Hong Kong was born to make money, and so it follows that shopping in the city must be pretty special. But before setting out on your holiday shopping journey in the city, consider these top shops and gift ideas.
The city's long been the gateway to China, so it acts as a conduit for all the multifarious goods manufactured in the People's Republic. And it's one of the great crossroads of Asia, acting as an entrepôt for wares from Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
Downtown is the obvious place to start shopping expeditions, so that's Central on Hong Kong Island, and Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsular.
Ready, steady, shop! Hong Kong's sales always offer good deals — Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board
But it's really the markets – leftovers from years gone by, long before modern malls were erected – where the most exciting goods are for sale.
Temple Street Night Market is something of a legend and Stanley Market combines some intriguing higgledy-piggledy alleys with a location right by the sea, while Western Market is one of Hong Kong's historic buildings, as well as a lively commercial operation.
One of the pleasures of shopping in Hong Kong is the ease of getting around. The metro system is cheap, swift and efficient, and much of Central is connected by overhead walkways. So shoppers can stroll from mall to mall without having to bother about the traffic.
It's customary in Hong Kong to engage in a little bargaining in the markets. Ask a couple of random questions at first, then, casually, ask the price. Responding with, "Wow, that's cheap!" is a fatal error.
If you've been told HK$100, offer HK$60. You should end up meeting roughly midway.
Of course, speaking Cantonese or Putonghua is an advantage. Also note that traders usually let the first sale of the day go cheaply, believing it will bring them good fortune. Of course, make sure that you are talking Hong Kong, rather than US or any other sort of dollar.
Essentially, shopping in Hong Kong is all about having fun!