Hong Kong has a popular reputation for being one of the best shopping destinations in Asia. I would have to say that this reputation is well deserved. Shopping choices include the finest fashion boutiques, and huge malls that sell everything from cameras to cosmetics, clothes, shoes, jade, jewelry, etc. Visit alleyway markets and practice your bargaining powers. Include factory outlets in your itinerary and get a kick from rummaging through piles of stocks. Your patience might just reward you with interesting finds like stylish designer pieces.
From your hotel, like the Island Shangri-la Hotel Hong Kong, you can head to any of the famous shopping areas and start your shopping spree. The following would give you an idea of the more popular products that you can shop for when in Hong Kong.
1. ANTIQUES AND HANDICRAFTS â€“ Antiques and various forms of handicrafts can be bought from â€œCat Streetâ€ of Hong Kong Island. But, of course, traditional antiques abound in the main shopping areas. You can find original and reproduction Qing and Ming Dynasty furniture, scrolls as well as Asian handicrafts from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries. But if you would like to buy Chinese handicrafts then you have to go to Chinese product department stores and Chinese arts and craft shops.
2. CAMERAS AND PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT â€“ This is one of the things that I shop for when I am in Hong Kong as cameras and all sorts of photography accessories are sold at rock-bottom prices here. Most leading brands are here including Canon and Nikon as well as the professional end of the market with Hasselblad being the most popular. You can even get discounts most especially if you will pay in cash and purchasing more than one item. I would just have to warn you to be extra careful when making a purchase. Make it a point to check serial numbers and see if the products that youâ€™ll purchase carry some sort of international warranty so that you know what exactly you are paying for. Double check all items and unpack all the contents f the box and see if everything is complete before you leave the store.
3. CLOTHING â€“ Hong Kong has a very wide collection of all sorts of clothing lines that range from international designer labels to local brands. You will find known labels like Lanvin, Christian Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Moschino, DKNY, Giorgio Armani, Issey Miyake, Escada, etc in all up-market shopping centres. No need to worry if you are working on a limited budget. There are less expensive boutiques that you can visit and more often than not, these boutiques are for the younger market. Head to Causeway Bay in Hong Kong island and go around shops in Nathan Road to browse through inexpensive yet trendy stores. These stores also tend to showcase their merchandise in piles near their storeâ€™s doorways. But I guess I have to mention that it can be quite frustrating to shop for clothes in Hong Kong if you are voluptuous or plus sized. Most shops carry very small sizes that fit most locals. Some shops, like those in Mongkok and other flea markets do not have changing rooms available. If you would like to purchase silk and linen pieces then it is best to go to the Stanley market on Hong Kong Island or check out the factory outlets at Hung Hom. China emporiums carry silk and linen clothing as well.
4. COMPUTER â€“ If you are in need of a computer then you might want to scout for a unit in Hong Kong. You can choose from a wide variety of brands like when it comes to personal computers, mainframes, printers, spare parts, software, etc. Brands include Apple, Epson, Toshiba, etc. Bargaining is sometimes possible. One reminder is that you have to make sure that whatever it is that you will buy is compatible with the voltage of your home country.
5. COSMETICS AND PERFUME â€“ Given that a lot of items are offered free of taxes and duties in Hong Kong, I highly recommend that you buy a bottle or two of your favourite perfume or some pieces of cosmetics. You can buy these from in all department stores, specialty shops, boutiques, and pharmacies. I was even surprised to discover that in some stores, they sell the Tester bottles at discounted prices. You can purchase well known brands like Clinique, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, D & G, Hugo, Max Factor, Shu Uemura, MAC, etc.
6. FOOD â€“ Do not miss the chance to buy some Hong Kong delicacies like moon cake, local candies, noodles, preserved ham, etc. There was even a time when I brought home one whole Peking Duck from my trip! For goodies, donâ€™t forget to buy some chocolates which you can purchase from high end chocolate stores like Godiva and Sees.
7. PORCELAIN AND CHINESE PRODUCTS â€“ Visit the Chinese emporiums and buy souvenirs for yourself and for your friends. You can choose from so many vases, figurines, porcelain tableware and ornaments from Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, etc.
8. WATCHES AND CLOCKS â€“ This is another item that I buy when Iâ€™m in Hong Kong. It does not matter if you are the type who wears fun watches with icons of popular cartoon characters or if you are the type who loves to wear elegant timepieces encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones. In Hong Kong, you can choose from high end brands like Cartier, Chopard, Piaget, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer and the most popular, Rolex. You can certainly purchase these watch brands from many jewelry shops in Central on Hong Kong island and even in Nathan Road in Kowloon.
9. LEATHER GOODS â€“ There are number of stores where you can purchase leather goods like bags, shoes, belts, wallets, etc. There are brands like Louis Vuitton, Lancel, Hermes, etc. Leather goods from China can be found anywhere in Hong Kong like in department stores in all flea markets. Prices will vary depending on the location of the store.
10. TOYS â€“ Of course, there should also be something for the kids! Hong Kong is the worldâ€™s largest exporter of toys and manufactures many international known brands. You can shop in Toys â€˜R Us outlets that are in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and even in the New Territories. A highly popular chain of stores called Watsons also carries toys.
With all these wonderful things to buy in Hong Kong, I surely hope that you have a gigantic suitcase with you to pack everything. Oh, be ready to pay for excess baggage too!