A Street Market Ramble


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If the jostling energy and photo-ops of street markets are your passion, consider booking into the bargain Pop Hotel or the upscale Cordis Hong Kong at Langham Place in Mong Kok, but the district's street markets (and gay saunas) are easy to reach no matter where you stay in the city. You can book a guided tour or wander at your own pace, spending as much or as little time in each market as suits you.
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Street markets stay open late in Hong Kong and don't get going until the afternoon, so enjoy a late breakfast before you head out to smell the roses (or whatever) in Hong Kong's glorious Flower Market on the northern side of Mong Kok. You'll be noshing on street foods as you wander. From the Prince Edward MTR Station Exit B1, walk along Prince Edward Road West to reach the Flower Market.
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The Flower Market segues to the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, a series of courtyards filled with the sights and sounds of caged songbirds. It's unlikely you're in the market for live crickets, but consider a bamboo birdcage, tough to cart home but a great souvenir.
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One block over between Prince Edward and Argyle Streets is Fa Yuen Street Market, AKA Sneaker Street. It's the place to shop for all kinds of footwear and athletic gear. South of Mong Kok Road is the Fa Yuen Street "wet market" where locals buy fresh produce, some of it still living and breathing. Stop at a street stall for Chinese egg waffles, which resemble hexagonal carton of quail-sized eggs or try the street foods like won ton noodle soup at a Dai Pai Dong stall, which these days looks more like a mom 'n pop restaurant. A number of them operate on the 4th floor of the Fa Yuen Street Market Building.
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Next up is Ladies' Market south of Argyle on a 1-kilometer stretch of Tong Choi Street, which becomes a pedestrian mall during the market hours. One of the best known market streets in Hong Kong, it has over 100 stalls selling all manner of apparel from casual to formal as well as toys, watches and gadgets. 
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If you want to make a night of the markets, continue to the Temple Street Night Market, off Nathan Road south of Mong Kok. Often used as a movie location, the rowdy flea market doesn't get going until after dark. With the Tin Hau Temple at its center, it's a carnival of street stalls, food vendors, fortune tellers, street opera. Sup at one of the many Dai Pai Dong on Temple Street just north of the temple, MTR stations are Jordan or Yau Ma Tei. Or as an alternative wind up your market tour at Langham Place, Mong Kok's trendy vertical mall.