My friend went to Hong Kong and all he got me was this lousy T-shirt, antique Buddha head and indie rock album.
"I ? Hong Kong" T-shirt
Any of Hong Kong's famed street markets will offer a whole range of cheesy tourist T-shirts emblazoned with "Lost in Hong Kong" or a map of the MTR system or a charted guide to tai chi moves performed by a cartoon panda. Ladies' Market and Jardine's Bazaar as well as Li Yuan East and West streets are best. Warm up those negotiation muscles and prepare for a good ol' bargaining war with traders.
Ladies' Market: take the MTR to Mong Kok Station, Exit E2, then walk along Nelson Street for two blocks.
Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay MTR Station, exit F
Li Yuan East and West streets, Central MTR Station, exit C
Custom-made suits and cheongsam
Maggie Cheung | "In the Mood For Love"
Shanghainese tailors used to rule Hong Kong, but nowadays most people go across the border to Shenzhen for a cheap custom-tailored deal. For shoppers who still appreciate Shanghainese attention to detail and who don't mind dropping a couple of grand to feel like a million, check out W. W. Chan & Sons, said to be the best Shanghainese tailors in town, and Linva Tailors who did Maggie Cheung's sexy cheongsams for "In the Mood For Love."
W.W. Chan & Sons Tailor, A2, 2/F, Burlington House, 94 Nathan Road, Kowloon, +852 2366 9738/2634, www.wwchan.com
Linva Tailors, 38 Cochrane St., Central, +852 2544 2456
Chinese Arts and Crafts is an emporium of high-quality goods from China. If you think that's an oxymoron, prepare to be surprised. The department store stocks ready-to-wear, slightly clich?d but elegant traditional Chinese clothes, semi-precious gems and traditional handicrafts. www.cachk.com
Hong Kong kitsch
T-shirts printed with puns on Cantonese profanity, candles in the shape of Chinese characters, squeaky toys made to look like Chinese stone lions -- that's just the kind of tongue-in-cheek stuff that can be found at homegrown brand G.O.D. www.god.com.hk
Antiques, real and fake
Cat Street Market
Hollywood Road is heavy with antique shops. Counting the Buddha heads you can spot on this street is a good way to kill hours of spare time. Genuine finds and knock-offs share the same real estate here. Sometimes it's easy to tell them apart but most times it is difficult to the untrained eye. If it's just a fun, cheap antique-looking ornament that you're after, try the Cat Street bazaar instead. The open-air junk jumble is a favorite of flea market fans.
Cat Street Market, Cat Street, Sheung Wan MTR station, exit A2
Novelty plastic key chains
Nothing says "wish you were here" like a mini plastic bowl of noodles dangling off a key chain. Get it at Temple Street market.
Yau Ma Tai MTR station, exit C, turn around to Man Ming Lane, Temple Street is just two blocks away.
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July 30, 2010
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