Back at it again, with day 3 of my Hong Kong vacation recap. I almost forgot to continue these because of all the reviews I’m trying to catch up on haha. Day 3 in Hong Kong consisted of durian for breakfast, shopping at the Ladies market and finding my way around Mong Kong to find Langham place to see all the K-beauty brands offered there. Let’s get started!
Woke up yet again super early at 8 am naturally and rolled out of bed to greet the twins. Sat around playing with them for two hours while my aunt made breakfast. My mom instructed my aunt and uncle to stuff me when I was there because she keeps saying I’m underweight. I’m sorry I inherited your tiny asian bodied genes mom and dad, stop trying to kill me. Unfortunately for me, my aunt listened to my mom and made me the biggest bowl dumplings with soup. I usually only eat about 7-8 dumplings and I’m already full. My aunt made me 20!! With veggies and soup. Yep, pretty sure by the end of my vacation, none of my pants will fit. After what I thought was the end of the battle, she had her neighbour friend bring a GIANT fresh durian. Like gurl…. you are definitely out to get me. I’ve never had durian for breakfast. For those of you who don’t know what durian is, it is a spikey, weapon looking fruit which is also known as the “king fruit”.
People either absolutely love this fruit or ABSOLUTELY hate it. Some people smell it from miles away and would hide like they saw a bomb about to kill their whole family. I personally don’t mind it. I’m not one to absolutely love this fruit but I don’t mind eating it with my mother, who absolutely love this fruit. Durian also isn’t cheap and come in lots of grades, kind of like steak. I was already STUPID full so I had to pretend to eat some. Thankfully, my aunt and her friends were too occupied by the twins playing with the dog so I was home safe haha.
Okay, let’s get on with my adventures in losing myself in this city that could have been my home. I was born in Hong Kong but immigrated to Canada when I was really young so I call Canada my home. I’ve always wondered what life would be like if I stayed in Hong Kong, how school life would be and what would be the differences.
Firstly, Hong Kong students have uniforms for everything. From daily uniforms to even uniforms for PE (physical education). In Canada, unless you’re in a private school, you get to wear whatever you want. Also schools are super hard to get in, even for preschool since population is super saturated there. I heard some people even before their babies are born and still in the mother’s womb, they already are applying for their kid to go to preschool. That is how long it takes, two years if you are lucky. In Canada, there are tons of schools to go to and each district has a designated school that you go to as well.
This is my third time coming back to Hong Kong. The first time, I was a little too young to fully remember everything. Second time I went back was when I was in grade 12, which was 5 years ago so I do have a bit of memory of how to get to places. Just to remind myself, I took some pictures haha.
One thing I noticed, Hong Kong has a lot of parks or places to exercise at. This is because home property is the size of a closet in Hong Kong compared to Canada so people like to go out more then North Americas since they don’t want to be cooped up indoors. Plus there isn’t enough room to exercise and what not indoors, hence the outdoor parks.
Buses is another source of transportation in Hong Kong along with the MTR (subway) and taxis. Each bus can only hold 18 people at a time and you aren’t allowed to stand when onboard. I would definitely not recommend you stand in these anyways because bus drivers drive like they are playing grand theft auto.
There are more 7-11 in Hong Kong then there are public restrooms. I’ve notice there are little to no restrooms or benches for that matter. There can multiple of 7-11 in the same street, pretty much across from each other. A little excess don’t you think? 7-11 was a happy place for me since I knew there were Gudetama nick nacks that are the most affordable and super adorable.
Taking the MTR to Mong Kok. For those of you visiting Hong Kong, make sure to download the MTR app. It is definitely a life saver and takes away my worries of which station to get off. It even tells you which exit exactly to get out of so you can get to your destination the fastest.
After a 30 minute ride, I finally arrived at Mong Kok. I wanted to go to a mall called “Langham Place” since I saw online there were tons of K-beauty brands under the same roof. I have no idea where I am but luckily I got my iPhone and I also bought a sim card so I have data. Google map all the way! Sim card only costed me $50 HKD ($11 CDN) and I got 4 GB of data for 7 days. That is a lot cheaper then renting those wi-fi eggs which you can pick up at the airport by ordering one online beforehand.
