Shopping around in Hong Kong

Whether you're hunting down bargains, designer clothes or thoroughly unusual souvenirs, Hong Kong is a shopper's mecca.

You can't miss the bustling markets or the lavish malls extending up into the sky, but keen eyes will also spot quirky boutique stores nestled in the nooks and crannies of the city. The best part - shopping is tax free.

Shop the eastern way

Want to shop like the locals? Hong Kong's streets have you more than covered. The South Chinese practice of dedicating streets to one category of goods is well and truly alive in the city, and it makes for a mind-boggling shopping selection.

For those with a penchant for the weird and wonderful, Hong Kong has markets for every taste. Visit the historic Cat Street for antiques and curious trinkets. Watch expert hagglers on bargain street, Jardine's Crescent. Or challenge yourself to walk through world-renowned sneaker strip, Fa Yuen Street, without upgrading your shoes for new kicks. But then again…why fight it?

If you find beauty in chaos, immersing yourself in the Temple Street night markets is another must. With Tin Hau temple at its heart, the street bursts with local custom. If you're not daring enough to get amongst the hustle yourself, sometimes watching the action is just as fulfilling.

Retail giants

Though Hong Kong's world-class shopping malls contrast strongly with the surrounding street stalls, they represent the evolution of China's marketplace heritage. Jaw-dropping, polished and decadent, they pulsate with a different kind of energy and a plethora of global brands.

Causeway Bay is an unapologetic retail wonderland. Bright, bold and lathered in consumer glitz, it's worth visiting just to soak up the frantic vibe. When amongst the Causeway hustle, you can't skip visiting Times Square Mall. It's a marvel of retail excess, with over 230 top stores encased in a beautiful shell. Fashion, electronics, toys, restaurants ­­- the lot. There's no need to let the madness absorb you either ­- the malls are open until 10pm, so shop at your own tempo.

Challenge yourself to walk the world-renowned sneaker strip, Fa Yuen Street, without upgrading your shoes. But then again…why fight it?

Don't be tricked into thinking these contemporary shopping hubs lack personality. A visit to the 1881 Heritage Mall in Kowloon will totally change your perception of mall shopping. Acting as the headquarters of the Hong Kong Marine Police from the 1880s to 1996, the Victorian-era wonder has been repurposed for international fashion shopping and fine dining.

Boutique gems

If you're after the unique, exotic or inspired, Hong Kong's thriving boutique scene might be right up your alley. Charming and often shoebox-sized stores are scattered throughout the region.

Shopping mall, Times Square Hong Kong.

SoHo (south of Hollywood road) is the trendiest part of town, and it's filled with boutique brilliance. Nestled between tasteful bars, cafes and cupcake bakeries are shops like Fang Fong Projects, where a renowned local designer creates retro-inspired and one-of-a-kind pieces using traditional fabric. You'll also find home décor inspiration around the streets of SoHo. While it's unlikely you'll have enough suitcase space for a chair or dinner set, you can always arrange to have things shipped back home. Jewellery and bags are other things to hunt down in SoHo.

Keep exploring Hong Kong