Ladies Market, on Tung Choi Street in Kowloon, is so-named because of its emphasis on women’s clothing and accessories. Having said that, it is perhaps the best place to go if you’re wanting to buy cheap polo or T-shirts. They can be bought for 25HKD, and they’ve proved to be really good-quality. I’m sure they are not the real McCoy, but I never buy purely "on a label". But for women, this is paradise in the making; there are handbags and glad-rags aplenty, and this is a must haggle environment.
At the top of Reclamation Street is Kowloon’s Jade indoor market. It’s open every day between 10am and 4pm, and there are hundreds of stalls in a couple of large hanger-like buildings. I have no knowledge of what makes a good Jade piece, and I was surprised at the range of colours that was available for sale. The classic green looked, on occasions, to be too green to be real, and I believe that you need to know jade before buying anything of any value here. I may be inherently suspicious, but there are no guarantees accompanying your purchases. But if you like it and the negotiated price, then the Jade Market is the right place to be. The variety of items is amazing, and generally we were able to pick up the goods and inspect them without too much hassle. On one stall, a woman showed us how to test that the jade item was real and rubbed a "look-a-like" bangle with a coin – it was marked, but the real bangle was untouched when the same process was followed.
Over the other side of the water on the south side of Hong Kong Island is the incredibly popular Stanley Market. It’s open every day (10am–6:30pm) and seems to act like a magnet for tourists. I’d recommend a trip there but strongly suggest that you can buy cheaper elsewhere. The journey there, however, is interesting in itself – a bus trip over the central hills of Hong Kong Island gives some super views, although the bus’s suspension could have been a little improved on.
The stallholders were prepared to haggle, but because they "major in tourists", were fairly inflexible with their prices. The narrow covered-in-walkway was flanked by heavily burdened semi-permanent market shops, and the number of people pressing their way round the market was immense. What was very different to other markets was that there were a large number of stalls selling pottery. We were very tempted with a pretty "lazy Susan", but in the end, we reckoned it would push us over the weight restriction on our return flight. It really felt like Stanley was aimed at tourists, and there were souvenirs aplenty.
Not far from the market are pleasant beaches and a fascinating small temple. In the temple square, local bands regularly play, and people just hung round, appreciating the atmosphere.