Monday, 9 January 2012

Hong Kong (Part 1): Ladies' Market

Alright, ladies! A little shopping post for you.

If you're ever in Hong Kong, you have to visit Ladies' Market. Basically, it's a street market full of clothes, bags, shoes and knick-knacks. Yes, some may argue that it's too tourist-y and you may be able to get some things cheaper elsewhere, but if you're only there for a short while and don't have time to hunt all over the place, a street market like this is perfect for shopping (especially for souvenirs). Ladies' Market is located at Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok.

1) Envelope bags

My Top 10 tips for shopping at Ladies' Market:
1) Haggle! However, start haggling only if you're really interested in the item. The stall owners can get pretty mad if you do some serious haggling (50%), then change your mind.
Personally, I start off looking slightly interested, ask for the price, make quick mental calculations while looking disinterested, then quote price I'm willing to pay (50%). The stall owner would usually then quote another price higher than mine (80%). My next step depends on how much I like the item. If I still really like it, I make one final quote as a compromise (60% or 70%). If I sort of changed my mine (say, the quoted price put me off slightly, but I'll have it if the price is cheap), I stick to my original price (50%). If the owner is still unwilling to match my price, I then walk away. More than once, the stall owner called me back to give me the price I asked for. WIN!

2) Little denim handbags

2) Do not despair if the walking-away trick doesn't work. Many of the stalls sell the same thing, so you can always move on to the next one to haggle. Even better now that you know what the "market price" is.

3) Colourful rubber purses/phone holders

3) It's fine to ask for prices and it's perfectly fine to walk away if the quoted price is too high for you. Do not be pressurized into buying anything.

4) Umbrellas

4) This didn't happen to us, but if a stall owner starts grumbling at you, just walk away. They can get very persistent, but just smile and say, "No, thank you" and quickly walk away. Don't be over polite, just walk away as soon as possible.

5) Funny underwear

5)  Be reasonable. Do not ask for ridiculously cheap prices. I heard a stall owner scold a woman because she was asking for a 80% discount!

6) Mao Zedong pocket watches

6) I noticed the stall owners who were more friendly and helpful were more willing to haggle in order to make a sale. The ones that continue chatting to their friends and don't even look up when we peer at their items are the ones that are not desperate to sell off their items (for what ever reason). You probably wouldn't get much of a discount from them.

7) Earrings

7) Do not be afraid of asking for new items. Personally, when ever possible, I don't buy the displayed item, but instead ask for a brand new one. These are usually still wrapped in plastic/paper and haven't been touched/dropped by hundreds of hands.

5) Louboutin knockoffs

8) This goes without saying, but if you see a branded item there, it is most certainly fake. So be aware that you're buying counterfeit items (no judge-y, though. I may or may not have bought some knock-offs myself hehe).

9) Mini food keychains

9) Be aware of "No Photography" signs. Although I didn't see many of these, certain (anal) stalls did have them.

10) Mini camera thumbdrives

10) If you're like me and like to look at and buy quirky things, be prepared to spend a good couple of hours here. Bring some water, wear comfortable shoes and go crazy!

11) Mini teapot thumbdrives


12) Ladies' Market


  1. I love shopping in Hong Kong.. :D They always end up giving you what you want coz they need to make sales! Definitely great shopping tips.. now I'm tempted to go back ASAP so I can get more useless (probably fake) stuff!! ><" lovely photos too! :D

  2. I seriously couldn't help myself not to laugh when I saw those "funny underwear". But what really caught my eye were those watches. Definitely a great souvenir for my family.

  3. haha Asian markets xDD I've only been to the ones in Shanghai, but I'm pretty sure the HK ones are similar. I love how there is just so much cute and cheap stuff all around you that it's almost dizzying! I had to laugh when I read your tips about haggling, because my aunt and I do the EXACT same things (although my Mandarin isn't very good so I'm mostly there to do the disinterested face) :P

  4. hey.. it's gonna be my first ever visit to HK and i wanna hit the Ladies' Market! Can u tell me the average prices of things such as a basic blouse, flats or a clutch? i don't really know what to expect and i heard they don't really pud price tags on the items.

    PS. i hope to see your haul from there too.. :)

  5. aww... those mini cameras are so cute!

  6. Great pictures! I haven't been there in years and you definitely entice me in going. I'm visiting HK in March I cannot wait to actually go!

