Eternally popular with locals and tourists, everything from department stores and mega-malls to bargain stalls can be found in Causeway Bay. The area’s neon lit streets are lined with shops that sell the latest fashion and trendy trinkets, as well as huge shopping malls, such as Hysan Place at Lee Gardens (http://www.leegardens.com.hk), which offer top luxury labels like Gucci, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
Located nearby on Matheson Street is Times Square, one of the most popular malls in the city, with 16 floors of shopping and dining. The basement has fast-food outlets and stores selling jewelry and beauty products and the top floor (The Food Forum) is dominated by mid- to high-end restaurants. The rest of the floors mainly offer clothing and accessories, as well as electronic products and home appliances.
The rest of Causeway Bay revolves around the busy intersection on Hennessy Road anchored by the Sogo department store (http://www.sogo.com.hk), and Great George Street, where you’ll find Windsor House (http://www.windsorhouse.hk), with children’s stores on one side of the street and Ikea (in the basement of the Park Lane Hotel) on the other. Additionally Causeway Bay also hosts the Hong Kong World Trade Center on Gloucester Road (http://www.wtcmore.com/eng/welcome.html) which offers a wide selection of dining and shopping options. Also located within Causeway Bay is the Jardine Crescent Street Market which is popular with budget shoppers.
Aside from these main malls and shopping centers, Causeway Bay plays hosts to numerous stores that sell luxury watches, shoes and accessories, trendy clothes designed by local designers. An area of Causeway Bay known as Fashion Walk which is located behind the Sogo Department store is especially known for its many stylish boutiques that offer the wares of both local and international designers.
Causeway Bay is notorious for being packed on weekends and public holidays, so if you dislike crowds, you might want to do your shopping here on the weekdays.
The Central district is home to many well-known fashion labels and brand names from around the world. Whether it is a Chanel handbag, a pair of Jimmy Choos or a Rolex watch you desire, you can be sure of finding it here. The most popular mall in the neighborhood is the International Finance Centre, or simply IFC to the locals, currently the tallest building in Hong Kong and one of the tallest in the world. Its shopping directory reads like a Who’s Who of international designers, with brand names from every corner of the world.
Nearby on Des Voeux Road is the Landmark (http://www.centralhk.com), an office building linked to a shopping center with equally prestigious boutiques and the British department store Harvey Nichols. Yet another luxe shopping destination in Central is the Prince’s Building which is home to the expat favorite, Oliver’s Delicatessen, and several chic restaurants and shops like Sevva, Dot Cod, Alfred Dunhill, Picture This, Jacadi, Alessi and many more. The neighboring buildings of Alexandra House and Charter House similarly host several upscale boutiques like Prada, Armani Fiori, Armani Dolci, BVLGari and others.
For budget-conscious shoppers, Li Yuen Street East and West which are popularly referred to ‘the Lanes’ are two parallel lanes along Queen’s Road Central, that are crammed with numerous stalls hawking everything from inexpensive clothing and trinkets to luggage and children’s wear.
Admiralty is primarily a business district which is home to three high-end hotels and several office towers. There is a limited availability of stores in Admiralty, save for a few high-end malls catering to expats and affluent locals. Most prominent of them is the swanky Pacific Place complex (http://www.pacificplace.com.hk) which is linked to office towers and five-star serviced apartments. Pacific Place is a shopping haven for the well-heeled. Its 200 retail shops are devoted almost entirely to luxury brands and high fashion boutiques such as Prada, Gucci, Dior and Burberry. If you’re looking for jewelry or watches, there are Tiffany’s, Cartier and Bulgari.
Audio-visual specialist Bang & Olufsen also has an outlet here, as do high-end department stores Lane Crawford and Seibu. The shopping center is linked to the Admiralty MTR underground station via its basement, and by walkways to a two smaller malls, Queensway and the Admiralty Centre.
Wan Chai is where your average techie would love to hang out. The Wan Chai Computer Centre, located on Lockhart Rd next to the Wan Chai MTR Station is the epicenter of this shopping district. The Wan Chai Computer Centre contains five levels of technological products and the centre is a must-do for anybody who is seeking computer peripherals. Prices are reasonable and you are likely to find bargains here compared to the shopping malls.
If you are feeling adventurous, there are two more buildings just 15 minutes’ walk away that sell more computer-related products – 298 Computer Zone, which specializes in computer and mobile phone accessories, and Oriental 188 Shopping Centre, which sells mainly computer and PC games. It is a good idea to bring someone who can speak Cantonese with you, as these shops cater to the locals and most shopkeepers do not speak English. Around Wan Chai computer centre are many small mobile phone stores that sell new and second hand mobile phones and also provide services like unlocking phones and Blackberries.