You almost don’t have to look for food when in Hong Kong. Almost every corder, there is some type of street food to munch on. Across the street is a stall for cheap eats and fresh fruit juice. Back in the day, street food used to be on rolling charts. However, there were too many people that were selling food without liscence so the government changed the policy and people had to have built in stalls to sell food. Nowadays, you don’t see any of those charts on the streets. Also don’t even think about throwing your garbage on the ground. You will be fined $5,000 HKD ($833) for throwing garbage on the floor or spitting of any sort.
Trying to find my way to the mall and I think I stumbled upon the Ladies market (女人街) on Tung Choi Street (通菜街). I wasn’t really sure if it was it but I do remember coming here before. There isn’t really any signage but you can assume it is since there is a giant row of vendors selling almost the same items. Here at the Ladies market, they are pretty much out to get you. You have to remember they mark up the prices at least 50-70% and you got to haggle your way through it. If they are asking for $260 HKD, say your price is 50% or less. Don’t be that dumb tourism that thinks it is cheap and get cheated. Think like a true Chinese and practice your haggling skills. I personally do not like to haggle but to know that you can get anything here for less then half of what they are asking does not sit well with me. I’m not going to overpay!
Also here are the stages of what happens at a place like this when they are trying to persuade you to buy:
1) Seems to be super nice or sweet and showers you with compliments.
2) You see what might be of interest to you and they will start persuading you need it in your life.
3) Start the haggling process. They ask for $300 HKD, you say $120. Most likely they will say no. Pretend to think about the price but say that eventually it is too expensive for you. At this point, their price will drop by 20% or so. If it isn’t the price you have in mind, walk away.
4) They will bring out their calculators and show you another lower price or shout to call you back. If you are still interested, walk back but stick to your guns and keep stating the price you want for the item. Do not back down. Also don’t get butt hurt if they start being aggressive at this point. You are the one with the money, so you are the one in power. Don’t let them drain your wallet.
5) If the price is finally acceptable, pay. At this point, they will be happy again like a kid in the candy store.
Another pro tip. If you see something you like, don’t buy it just yet. Take a quick picture of it and remember the stall. All the stalls look kind of the same so don’t get lost. Keep walking and most likely you’ll see the same item. I heard if you walk more towards the middle of the street, the prices will drop. The stalls near the entrance will be higher.
Damn it van, I’m taking a picture. I couldn’t get many pictures since people don’t really like their photos taken. That and this place is super duper cramped so there isn’t much room for me to not get in anyone’s way.
Contrary to the name “Ladies market”, this street doesn’t just sell women’s products. The items you will see here is souvenirs such as these “I love HK” t-shirts, fake designer bags, Anello bags and other types of backpacks, PJ’s, blankets, phone cases, USB, hats and other items along those lines. If you’re looking for a place to buy cheap clothing, might I suggest you go to “Kwai Chung Plaza (葵涌廣場)” off of Kwai Fong (葵芳) station or even “Fa Yuen Street (花園街)” which is walking distance from Mong Kok.
You’ll notice there aren’t any prices attached to the items at this market. That is because you have to go through that whole haggling process. Honestly this was another reason why I didn’t buy much at this place since I already don’t have the energy to go through all that trouble, especially since my energy is getting sucked from the heat.
There are also stalls selling kid’s toys, traditional Chinese dresses and other random stuff. One of the hot sellers at the Ladies market is definitely those Anello bag, which I got talked into buying when I got there. No regrets since the bag was super useful and I didn’t bring a small backpack with me. It totally saved my life since I almost didn’t want to carry my DSLR because it was hurting my shoulders throughout the day from my bag not having enough support. If you do get an Anello bag there, make sure you only pay around $80 HKD. And yes, it is the “fake” ones but the ones there are the same material and quality as the “real” ones so I’d rather pay $80 HKD ($12) then $500 HKD ($83).
After I was done looking around at the Ladies market, I made my way to try and find Langham Place mall. On the way, I stumbled upon a store called “Miniso”. The logo reminds me a lot of Uniqlo and the products they offer inside is like Daiso but surprisingly cheaper. You can get really good quality items such as a neck pillow for $15 HKD ($2.50), hats for $15 HKD, glass water bottles for $15 HKD ($2.50) and much much more. I wish I took more pictures of inside the store but if you ever go to Hong Kong, make sure to find this place. There even tech stuff for less then $5 and it’s actually good quality (you can kind of see some in the picture to the right).
