I remember the day at the markets to be one of the most exciting, exhausting, and expensive (lol!) days of the trip. The expensive part was probably my own fault, but I was on a mission to get all of my souvenir shopping done on this day. Can you blame me? With so many pockets of markets, I was officially tempted.
The first market we went to was the bird market. (No, I did not bring home a bird!) I was actually really upset by the time we walked through a third of this street. As a kid, I grew up with three birds (2 cockatiels and a budgie) and loved them a ton. They were always so playful (they were allowed to fly around the house for a few hours a day) and so full of personality! I loved waking up to their chirping and swear that my little blue budgie loved Aqua’s Barbie Girl as much as I did back in the day because he would sing the entire song whenever it was played on the radio.
I was pretty heartbroken when I saw all of these birds being stuffed into tiny cages. It was insane to see anywhere between 15-30 birds sharing one tiny space. The worst part of my day was seeing one of the shop keepers knock over an entire stack of cages (filled with birds) and just getting upset that the food spilled all over the ground instead of checking if the birds were ok.
So yes. This was the bird market. I wasn’t too sure if I even wanted to include it at all in my recap because it’s not a place that I had fond memories of, but here it is.
Next was the flower market! I could not believe there was an entire block dedicated to shops that sold flowers. They were incredibly cheap, too.
I’m just going to put this out there: It must be amazing to be a girl in a relationship in Hong Kong. Flowers could be pouring in on any given date considering that prices of bouquets were under $5 CAD! har har, ok just kidding. I’m sure people don’t go too crazy just because flowers are cheap. They were really pretty though!
The last market that we went to was the Ladies Market. This place is extremely well known by the tourists for being knock-offs central, despite also being the home of a lot of local, independently own clothing shops. It was incredible to see the number of languages each shop owner could speak. I met some guy who could speak English, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, German, and a bit of Italian! Must come in handy when trying to deal with customers who are looking to bargain for a good deal.
At the end of this market, I came home with a few dresses that I could barely pass off as being dresses and a couple of traditional Chinese outfits (my souvenirs!). It was a ton of fun exercising my bargaining (or lack thereof) skills. I’m almost positive that street shopping is high up on my list of favourite things in Asia. Shopping in North America just isn’t as exciting!