The stretch along Queen’s Road East from Hennessey Road to Spring Garden Lane is often referred to as Wan Chai’s interior design district for this area of Wan Chai is populated by many furniture and soft furnishing stores like Ovo Home, Simle Life, White Window and many others. Additionally Wan Chai is also known for its many export surplus stores. These stores are mainly located along Johnston Road and resemble warehouses where piles of clothes are displayed for shoppers to dig through. These stores sell factory rejects or surplus that is produced in China’s many factories for various international brands.
Tsim Sha Tsui
The most popular area for shopping in Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui has the greatest concentration of shops in the city. The gigantic Harbour City (http://www.harbourcity.com.hk), Hong Kong’s largest shopping complex, offers over 700 shops, some 50 restaurants, 2 cinemas, the largest City Super supermarket in Hong Kong, as well as the world’s largest Toys ‘R’ Us outlet. This is one-stop shopping at its best. Near Harbour City is Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui’s main commercial artery, stretching for 4km from Kowloon Park down to the harbor. The road is called ‘Golden Mile’, and is lined with shops selling clothing, electronic goods, luggage, jewelry, watches and more.
Aside from Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, in recent years, has come to be populated by various other luxe malls like the Miramar Shopping Centre (http://www.miramarshoppingcentre.com/) which is connected to the hip Mira Hotel, The One which is a 29 storey mall that is home to over 200 high end and middle range shops and restaurants (http://www.the-one.hk/en/home/), The K-11 mall (http://www.k11concepts.com/en/) which describes itself as the world’s first art mall that offers a cultural education along with a shopping experience and the iSquare mall (http://www.isquare.hk/) which is located in the heart of Nathan Road and is equipped with many diverse stores, restaurants and an Imax Theatre.
Another luxe shopping destination of note in Tsim Sha Tsui is the 1881 Heritage complex (http://www.1881heritage.com/). This magnificent colonial structure was once the Marine Police Headquarters in Hong Kong but today it is a complex of several luxe shops and restaurants like Puyi Optical, Cartier, Dunhill, Emperor, Shanghai Tang, Tiffany and Co, Vivenne Tam and others.
Yet another landmark on Tsim Sha Tsui is the notorious ChungKing Mansion complex which consists of five 17 story towers that house budget guesthouses, restaurants, offices, money changing outlets and stores that sell cheap electronics, phone accessories and various other knick-knacks which are favored by budget tourists.
Mongkok is home to another two of Hong Kong’s giant shopping malls, Langham Place and Grand Century Place (http://www.grandcenturyplace.com.hk). A 15-storey shopping center catering to middle-incomers, Langham Place at Argyle Street is filled with every mid-priced brand known to the city – from clothing and shoes to home furnishings and mobile phones. There is also a cinema, restaurants, and cafes where you can rest your feet after a weary day of shopping. Grand Century Place at Prince Edward Road West is a 720,000sqft shopping haven, with a diverse mix of brand-name retailers and restaurants. Recreational and leisure facilities include an eight-screen cinema and 18,000sqft children’s playground.
For bargain hunters, Mongkok has plenty to offer. Ladies Market at Tung Choi Street is great for inexpensive clothing, accessories and assorted knick-knacks. Watch out, though, for counterfeit brand goods, most commonly watches and designer handbags. A good place to shop for sportswear is Fa Yuen Street, where you will be spoilt for choice with the large number of stores devoted to sportswear and trainers. Prices are a great deal lower than you will pay on Hong Kong Island or Tsim Sha Tsui.
Mong Kok also has its own computer center which is located on Nelson Street. This computer center, like others in the city, is populated by small stores that sell all sorts of computer peripherals, accessories, laptops and netbooks, camera lenses and more. The stores at Mong Kok computer centre also offer computer building and repair services. Other popular shopping locales in Mong Kok include Sai Yeung Choi Street South which is populated by several electronics shops, beauty supply stores and restaurants, the Flower Market which located along Prince Edward Road West and is populated by many vendors of exotic blooms and Goldfish Street which is located on Tung Choi Street. Goldfish Street is a popular source for fish for home aquariums. According the principles of Feng Shui, a properly positioned aquarium can bring much luck into a home thus home aquariums are quite popular in Hong Kong.