Unfortunately, much of Hong Kong's historic architecture has been demolished to make way for sleeker, more modern structures. That's part of the reason why Western Market stands out – it's located in a four-story brick Edwardian built in 1906, a real contrast to surrounding skyscrapers. The first floor, known as "cloth alley", is where you'll find a plethora of vendors offering an array of fabrics, from fine silks to inexpensive canvas. You'll also find wonderful handmade Chinese crafts. Shrewd shoppers can walk away with some real bargains here. Upstairs is the Treasure Inn Seafood Restaurant, a casual spot for a good midday meal.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is Hong Kong's most historic mall, a true one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Ed's expert tip: There is no MTR station right nearby, so hop aboard the tram (streetcar) to get here.
Formerly a fishing harbor and warehouse district, this is now a prime location for first-rate shopping and dining options. This neighborhood teems with a local crowd, both young and old. Causeway Bay runs the complete gamut of shopping options, from an up-scale shopping mall in Times Square to food markets selling traditional Asian ingredients, fresh fish, poultry, and pork. There are also mini malls, like the Island Beverly Center, which is floor after floor of small stores and boutiques selling quirky one-off items. Best of all, Causeway Bay stays open till late in the evening, so it's fine to head out shopping after dinner.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is ground zero for retail in Hong Kong, which a tremendous mix of markets and department stores.
Ed's expert tip: Causeway Bay is right next to Victoria Park – a great open space after some hectic shopping.
Something like a public market set within a public park, this is a distinctly Hong Kong attraction where about 70 vendors offer a wide variety of birds (with prices largely based on the sweetness of a bird's song) and bird accessories. People who already own pet birds tend to take them everywhere, so there is a big demand for elaborate cages, delicate food dishes, and toys, all of which can be found in abundance here. Whether your feelings toward our avian friends are enthusiastic or indifferent, this is one Hong Kong sight you won't want to miss. Ask owners before taking a photograph.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: It's like an outdoor mall, with the added attraction of proud bird owners showing off their pets.
Ed's expert tip: Ornate bird cages are one of the most distinctive souvenirs on sale here.
This diverse fine arts gallery is renowned for its selection of Chinese art textiles. Teresa Coleman Fine Arts is a charming place, and the shop offers an array of antiques, paintings, rugs, and even elaborate dragon robes. Teresa Coleman Fine Arts opened in Hong Kong in 1982 as a gallery specializing in antique Chinese embroidered costumes and textiles; these range from the magnificent Dragon robes of the Imperial court, to formidable wall hangings and unusual and delicately embroidered accessories, earmuffs, shoes, collars, hats and purses. There are also beautifully embroidered curtains and covers made especially for export, exquisitely carved and painted fans, lacquer, paintings, and engravings.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Teresa Coleman stocks very much top of the range textiles.
Ed's expert tip: The gallery is open by appointment only.
The lush red lantern exterior of Yue Po Chai Antiques sets the mood at this impressive dealer. Located near the historic Man Mo Temple, this showroom features more than 10,000-square feet of curios, artifacts, and furniture. Period pieces can date back all the way to the Neolithic period and range to the present day. Yue Po Chai Antiques is renowned for its huge stock of ceramics. As there are so many antiques shops along Hollywood Road, it makes sense to shop around, but Yue Po Chai has been in business for a long time and certainly deserves its excellent reputation.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: One of the most venerable stores on all of Hollywood Road.
Ed's expert tip: A real Aladdin's Cave; set aside some time to browse in depth here.
Having a qipao or Chinese tunic suit tailor-made in Hong Kong is a treat, but that process usually takes at least a week. For tourists in a hurry, Shanghai Tang stocks high-quality and off-the-rack traditional Chinese formal wear for both men and women. Probably the most famous Chinese couture house, Shanghai Tang originated in Hong Kong. Instead of strictly traditional designs, all of Shanghai Tang's garments are modernized, for example, a few qipaos come with belts and suits are made in exotic materials like moleskin. But all the classic details are there: stand-up collars, streamline cuts and intricate buttons. The brand also produces accessories like purses and scarves as well as homeware items. There are six Shanghai Tang outlets in downtown Hong Kong, with one at 18 Salisbury Road and one in 1881 Heritage on Canton Road.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Shanghai Tang is Hong Kong's premier made in China designer label.
Tracy You's expert tip: If you can spare the time and prefer a traditional made-to-measure qipao, try Mei Wah Fashion in Sheung Wan or Linva Tailor in Central.
Hong Kong's largest shopping center, Harbour City is divided into thematic zones. At Ocean Terminal you'll find high fashion such as Vivienne Westwood, plus a kids' section with one of the largest Toys R' Us stores in Asia. At Ocean Centre and Gateway Arcade there are additional high-fashion boutiques, including Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. The fourth zone is part of the Marco Polo Hotel and features a Lane Crawford department store and cinemas. The mall has some 700 shops in all, plus about 50 restaurants. The mall is adjacent to Hong Kong's city center cruise terminal, so liners moor right next to it.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Almost nowhere else in Hong Kong stocks such an extensive selection of high quality goods.
Ed's expert tip: If you need a break from shopping, Kowloon Park is just across the road at the northern end of Harbour City.
Surrounded by antique stores, this fine arts gallery features antique maps that harken back to the days of world exploration. Maps are the specialty here, and they have one in a style to suit any decor. You'll also find a good selection of architectural prints and watercolors as well as some affordable Western fine art. As well as their aesthetic appeal, maps also make a good investment. And while Wattis mainly stocks Asian maps, it also has some featuring other parts of the world. Feel free to come in and browse, there is a wealth of fine art on display here.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Wattis Fine Art has stood the test of time, and is one of Hong Kong's most respected dealers.
Ed's expert tip: When investing in any piece of art, it is never unwise to seek expert advice.
Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise. It seems that everywhere you turn there are fabulous malls, outlets, markets and boutiques. IFC has a definite edge though, with a variety of designer boutiques that should please even the most devoted fashionista, including A|X Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co, Juicy Couture, Givenchy, Escada, Burberry, Bulgari, Kate Spade and Aquascutum. Dining options range from casual to elegant and include Isola, Inagiku, Pret-A-Manger and Lei Garden. There's also a five-screen cinema and Hong Kong Station (linking directly to the airport). The (flat) roof of the mall is open to the public, and makes for a great picnic spot.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is the sleekest mall in Hong Kong – with a top-notch range of shops and services.
Ed's expert tip: Drop by the Concierge desk – they can lend you an umbrella, charge your mobile, and even blow up balloons for your kids!
Hong Kong's "antiques row" – this is where you'll find about a half mile of shops specializing in Asian antiques. Hollywood Road is home to the more upscale of these, while Cat Street (also known as Upper Lascar Row) has more affordable goods, which may look old but are probably not genuine antiques. A great place to find everything from exquisite Ming dynasty furniture to tough PLA bags to dainty little perfume bottles. In recent years a number of restaurants and cafes have opened up in the area, providing somewhere to take the weight off your feet in between browsing.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Hollywood Road and Cat Street have real charisma, and goods on sale vary in price from a few dollars to several million.
Ed's expert tip: The first deal of the day is reckoned to bring good fortune to the trader – bargain firmly!