After the fully packed first day tour, if you have a little bit more time in Hong Kong and you are also interested in Hong Kong’s culture and history, maybe you would consider to encounter the temples and streets markets of Hong Kong.
This second day is packed with lots of impressions, local specialties and you while strolling through Hong Kong’s street you might understand why Hong Kong is called the “fragrant harbour”.
Be sure to wear some comfortable walking shoes and take your camera along. In addition, it’s a good advice to carry some bottle of water along with you due to Hong Kong’s hot and humid climate especially during the months from May till November. But don’t worry there will be plenty of convenience stores like 7-Eleven or Circle K along the way, not to mention all the different small shops and restaurants.
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
Start the second day early from Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon area. Try to get there as early as possible (e.g. before 10:00am) before all the tourist coaches. Just exit the MTR station at exit B2 and you will find yourself encountered in an air full of intense.
Situated in the heart of Kowloon, Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most famous temples in Hong Kong. Considering Hong Kong’s high population density and limited space, Wong Tai Sin Temple is relatively large. It is dedicated to “Great Immortal Wong” who was born around 328 AD. It is said that the accuracy of the fortune telling in this temple is very high and accurate, which is for many visitors one of the main reasons to visit and worship in this temple.
Next to the temple there several small shops selling intense and other religious accessories. Maybe you want to try your luck by one of the many fortunetellers? The temple opens from 7:00am-5:30pm and usually free of charge.
Be aware that the best time of visiting the temple is around 9:00pm or late in the afternoon when there are not too many visitors. If you enjoyed enough the cultural, tranquil and beautiful temple and park you can head on to the next sightseeing attraction.
Hong Kong Street Markets
Hong Kong Street Markets is the best way to experience the real local atmosphere. Lots of street markets are located in the close vicinity of Mongkok area (Mongkok, Prince Edward, Yau Ma Tei and Jordan). Start from Prince Edward station and exit through Exit B1 where you will see dozens of flower shops – Flower Market.
The shop owners expand sometimes their business space onto the road and are selling all kind of different flowers from lilies and roses to bamboo and bonsai trees. You will encounter an explosion of different fragrances and colors due to all the different flowers from around the world.
Just after a few blocks on Prince Edward West Road you will hit Yuen Po Street. Turn left into Yuen Po Street and only a few footsteps away you will see the entrance of Yuen Po Street Bird Garden.
Bird Garden is more like a meeting place for bird collectors than a garden or park. Walk into this small park and you can witness one of Chinese’s phenomenon – taking “birds” for a walk. All the bird lovers/owners chat and discuss their enthusiasm of birds in this place. Simply stroll along the garden and watch traders selling birds, accessories and cages in various shapes, sizes and conditions.
The park is usually open from 7am in the morning till 8pm at night. Most collectors are very friendly and more than happy and proud to show and chat with you about their little treasures.
If you had enough of the Bird Garden, you can stroll down the Flower Market Road until you hit Sai Yee Street and turn left until you are back on Prince Edward West Road again. If you are already tired you can consider skipping the next sightseeing stop “Goldfish Market” and taking the MTR to the Mongkok station.
Goldfish Market starts just a block away from Mongkok MTR station and it’s more like a street packed with many stores on both sides. You will encounter several small stores selling everything from all kinds of fishes and accessories to aquariums in different sizes and shapes. In recent years, due to the increasing rent of shops, lots of goldfish stores has moved out. You can find many pet stores (cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters) move into this street.
Goldfish Market is somehow right in the middle between Prince Edward and Mongkok MTR station. I would recommend you to stay and walk along Tung Choi Street until you hit Argyle Street. It’s just a few minutes walk and you will encounter true Hong Kong life and surroundings on your way such as small little shops and typical small restaurants.
Insider Tips: The settings of goldfish stores here is very unique. Especially at night when all the lights are switched on, you can experience a very special atmosphere of Goldfish Market.
