Mong Kok is not only the most densely populated area of Hong Kong, but of the world. The name appropriately means “busy corner” in Cantonese, but don’t let that scare you away. The neighborhood includes some of the city’s most popular stores and street markets, with clusters of market sellers specializing in one particular product, from goldfish to wedding dresses.
Locals and visitors buy, sell and haggle over all kinds of goods here in the streets of Mong Kok, which are characterized by their eclectic mix of old and new buildings. The area preserves traditional allure with small stores and stalls of the type that has now mostly disappeared from the rest of the city.
Part of the area’s charm comes from the distinctive nicknames given to certain streets, depending on what is sold there. Goldfish Street is centered at Tung Choi Street. Here you’ll find dozens of shops and stalls selling tropical fish and aquarium equipment, while the nearby Ladies’ Street is where all kinds of women’s clothing and accessories are sold. The practice continues with Flower Market Road and even Photocopy Street, a neighborhood known for its large number of photocopying shops.
You’ll find the latest Japanese and Western fashions on Dundas and Shantung streets. Nearby Langham Place is just one of the many malls in the area full of well-known brand names, while the often crowded Argyle Centre sells inexpensive clothes and heavy metal CDs. The three-story Mong Kok Computer Centre is home to dozens of stores selling computer software, hardware and accessories.
Be sure to have a snack at one of the many food stalls on the streets of Mong Kok. Most of them sell traditional “finger foods” such as dim sum, fried tofu and fish balls, but there’s also Japanese, Thai and Italian food on offer.
To get to the heart of the shopping district, alight at Mong Kok MTR station (not Mong Kok East). Take the E2 exit and walk along Nathan Road.