If, like us, you are a fan of markets, then Hong Kong’s many and varied offerings will be music to your ears. Here is the lowdown on eleven markets in Hong Kong that you should not miss. Let’s start with Kowloon.

1. Temple Street Night Market

Temple Street Night Market

We love the Temple Street Night Market so much we designed one of the best Hong Kong food tours around it, the Temple Street Night Foodie Tour. This night bazaar really comes into its own once the sun has set. The traders set out their trinkets, tea sets, watches, and antiques. Nearby, the area is abuzz with fortune tellers and opera singers which only serves to ramp up the atmosphere. Check out the Tin Hau temple in the center of the market – it gave the place its name.

2. Flower Market

Flower Market

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

You don’t have to be a florist to appreciate the eclectic and exotic blooms on sale at Hong Kong’s famous Flower Market. In Chinese culture, many houseplants and flowers have a role to play or a special meaning, so we recommend asking lots of questions during your visit to be able to understand the significance of what you see and smell. The market is especially fun at Chinese New Year.

3. Birds Market

Birds Market

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

The Yuen Po Bird Garden in Prince Edward has its roots in the traditional bird market that once stood in this area. The garden still retains many stalls selling exotic songbirds, as well as the dishes, cages and other essentials required by the hobbyist bird lover. Of course, it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase a songbird if your journey home involves a flight, but the exquisitely crafted bamboo cages are a must-have home accessory in the most fashionable of homes. If your suitcase isn’t large enough, settle for a song from one of the elderly men who bring their feathered companions here.

4. Ap Liu Street

Ap Liu Street

Ap Liu Street flea market is a mecca for technology geeks keen to snap up a bargain or root out hard to find equipment. A range of electronic devices, audio visual products and telecommunications equipment can be sourced here. We call in to Ap Liu Street during our Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour.

5. Goldfish Market

Goldfish Market

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

Row upon row of plastic bags line the stalls of this intriguing market and they all contain the same thing: fish. Considered to bring good luck, locals flock to the market to purchase goldfish, an auspicious addition to the home where Feng Shui is concerned. You will also find a colourful array of tropical fish and small amphibians. That’s easily explained. For those living in cramped apartments, a fish is a more practical pet than the more usual cat or dog.

6. Ladies Market

Ladies Market

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

The first thing we want to emphasise about the Ladies Market is that it isn’t just a market for ladies. Traders selling bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs jostle for position with vendors of watches, home furnishings and CDs. Over a hundred stalls offer choice and value. Head to Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok to find it.

7. Jade Market

Jade Market

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

You won’t be here in Hong Kong very long before you work out how important jade is to Chinese culture. This ornamental mineral represents good health and a long life, which helps to explain the obsession. For a novice, it is impossible to tell the difference between the genuine article and cheap knock-off plastic, so take a guide if you are planning to make a purchase. Even if you have no intention of making a purchase, this market makes an interesting stop while you are in Kowloon. Admire the enormous range of carved ornaments, bowls and jewellery fashioned from jade in a plethora of colors.

Though there are fewer markets on Hong Kong Island, those that exist are well worth your time. These are our favourite four.

8. Chop Alley

Chop Alley

Man Wa Lane, known locally by the delightful moniker Chop Alley, is the place in the city to go if you are on the hunt for a chop. Whether you are searching for an antique Chinese seal or a modern stamp, the art of the chop is revered here. Come and place your order for a personalised seal carved in jade, stone or wood. It will be ready the following day and makes a great gift – if you can bear to part with it of course. The stalls, lined with row upon row of chops, are also fantastically photogenic.

9. Graham Street Wet Market

Graham Street Market

This, the oldest market in Hong Kong, is scheduled for demolition to make way for HK$3.8 billion worth of housing, retail space, offices and a hotel. You can visit before redevelopment work starts as part of our Central and Sheung Wan Foodie Tour. Grab your camera as this is one of the most atmospheric sights in Central, a buzzing place where unprocessed produce is prepared and presented to a steady stream of loyal customers. Fish and fowl are so fresh they are still alive. Take care not to get in the way of a bucket of ice as it’s thrown down the street to clean up.

10. Cat Street

Cat Street

This market is another stop on our Central and Sheung Wan Foodie Tour. As well as food, it is well known for its antiques and curios. You can find all manner of items – perfect for those seeking a thoughtful gift or an unusual piece to accessorise your home. There are plenty of bargains to be had if you are searching for art, embroidery, jade and other vintage pieces. Even the street it is located on has a story to tell. Known officially as Upper Lascar Row, it takes its name from the Indians who lived in the area and served in the British Army, nicknamed lascars.

11. Tai Yuen Street

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

A perennial favorite with families, kids will love this market as it specializes in toys. There is a mixture of classic toys from the past as well as the latest must-have items on every 21st century child’s wish list. Once, Hong Kong was a hub of manufacturing, but although today’s toys are more likely to be made in China, there is still a fascination with collectibles and vintage items. Indulge your nostalgia and take a walk down memory lane.

Do you have a favorite Hong Kong market? We would love to hear about it if you do.