Shopping – the very mention of that term gets a lot of women very excited. Therefore it should come as no surprise that shopping is a much loved activity during our sojourns in Hong Kong. While we span the gamut of stores from the huge shopping malls such as the Harbor City Mall, to chains such as Bossini, Giordanos, etc, the Temple Street Night Market is just one of those special brand “Hong Kong” shopping experiences.
As the name suggests, the Temple Street Night Market comes alive each night at Temple Street. Time Magazine describes the market as, “looks like every B-movie director’s dream of Chinatown”. Small stalls overflow with merchandise ranging from suitcases, handbags, trinkets, electronics, knock off CD’s/DVD’s, paintings, artwork and gimmicky home fixtures such as a giant toothpaste shaped toilet paper dispenser.
We usually go after sunset, starting at Jordan Road, finishing many hours later…the ritual always the same; take a walk down to see what is available, bargain, walk away and then come back to scoop up our purchases. Here are some of our collective favorite experiences:
- People watching as locals and tourists converge to have noodles and beer in small roadside stands/restuarants with outdoor seating.
- Going to the same backpack vendor each year to buy really rugged khaki backpacks. We sure have a collection going!
- Buying a suitcase after much haggling to bring home our finds.
- Buying some absolutely gorgeous oil paintings signed by an unknown artist, including one of TinTin.
- Drooling over all the bags, realizing that I am going to have to restrict myself to three at most.
- Getting funky tshirts that seem to last forever no matter how much you abuse them at home.
- Buying the funkiest slippers, including ones that resembled mushrooms from Super Mario Brothers.
- Bringing home gag gifts of toilet roll dispensers that take on the look of everyday objects…toothpaste, toilets, soaps, etc.
Most of all, beyond our finds, it is the feeling with which we leave the market that is priceless. Coming back to a favorite place, finding comfort in knowing it and yet discovering new things, fulfilling a favorite pastime called shopping and of course feeling like we can’t wait till we are back next year.