’s Hands Citron

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Yellow and Green Orchids
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The next stop on the tour was the Bird Market or the Yuen Po Bird Garden. The market was filled with intricate wood cages, live insects, and miscellaneous accessories. It’s also a central location for bird owners, especially older men, to gather. We saw them “walking” their birds in cages while socializing with fellow bird owners. Although somewhat of an odd sight, I imagine it’s kind of like our version of walking the dog to the neighborhood coffee shop.

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Next up was the Ladies’ Market which gets its name from the 100+ stalls selling a variety of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as souvenirs. A bargain can always be found here; haggling is welcomed and expected which I personally enjoyed. I didn’t end up buying anything here, which if you know how much of a shopaholic I am, wasn’t easy.

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On to the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market where our senses were overwhelmed with the sweetest exotic smells. Walking by stalls selling all kinds of fruit you don’t typically find in “western” grocery stores, I found the most beautiful, pesticide filled, strawberries I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I was so mesmerized I forgot to take a pic, but did snag a photo of a cool, freaky-ish, melon-like fruit.

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After the fruit market we checked out the famous Jade Market and then the Fa Yuen Street Market that sells “everyday” household goods to locals. After these brief stops it was on to the most unique market, the Goldfish Market.

100+ Year Turtle
A 100 year old turtle for sale. Kind of sad 😦

GoldfishFish are an ideal pet for locals because of the tiny living spaces. The street was lined with shop after shop selling vibrantly colored fish and sea life for home aquariums.
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Our final stop was the Temple Street Night Market. In addition to the hundreds of stalls of souvenirs, there are numerous food vendors cooking up locals eats. Although our tour guide gently suggested it my not be in our best interest to eat here, especially if you have a sensitive stomach, I did purchase a souvenir; Chinese kitty bowls with chopsticks. They are so precious and because I’m a crazy cat lady, I HAD to have them, no matter how difficult they were to fit in my suitcase.

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Kitty Bowls

Overall this tour was an awesome way to see a big chunk of the city and take a closer look into Hong Kong’s culture. Our tour guide, Danny, provided interesting tidbits along the way about the city in general, and even took us to a local juice bar where I tried hemp seed juice; tasted like dirt and chocolate, but surprisingly not bad! It was the perfect way to spend our last day in Hong Kong.

 

 

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