Hong Kong is known as a shopper’s paradise. The city could well have a higher number of shopping malls per capita than any other city on earth. So where are the best spots to buy Christmas gifts?
Hong Kong has no shortage of spots to shop, but with limited time – how do you decide where to head? Here’s a short list of a few of my favourites, from high end shopping malls to street markets. There are links to websites if you want to know more.
1. The Peak Galleria – By Hong Kong standards this mall is relatively small, but it does have an interersting selection of shops and some very good food and beverage outlets. But the real reason you should consider doing your last minute Christmas shopping here is that it’s a good excuse to ride the Peak Tram and take in those breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour when there’s a relatively good chance of clear skies. Make sure to bring your camera!
2. Harbour City – With 2 million square of shopping and dining, this is by far Hong Kong’s largest mall – or should I say malls? There are 450 shops, 50 food and bevearge outlets, 2 cinemas, 3 hotels, 10 office buidlings, and 2 serviced apartments within the extensive complex, which is actually divided into 5 distinct sections, each with its own name and personality. If you can’t find it here, it might not exist.
3. ifc – More than 200 mid-range to high-end brands are represented in this extensive and upscale shopping and dining venue. It is arguably the city’s toniest mall. There is also an excellent supermarket chock full of imported foodstuffs – the perfect spot to shop for Christmas dinner.
4. Cat Street – The small shops and stalls lining Upper Lascar Road in Sheung Wan are bursting with antiques, antique reproductions, and curios as well as porcelain, art, jade, and silk. There is sometihing here for all budgets – a great spot to find an unusual gift with character.
5. 1881 Heritage – There are about 20 designer boutiques selling mostly fine jewellery and watches plus a Shanghai Tang outlet for Chinese themed gifts. But the real reason for coming here is the spectacular architecture with so many great photo opps. And after shopping till you drop, you can relax at one of the splendid food and beverage outlets at Hullett House, which sits majestically atop the complex.
6. Horizon Plaza – An industrial estate that has evolved into a 28 floor beehive full of furniture and interior design stores as well as factory fashion outlets, this is the antithesis of Hong Kong’s ubiquitous upscale shopping malls. You will, in fact, find things here that you won’t find anywhere else. The industrial grade elevators are a bit slow so grab a directory on the ground floor and go directly to the top, working your way down using the stairs.
7. Pacific Place – This mall houses 140 shops and restaurants including one of the city’s best international supermarkets. You will find men’s and women’s fashion outlets, electronics stores, bookstores, sporting goods stores, the list goes on. The mall is particularly strong in skincare products.
8. Temple Street – After dark, Temple Street morphs into one of Hong Kong most popular night markets. You’ll find everything from trinkets and curios to electronics, copy watches, and clothes. Not sure what to get Aunt Clara for Christmas? Why not ask one of the many fortune tellers that set up shop on the street each night?
9. Citygate Outlets – Home to more than 80 international brands, the shops here offer year-round discounts of 30% to 70%. Best of all, it’s only 10 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport. So bring an empty suitcase and do your last minute Christmas shopping on your way out of town! Better yet, buy your suitcase at the mall!
10. SkyMart and SkyPlaza at Hong Kong International Airport – I’ve never known for sure if these were shopping malls attached to an airport or an airport attached to shopping malls, but shopping AFTER you’ve checked your bags and passed through security is a great way to get around overweight luggage charges – assuming your airline doesn’t charge for carry-ons. The selection of shops is extensive, and many of the products here can’t be found in town.