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. Harbour City

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Shopping Centers/Malls

    The four interconnected complexes that make up Harbour City contain almost 500 shops between them—if you can't find it here, it probably doesn...Read More

  • 2. Pearls & Cashmere

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    Warehouse prices in chic shopping arcades? It's true. This old Hong Kong favorite is elegantly housed on both sides of the harbor. In addition...Read More

  • 3. Sam's Tailor

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    Unlike many famous Hong Kong tailors, you won't find the legendary Sam's in a chic hotel or sleek mall. But don't be fooled. These digs in humble...Read More

  • 4. Artland Watch Co Ltd.

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Jewelry & Watches

    Elegant but uncomplicated, the interior of this established watch retailer is like its service. The informed staff will guide you through the...Read More

  • 5. Carat

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Jewelry & Watches

    Forget the cheesy cubic zirconium of the past. One look at its stark showrooms, and you'll see that Carat has mastered the creation and presentation...Read More

  • 6. Collect Point

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    Hidden away in the basement of Mira Mall, this 22,000-square-foot department store makes you feel like you’re shopping in Tokyo. The brand list...Read More

  • 7. Delon Photo & Hi-Fi Centre

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Cameras/Electronics

    Longtime residents ask for popular salesman Elmen Sit when they come to Delon. He'll take you through the range carried here. Sit also demystifies...Read More

  • 8. Dorfit

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    A longtime cashmere manufacturer and retailer, Dorfit caters to a variety of men's, women's, and children's tastes. Knitwear here comes in pure...Read More

  • 9. Elements

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Shopping Centers/Malls

    This upscale shopping mall is in the Kowloon West residential and commercial district, just above Kowloon's Airport Express train and check...Read More

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  • 10. FACES

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Perfume/Cosmetics

    This sprawling one-stop shop, just a stone's throw from the Kowloon Star Ferry terminal, carries a long list of high-profile and niche beauty brands. ...Read More

  • 11. Giordano

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    Hong Kong's version of the Gap is the most established and ubiquitous local source for basic T-shirts, jeans, and casual wear. Like its U.S...Read More

  • 12. giordano ladies

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    If Giordano is the Gap, giordano ladies is the Banana Republic, albeit with a more Zen aesthetic. Find clean-line modern classics in neutral...Read More

  • 13. Hong Kong Records

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Cameras/Electronics

    You'll find a good selection of current local and international CDs and DVDs at this age-old company. A lower profile also means prices are...Read More

  • 14. Initial

    Causeway Bay | Clothing

    This team of local designers creates simple but whimsical clothing with a trendy urban edge. The bags and accessories strike a soft vintage...Read More

  • 15. LCX

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Department Store

    This spacious store combines local and international fashion, beauty products, and dining under one roof. Clothing brands like American Eagle...Read More

  • 16. Maxwell's Clothiers Ltd.

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    After you've found a handful of reputable, high-quality tailors, one way to choose between them is price. Maxwell's is known for its competitive...Read More

  • 17. Mira Mall

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Shopping Centers/Malls

    Not to be confused with the neighboring Miramar Shopping Centre, this mall opened in 2012 as the latest addition to The Mira (a design-driven...Read More

  • 18. Mode Elegante

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    Don't be deterred by the somewhat dated mannequins in the windows. Mode Elegante is a favorite source for custom-made suits among women and...Read More

  • 19. Prince Jewellery and Watch Company

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Jewelry & Watches

    This shop carries timepieces made by more than 50 international brands, including Omega, Chopard, Breguet, and IWC. There's other jewelry on...Read More

  • 20. Raja Fashions

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Clothing

    A three-generation haberdasher that's been dressing Hong Kong tai pans since 1957, Raja Fashions has a presence in 13 countries around the...Read More

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