  7. aahh this is soo cool:) definitely have to go to hongkong once:)



  8. Oh I see now the camera is a USB! and I like your tips =pp

  9. i seriously don't like ladies market =( i dislike the stuff that they are selling and the ppl aren't nice T__T" .. 

  10. Aw I miss HK D: I always have to 'warm up' my haggling skills when I first get there. Then after a few days in HK, I'm much better at it haha. I was about to get one of those envelop clutches during my trip back this past summer but I didn't and I regret it so much :(

    And I totally got scolded for haggling when I tried 50% in Korea and the lady yelled at me >.< I guess it's different how much you can ask for in different countries.Thanks for sharing this post, brings back good memories teehee

  11. Good shopping tips! I always forget to haggle in asia! : D 

  12. woohoo! finally a blog post. i personally don't like to haggle but its a must in asian street shops like this. will u be showing us your loots? i'll be definitely interested at looking at em XD kinda busybody lol.

  13. Ah. I've missed you and your posts. <3

    Ladies Market looks awesomeee~ haha. Crowded...but oh my! So many things to look at. Did you have to speak in Chinese to do the haggling? Score for getting all (or most) that you wanted for 50%! :D

  14. This is so amazing :D I'd love to shop here....drool!!!!
    The market looks amazing :)

  15. Not my favorite place to shop because of the overcrowded people x_x
    I have bought envolopebags aswell in HK ^^ so cute!
    I like to shop elsewhere in Mong Kok, there is this mall where they sell
    cheapo stuff, similair to Ladies Market.


  16. Wow it's a nice place to visit ! :D

  17. I heard this is one of HK's best shopping district. Love shopping and traveling altogether. This is one helpful post as well. :) 

    Have a great week ahead! :)

  18. thanks for posting about this! I was planning to visit HK this year so this helps! i love the mini food keychains! looks so real!

  19. Wow, this looks like a place not to be missed.  I was there 2 years ago and there was nothing much to look at, practically every stall was selling the same stuff, and the people were ever so rude!  I've made plans to visit HK in July, hopefully these cuties are still around. Thanks for sharing.

  20. What's the name of this mall in Mongkok? Maybe I can check it out during my trip in July. Thanks.

  21. Ok, so next time you go...I'mma need to give you a list of things to buy for me and have them shipped over here to the US. I'll pay the shipping and of course send you money! HAHAHAHAAHA

    Shasie of Live
    Life in Style

  22. wow cool!! It looks like heaven, LOL, I believe there's many anime figure there? XD
    I'd love to go there someday *w*

  23. i remember walking around ladies st. i was a poor student then and didn't shop much :( enjoyed reading your tips. i need to get those cute umbrellas the next time i travel to asia. 

  24. Totally in love with those knock off Louboutins! And these are such good tips but I'm HORRIBLE at haggling. I need to bring someone like YOU shopping with me! haha

  25. Hi Joey, how are you? :)

    nice pics, looks there really awesome, wanna go there now and shopping like freak :D
    rubber purses looks really cool :)wish you nice day ^^

  26. Joey, this was truly interesting! I learned so much. They have lots of cool things. :D Thanks!

  27. I enjoy reading your travel blog posts! It makes me want to do a bit of travelling myself (:

    Reply to your comment:
    I actually didn't purchase much (clothing wise) from Romwe on my first order to really judge their quality. But I'll keep you posted once my second order comes in!

  28. I love markets like this! I don't think I went to this one when I was in HK though, but it was so many years ago it could very well have been the same one. They sell so many cute knickknacks though - I could probably spend the whole day there :D I feel like haggling is something a lot of Asians are good at doing lol; growing up in the US, you never haggle at a store, and it was very odd to me when my mom kept haggling with all the stall owners when we were in HK

  29. Thanks for the info Joey, will definitely check this place out.

    1. This is how you get there

  30. I am here in Hongkong now. I come regularly, And these are good tips. However, I would go lower than 50% initially, because they will quote you a Crazy high price to begin with. And don't be afraid to say no and walk away! They take advantage of tourists. So don't be a mug! Get haggling!!xx

  31. I agree. Go much lower than 50%! If they are still smiling when you walk away, you have probably been ripped off! If they sell, but are pissed off with you- you got a good deal! Ha ha

  32. Great post. I just located your blog and wished to let you know that I have certainly loved reading your blogs. At any rate I’m going to be subscribing to your feed and I really hope you are writing again soon.

  33. Hi thanx im goin hk this monday and its a very valuable tips.. I love the mini camera usb and umbrellas thought of getting some for my family if they are really very cheap


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