One of our favorite activities in Hong Kong was shopping. Sorry, J-Mar, don’t mean to knock your manliness or something, but be honest, you had fun too. It’s not just purses and wallets at the Ladies’ Market – there were loads of electronics, apparel, art, and more. I am convinced we could have spent days just perusing everything. We hit three main markets during our trip to Hong Kong, including the Ladies’ Market, the Temple Street Night Market, and an electronics market recommended by our tour guide.
All the markets were packed with loads of people, locals and foreigners alike.
In the hustle and bustle of everything, we caught a little bit of local life, passing by a meat market and a guy with a huge cleaver. Of course, I had to stop for a photo or two.
The rain was pretty relentless, but we still trekked around looking for some good bargains. J-Mar chastised me for not being a better bargainer. I’ll admit, I have a really hard time making decisions sometimes, and the markets didn’t help – once I narrowed down which bag I wanted to buy, the guy showed it to me in 10 different colors! Once I make a decision, though, I’m ready to just buy it and move on with my life. Don’t get me wrong, I did negotiate for close to half the price the guy initially wanted, but J-Mar was convinced I could do better. I surrender: you, my dear, are better at negotiating than me.
Endless amounts of rope light in the electronics market.
The one negative to being surrounded by so many fun things to buy is that we ran out of cash a couple of times, and an ATM was nearly impossible to come by. Maybe we just weren’t looking in the right place. This is the very first trip where I didn’t visit the bank prior to departure to get some cash. Came back to bite me, didn’t it?
Anyway, the markets open after dark were just as fun as the day markets, if not better in terms of price and selection. We visited Temple Street more than once during our stay to hunt down a few things.
There were lots of dog clothes and accessories, but sadly, none of them would fit our kids. On the other hand, I was excited to find LOTS of minion items, mostly things that were obviously handmade and not quite on par with the exact proportioning of the cartoons, but amusing nonetheless. The only exciting minion thing we walked away with was an 8G USB drive encased in a tiny silicon minion, which cost a couple bucks. Heck, it will probably be obsolete in the next few years, but it was something fun and useful for now. We also picked up a cool painting of the skyline and a junk boat, and I got a fun dragon bracelet, being born in the year of the dragon and all. In some of the daytime markets there were also some good craft supply shops, where I bought some materials to make bracelets.
The ATM wasn’t our only struggle in Hong Kong. For some reason, this city with of loads of taxis still doesn’t have enough. I can’t count the number of times we stood on the sidewalk in the rain trying to hail taxi after taxi with no success. Most of them were already full, but we couldn’t figure out if we were just standing in a bad spot. Subway fare wasn’t much cheaper and the walk to the station in the pouring rain wasn’t too appealing, so we would have just preferred to hop in a cab most of the time.
Taxis nowhere to be found.
Victoria Harbor Light Show
Another iconic part of the Hong Kong experience is seeing the skyline. As you saw in my previous post, we were not able to see the skyline during the day at all. We were surrounded by skyscrapers but didn’t get a chance to really appreciate the size of the city until nighttime, when we ventured on the Star Ferry (a famous 20 cent ride across the harbor) to check out the nightly “light show” around 8pm. There is a viewing area on one side of the harbor to see the cheesy laser show, and so many people flock there it’s really hard to get your camera in to get a good shot, if you can’t tell:
However, I was able to sneak my way around some folks to get a few nice shots of the city.
I have been experimenting with editing quite a bit, and was excited to see how many of these turned out. Shooting at night can be difficult, but luckily there was enough light from the buildings and in our viewing area that it wasn’t too bad. My new camera body and expanded ISO range helped a little bit too. I am drawn to the black and white, primarily because our visit was so cloudy and ominous. It seems fitting.
Now what do you think of the skyline?