Friday, September 24, 2010

Shopping Guide to HK - Part 1: Kowloon

Itinerary personalized for dearest Jo. Wish I could be there with you. Your requests are the ones which have stars. I threw in some other ones just in case and grouped them according to the MTR stops. In general, shopping areas do not open until after 11am, some even 1pm.


Prince (太子)

Allied Plaza/聯合廣場 consists of several floors of shopping that are somewhere between stalls and boutiques. Do not be too hasty in snapping things up as the exact same items could probably be found as well in the retail stores lining Fa Yuen Street at a cheaper price.

There are three exceptions though: scarves, tights, and BB cream. The scarves are super cheap and come in a every style imaginable. My favourite was this purple mohair loose cable knit scarf for only $20 HKD. Tights, especially opaque black, are a basic closet staple for me and was in heaven when I found this stall that sold tights with 400 thread count for cheapest price around.

The stalls that sell the scarves and black tights are on the floor that you arrive at after going up the first escalator. Turn right and always keep to your right. Continue along and keep your eyes open as the stalls do not have any signs. The stall selling tights will appear first and will be at the crossroad where the corridor splits into two. Keep to your right and if you continue along you will see the stall selling scarves on your left. It faces a wall lined with mirrors.

Fa Yuen Street (花園街) needs no introduction. It is the famous street with stalls selling everything imaginable. However, I go there for the stores that line the sides of the street where you may find the same clothing and accessories that caught your eye at Allied Plaza for a cheaper price. Actually, to be honest, I go there for the 菠蘿包 and the 咖哩魚蛋.

金華冰廳 is a Hong Kong-style cafe famous for their baked goods. You can buy their baked goods (which are often hot from the oven due to nonstop demand) to go or head inside for a seat. My favourite is their pineapple bun (菠蘿包). If you sit down to eat, try it with a slice of butter inside (菠蘿油).

旦王 offers local snacks, with their specialty being curry. I always go for their curry fish balls (咖哩魚蛋) and if I feel the need to kick up my cholesterol, curry squid (咖哩鱿鱼).

Mongkok (旺角)

**Argyle Centre/旺角中心** is similar to Allied Plaza but think trendier, younger (like teens), and crazier. Avoid when school is out or else be prepared to suffocate and be stepped on. You will find a lot of cheap knock-offs of whatever is popular in Japan and Korea, be it clothes, bags, shoes or accessories. I recommend that if there is something you really want, buy it then and there because you probably will not be able to locate that stall again.
Address: 688 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Jordan (佐敦)

Australia Dairy Company/澳洲牛奶公司 is a Hong Kong style cafe which features a cheap meal sets and yummy steamed milk pudding. Expect everything to be fast. You sit (probably with a bunch of strangers), you order, they serve, you eat, they serve, you drink, you pay and leave. All often within 20 minutes. Redeeming point: they make the best scrambled eggs.

髮品店 sells hair and selective beauty products at wholesale prices. This is the store that all the salons and hair stylists go to when they need to stock up. Do no hesitate to ask for help; their staff is very knowledgeable about their products and hair in general.

Tsim Sha Tsui (尖沙咀)

**龍城大藥房** is an old drugstore that carries everything at a cheaper price. Skincare, hair, makeup, medicine, body products, etc. Cash only.
Address: 九龍尖沙咀加連威老道28號

The places mentioned above have all been marked on the google map below.

View Shopping - Kowloon, HK in a larger map