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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Shanghai Tang

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    Make your way past the perfumes, scarves, and silk-embroidered Chinese souvenirs to the second floor, where you'll find a rainbow of fabrics...Read More

  • 4. Tai Kwun

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    On the grounds of the 19th-century Central Police Station complex, Hong Kong's largest revitalization project to date, Tai Kwun debuted in 2018...Read More

  • 5. 45R

    Wan Chai | Clothing

    Around since 1978, Japanese brand 45R has garnered a reputation for ultracomfortable, exquisitely crafted jeans. Following the successes of...Read More

  • 6. A-Man Hing Cheong Co., Ltd.

    Central | Clothing

    People often gasp at the very mention of A-Man Hing Cheong, in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. For some it symbolizes the ultimate in fine tailoring...Read More

  • 7. Ascot Chang

    Central | Clothing

    This self-titled "gentleman's shirtmaker" makes it easy to find the perfect shirt, even if you could get a better deal in a less prominent shop...Read More

  • 8. Barney Cheng Couture

    Central | Clothing

    One of Hong Kong's best-known local designers, Barney Cheng made a name for himself with his expert tailoring and entrance-making gowns. He...Read More

  • 9. Blanc de Chine

    Central | Clothing

    Relying on word of mouth, Blanc de Chine has catered to high society and celebrities, such as actor Jackie Chan, for years. The small, refined...Read More

  • 10. Bossini

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    As indicated by its brand philosophy—"Be Happy"—this Giordano competitor takes a very similar, light approach to casual clothing for women,...Read More

  • 11. Bumps to Babes

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    Homegrown Bumps to Babes has everything you could possibly need for babies and children, all in one place. In addition to familiar brands of...Read More

  • 12. Classics Anew

    Central | Clothing

    Hong Kong is home to myriad specialty tailors, but for something a little different, head to Classics Anew. Designer Janko Lam has won many...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Crocodile

    Wan Chai | Clothing

    If this quality weekend wear seems similar to a European label with a similar logo, that's because it is. Nevertheless, the Crocodile collections...Read More

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Episode

    Central | Clothing

    Locally owned and designed Episode collections focus on accessories and elegant clothing for working women and Hong Kong "tai tais" (aka ladies...Read More

  • 17. Fang Fong Projects

    Central | Clothing

    Fang Fong fell in love with the vintage feel of the SoHo district as a design graduate and vowed to move in. She chose a light-filled studio...Read More

  • 18. G2000

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    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

  • 19. Giordano

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    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

  • 20. giordano ladies

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    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

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