OMG I also went to my first Holika Holika physical store. Unfortunately the prices are 50% higher then Korean retail prices so no buy for me. Ironically if you look at the top of the picture, there is a place called “Emarket” which is a store that sells the latest and hottest K-beauty at a discount. It is either Korean retail price or even slightly cheaper, about 20-30% off. Definitely go into one of those stores if you stumble upon one.
Also if you are shopping in Hong Kong, get used to people breathing down your neck anytime you step into a store. I get that you are trying to provide customer service while making sure no one steals anything, but can you not breath so close to me that I can feel your breath. This made me want to leave any store I go into and did help me save money HAHA. Thank you.
Prices are also super jacked up. The Play 101 stick contour was $124 HKD ($20) which K-beauty retail price is only $11. The heck… Guys don’t even bother with buying cosmetics in Hong Kong. Just buy online and save yourself the heartache. That also goes for Japanese cosmetics/skincare.
This might be heaven for those that want to get their hands on hard to get high end K-beauty, Japanese beauty and even western beauty brands which have Asia exclusive products such as Bobbi brown BB cushions, Biotherm BB cushions and such. Yes I’m a BB cushion head. Luckily for me, everything was a little too expensive for my liking so I didn’t come out with anything :D. We could say that is a blessing in disguise since I stayed on budget and ended up buying tons of cheap clothes down the road.
Maybelline even has a free standing store in the mall. What the! This is definitely not anything you’d see in North America.
Well said. Also this sushi place is not that good so don’t really waste your money.
The food court is a adventure of it’s own. There are tons and tons of choices to choose from including Coco curry, which I didn’t end up trying, a fancy McDonald where you can build your own burger to enjoying a real coffee with steamed milk down to dessert places like this place.
Look at all those cream puffs!! I’ve never seen anything so glorious!
There was also had a nick nack store called “Log On” with tons of cool little items. There was this cute light thing but for $149 HKD ($24), no thanks.
Too cool for school!! Again, prices are jacked up and they didn’t even have the Art Rodin contour. What the crap..
These are the Anello bags which everyone and their moms have. I totally understand why because these are super compact but can fit a ton of stuff. I mean I bought the smallest one and it can fit my DSLR along with my reusable back and other essentials. So good!
Finished up my disappointing trip to the mall and came out empty handed. Along the way back to the MTR station, I came across a street food stand which was near the Ladies market. I ordered some fish ball and made the biggest mistake and got it in spicy. Curry fish balls is an essential street food item when you come to Hong Kong, so cheers to crossing one item off my imaginary Hong Kong bucket list. I can eat spicy, but these were beyond the spicy level I could handle. Not sure if there was sprinkles of hell in these fishballs, but these were so spicy, after just one, it was already game over for me. They gave me a crap ton too, at least 20+. I was expecting to get about 8. There is no way I could finish this!! I was trying to eat this without killing myself, and it doesn’t help that these are making my insides catch on fire.
Walking around, I came across a Mr. Softee truck! This is another iconic Hong Kong thing which you’d have to get to say you truly came to Hong Kong. I have a faint memory of these trucks as a kid in Hong Kong and I made it a point to get one before I left. They aren’t anything special but it’s a cheap eat and happiness to me to calm down the fire happening in my mouth.
There are 4 choices but of course, get the traditional soft ice cream for $9 HKD ($1.50). I asked the ice cream man if he could hold it and for me to take a picture of him but he’s like “HELL NO”. I’m like okay. People really hate to get their pictures taken eh?
Ahh much better. In the end, I couldn’t finish the fish balls and had to throw them away. This ended my third day in Hong Kong since my feet started to hurt. Time to head back home, chill out and shower.
So that ends my day 3. Didn’t do anything super touristy but I was happy to experience the true Hong Kong lifestyle. Everyone here seems to be in a hurry all the time and walking with a purpose. The hustle and bussle is something I’m not really used to since Canada seems to be a lot more chill then Asia. Anyways, that concludes my third recap. Hopefully this was either entertaining to you or helpful in some way.
Let me know if you learned anything from this post. How does Hong Kong differ from where you live? Let me know in the comments down below! I’m super curious to see what it is like where you guys live since I don’t have the luxury to travel to a lot of places. I am sadly not rich haha.
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