The Cliffs of Insanity: Kowloon Markets & Mong Kok

Exploring Hong Kong Part 3 – Kowloon Markets & Mong Kok

Kowloon and Mong Kok both have some pretty interesting markets for the tourist or the everyday Hong Kong resident.

First of all, I highly recommend a visit to the Kowloon/Mong Kok Markets. They’re hectic, packed full of people, surrounded by dense, dizzyingly high buildings, but the things you can see there and find there…totally worth the hassle when you’re in the mood for hassle.

The tamer (but relatively busy) markets are the Flower Market, Bird Market, and Goldfish Market. I’ve written about the flower market near Prince Edward MTR line before (Flower Market Street), but the Bird and Goldfish Markets are an entity all their own. The Bird Market is just as crowded and packed as Mong Kok, echoing its urban surroundings despite the pleasant-looking entrance to the park. Suddenly, after a little passage down the more open air section, one is crowded into small alley with a gazillion caged birds all trying to sing but are ending up sounding like drunk people singing Michael Jackson at the local KTV. The smell is a bit much as well – if you have allergies or any kind of aversion to large net bags of crickets, then the Bird Market is definitely not for you. I have to say, my heart hurt a bit seeing some of those lovely birds all caged up when there were loads of fat little sparrows puttering about, all free and such.

After the Bird Market, I continued on toward the Fa Yuen Market and Ladies Market, but not without crossing the Goldfish Market with loads of small shops selling all sorts of fishes to eager children. Since I was not in the market for a pet, I skipped that and walked into the Fa Yuen Market, which, much like the streets of Mong Kok, are narrow and allow for little wiggle room to get around shoppers with massive suitcases.

I floated through both markets with barely enough air to breathe – so, yeah, I went during a weekday holiday, not recommended if you can help it – and ended up near an MTR stop. The saving grace for me was the little stand selling the delicious egg waffles, so I grabbed one of those and headed away from Mong Kok – the most densely populated place on earth.

Egg waffles
Egg waffles
High density
High density

Little did I know that the Temple Street Market had even more interesting treasures to behold. I was keen on the old adverts and propaganda bits, and I needed some electronics cords. Some of the art was nice, as I hadn’t gotten a Hong Kong piece yet to add to my walls. I went with a good friend, and we strolled the food markets and stalls alongside the market, finding alley-way eateries and dim sum delicacies as we browsed the stalls.

I’ll just say this – Temple Street has many things on offer – the old school propaganda being the most innocuous of it all, perhaps.

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