Shopping in Hong Kong

One of the world’s largest shopping capitals, Hong Kong boasts tax-free status on everything except alcohol and tobacco. With such a competitive market, shoppers are guaranteed to find high-quality goods at even better prices. Expats can cost-effectively stock up their homes with the latest in electronic gadgets, scour local markets for fresh produce and find bargains on antiques and fabrics.

The shopping in Hong Kong is legendary, and it’s easy for high-income earning expats to quickly become aisle-cruising addicts in an Asian hub with non-existent sales tax and an impressive inventory of designer boutiques. 

Markets in Hong Kong

Markets are popular with locals, expats and tourists alike. Ladies Market, Jardine’s Crescent, Temple Street Night Market and Stanley Market are among the most popular. Be aware that not all markets haggle in Hong Kong – observe other shoppers to see if this is the case before trying to wrangle a cheaper price.

For a taste of the real Hong Kong market life, visit a wet market, where produce, seafood and meat are still sold the old-fashioned way. While the chances of seeing fresh animal carcasses and stepping in blood might be a vegetarian’s nightmare, it’s a street photographer’s dream. 

Another authentic Hong Kong shopping experience is the dai pai dong. These little stalls with green tin roofs originally sold street food, but can now be found selling anything cheap, from zippers to magazines. 

Shopping malls in Hong Kong 

Flashy designer labels are extremely popular, especially with Hong Kong locals and mainland Chinese. In accommodating this, the city can sometimes feel like one endless chain of shopping centres.

The Landmark, the IFC, Harbour City, Pacific Place, Elements and Times Square are just a few of them. Big names like Prada, Chanel and Louis Vuitton are everywhere and high-street brands like Zara and American Eagle can be found as well. 

Counterfeit goods in Hong Kong

For those who can’t afford the real thing, fakes abound. Although officially discouraged, the manufacturing of counterfeit luxury goods is a large industry throughout much of Asia. Many expats head across the border to China to the Luohu Commercial City in Shenzhen, a fake designer mecca about an hour away on the MTR train. Be prepared to haggle prices and be aware that, although they are all fakes, items vary in quality. 

Boutiques in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a hip and creative streak, with original and quirky designer products available. These can mostly be found in boutiques in Soho, Sheung Wan and PMQ (previously the living quarters for married police).

Goods of Desire is a popular retail chain in several locations that sells various Hong Kong Kong-inspired knick-knacks and homeware. For a more Western-style shopping experience, LoveIt and Polka Dot Boutique are popular small businesses that keep up with Western trends.

Kate McDonnell

Kate and her husband have been living in Hong Kong for 3 years and are busy setting up an orientations company called Expat Navigations to help new expats find their way. She has traveled extensively and has a passion for exploring new places.