When you crossed Argyle Street you will find yourself in the one of the most famous street markets – Ladies Market. Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street opens from 12:30pm-11:00pm every day. Although the market is called Ladies market and used to sell items just for ladies in the old times, it offers products and souvenirs for everybody nowadays such as T-shirts, typical Hong Kong souvenirs or even popular items such as iPod/iPhone covers. Still bags, belts and clothes are the main selling items and it seems a heaven for fashionistas.
Insider Tips: Prices are more an idea than fixed. Make sure to bargain with the sellers even if they have a sign with “no bargaining”. If you don’t succeed or are not happy with the offered price, simply stroll to the next stall. Don’t worry since products and stalls are very similar and you will find a good chance to find a place with a good bargaining. And another piece of advice: the ladies market is a very crowded place and although Hong Kong is a very safe place I would recommend you to take very good care of your belongings and safeguard them.
For all the serious shopping addicted and bargain hunters who can’t get enough: There are 2 parallel roads to Tung Choi Street which are very famous among locals: Sneaker Street (Fa Yuen Street) and Electronic Street (Sai Yeung Choi Street).
On the Sneaker Street you will find all kind of sport goods and apparels for all sex and ages. The street is famous for their big selection of sneakers from all the big brand names: Nike, Addidas, Puma, Reebok, Li Ning, Converse, etc. You have a chance to get some real bargains and will find the latest models.
The Electronic Street is designed for all the shoppers who are hunting for a particular electronic good. You will find everything from the latest cell phone model, digital cameras, LED TV screens to tablet pc or notebooks. Be sure to know your product and what you expect to pay. Mongkok Computer Center is also nearby. In smaller shops you can bargain and might find a good deal. If you are not sure, stick with the big electronic stores Fortress and Broadway.
On the Electronic Street, you also can find many cosmetic stores and jewellery stores.
Important and highly recommend: For all you shoppers please read (!) our article about Shopping Advice in Hong Kong.
If you are hungry you can sample a lot of different food on the streets. The streets of Mongkok are very famous for the varieties of street food and restaurants. Maybe you want to try some stinky tofu or some Hong Kong style milk tea. In addition to the restaurants, food stalls and local snacks along the street. Langham Place Shopping mall with offers besides upscale shopping experience a bunch of restaurants and a food court on the 4th floor.
If you still have more time, you can consider to either take MTR to Yau Ma Tei (one station away from Mongkok) or walk to Yau Ma Tei on foot. There are famous Jade Market where you will find all kind of jade. Jade is a very precious stone or crystal in China and many people believe it has a positive influence on luck and prosperity and ward off ghosts, bad luck and other health related hazards. The market is open from Mon-Sat from 10:00am-4:00pm.
Afterwards, don’t forget to take a look at nearby Temple Night Street Market. Temple Night Market is the counterpart to the Ladies Market. If you are lucky, you will encounter some spontaneous live performances of Cantonese opera singers, artist doing live portrait paintings as well as lines of fortune tellers.
Temple Night Market is also famous for all kinds of Hong Kong style food. Why not walk in some restaurants and experience the Hong Kong specialties？
Headache with All the Arrangements?
We offer customized Private Walking Tour around your preferences. Let our true Hong Kong experts show you a real Hong Kong, the fascinating parts of Hong Kong that people ignore, a city with not only popular attractions but also her own stories and secrets.
Why not forget the troubles of time management and planning and see the best of Hong Kong with your limited time.
Here’s the short list for one day tour arrangement for your reference:
Start your morning from [Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple] ——— [Go to Prince Edward by MTR] ——— [Take a look in Flower Market] ——— [Bird Garden] ——— [Goldfish Market] ——— [Ladies Market] ——— [Sneaker Street] – [Shopping in Electronics Street] ——— [Jade Market] ——— [Temple Night Street Market] ——— [Have some Hong Kong style food as dinner on temple street]
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