Hong Kong

They say the only way to get to know a place is to do what the locals do. When in Rome, scoot around on a Vespa and drink espresso. When in Hong Kong, shop. For most people in this city, shopping is a leisure activity, whether that means picking out a four-figure party dress, rifling through bins at an outlet, upgrading a cell phone, or choosing the freshest fish for dinner.

Shopping is so sacred that sales periods are calendar events, and most stores close on just three days a year—Christmas Day and the first two days of Chinese New Year. Imagine that: 362 days of unbridled purchasing. Opening hours are equally conducive to whiling your life away browsing the racks: all shops are open until 7 or 8 pm; many don't close their doors until midnight.

It's true that the days when everything in Hong Kong was mind-bogglingly cheap are over. It is still a tax-free port, so you can get some good deals. But it isn't just about the savings. Sharp contrasts and the sheer variety of experiences available make shopping here very different from back home.

You might find a bargain or two elbowing your way through a chaotic open-air market filled with haggling vendors selling designer knockoffs, the air reeking of the chou tofu ("stinky" tofu) bubbling at a nearby food stand. But then you could find a designer number going for half the usual price in a hushed marble-floor mall, the air scented by the designer fragrances of your fellow shoppers. What's more, in Hong Kong the two extremes are often within spitting distance of each other.

Needless to say, thanks to travelers like you running out of space in their suitcases, Hong Kong does a roaring trade in luggage. No need to feel guilty, though—shopping here is practically cultural research. All you're doing is seeing what local life is really like.

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  • 1. City'super

    Causeway Bay | Department Store

    Wherever you're from and whatever you're looking for—whether it's fresh oysters from France or quirky products like bottled water for pets—this...Read More

  • 2. Fortress

    Causeway Bay | Cameras/Electronics

    Part of billionaire Li Ka-shing's empire, this extensive chain of shops sells electronics with warranties—a safety precaution that draws the...Read More

  • 3. Times Square

    Causeway Bay | Shopping Centers/Malls

    This gleaming mall packs most of Hong Kong's best-known stores into 16 frenzied floors, organized thematically. Lane Crawford and Marks &amp...Read More

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  • 4. 10/10 Space

    Causeway Bay | Perfume/Cosmetics

    A hidden gem in Causeway Bay, 10/10 Space is a day spa and beauty boutique that offers excellent manis, pedis, head massages, hair styling,...Read More

  • 5. Aroma Natural Skin Care

    Causeway Bay | Perfume/Cosmetics

    This store has been the secret weapon of skin regime enthusiasts for years, with stock from some of the industry's most venerated brands, many...Read More

  • 6. Broadway

    Causeway Bay | Cameras/Electronics

    Like its more famous competitor, Fortress, Broadway is a large electronic-goods chain. It caters primarily to the local market, so some staff...Read More

  • 7. City Chain Co. Ltd.

    Causeway Bay | Jewelry & Watches

    With more than 400 shops in Asia and locations all over Hong Kong, City Chain Co. Ltd. has a wide selection of watches for various budgets,...Read More

  • 8. DG Lifestyle Store

    Causeway Bay | Cameras/Electronics

    As Apple Authorized Resellers, DG Lifestyle stores carry the latest iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch products. In addition to Apple products...Read More

  • 9. Elegant Watch & Jewellery Company Limited

    Causeway Bay | Jewelry & Watches

    With luxury watch collectors in mind, Elegant Watch is an authorized dealer of more than 35 top brands such as Tag Heuer, Breitling, Franck...Read More

  • 10. Franc Franc

    Causeway Bay | Household Items/Furniture

    This Japanese home and living store has everything you'd need to equip your downtown apartment, from bookshelves to bubble bath. The funky,...Read More

  • 11. G2000

    Causeway Bay | Clothing

    This inexpensive chain carries men's and women's business wear in Asian sizes. It's a great place to look for suits with matching shirts (and...Read More

  • 12. Hysan Place

    Causeway Bay | Shopping Centers/Malls

    Across the street from Causeway Bay's popular Sogo looms neighborhood newcomer Hysan Place. This gleaming 17-story mall devotes the fourth and...Read More

  • 13. Island Beverley Centre

    Causeway Bay | Shopping Centers/Malls

    This hip micromall played a big part in putting Causeway Bay on the fashion map. Shoe-box-size boutiques fill its four cramped floors—some showcase...Read More

  • 14. Jardine's Bazaar and Jardine's Crescent

    Causeway Bay | Market

    These two small parallel streets are so crammed with clothing stalls it's difficult to make your way through. Most offer bargains on the usual...Read More

  • 15. Kwong Sang Hong

    Causeway Bay | Perfume/Cosmetics

    This shop carries Hong Kong's first local cosmetics line, also known as Two Girls Brand. The colorful, old-fashioned packaging, which is reminiscent...Read More

  • 16. Lee Gardens One and Two

    Causeway Bay | Shopping Centers/Malls

    These two adjacent malls are a firm favorite with local celebrities. They come as much for the mall's low-key atmosphere—a world away from the...Read More

  • 17. Lu Lu Cheung

    Central | Clothing

    A fixture on the Hong Kong fashion scene for decades, Lu Lu Cheung creates designs that ooze comfort and warmth. In both daytime and evening...Read More

  • 18. Microwave

    Causeway Bay | Clothing

    Vintage Japanese boutique Microwave fills its racks with preloved and upcycled looks—all of which are made to turn heads. The youthful range...Read More

  • 19. Milan Station

    Causeway Bay | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Even if you're willing to shell out for an Hermès Kelly bag, how can anyone expect you to survive the waitlist? Milan Station resells the "it...Read More

  • 20. Muji

    Causeway Bay | Household Items/Furniture

    Those familiar with this Japanese brand are often delighted to find one of its stores, and Hong Kong now has more than a dozen branches. The...Read More

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