Also known as the Ladies Market, and Tung Choi Street, this destination is not just for women.
Hong Kong is known for its markets, and Women’s Street is one of the most popular. It’s a hot spot for shoppers who want to get clothing and accessories on the cheap.
Toys, electronics, household goods, and even men’s clothing can be found amongst the stalls here.
Want to spend some time browsing one of Hong Kong’s most iconic markets?
Here’s what you need to know.
Interesting Facts About Women’s Street
-The market is located in the Mong Kok district in the Kowloon region.
-The market’s location used to be the stomping grounds of the Hong Kong triad gangs.
-The market can be found on Tung Choi street between Dundas and Argyle streets.
-The market consists of hundreds of stalls.
-The Fa Yuen Street Market is right next to Women’s Street.
-Noon to midnight is when the market is in prime operation.
-While the market is busy at night, it is not as crowded as the Temple Street Night Market.
-It has a reputation as a tourist trap, but it is still worth a visit.
History Of Women’s Street
It’s believed that there were settlements in the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong as early as the Jing Dynasty.
The Hakka people once lived here and much of the land was cultivated. As the years went on, this area got a lot of negative media attention due to riots and a fire.
But, eventually it rose above the negative stigma and became one of the city’s most important areas.
While it underwent vast changes and modernization, Mong Kok still kept some of its settlement characteristics.
The markets and food stalls stayed, which is why Women’s Street became so popular.
Before the economy was thriving, it was difficult to get a job in Hong Kong. This situation led to locals hawking various items in the street.
Illegal hawking became such a problem that the city officially made authorized hawking zones in 1975.
During the early days, hawkers sold mostly women’s clothes, which is where the Ladies Market got its name.
As the market got busier the local government made it bigger. And, after testing out pedestrian-only hours in 2000, the rule stuck.
Culture Of Women's Street
While it started off as a place for locals to get goods and hawkers to make money, Women’s Street has become a tourist destination.
There is plenty to see, do, and experience while wandering this market. If you find yourself on Women’s Street, here’s what you should do:
-Shop For Souvenirs: Need to bring something home for your family and friends? Women’s Street is the perfect spot. You can find everything from handbags and t-shirts, to tea sets, Chinese artwork, and trinkets. Most of the items are fairly cheap so you can get great value.
-Shop for Produce: Hong Kong has some unique produce, tropical fruits, and classic favorites. Do a bit of shopping for fresh fruits to take with you on a picnic. And, if you happen to have a kitchen in your hotel room, you can do some cooking with what you find at the market.
-Sample The Local Food: Many of the stalls here offer local snacks and dishes. Grab a cheap meal in between shopping or do a taste test of the snacks on offer. If you go hungry enough, you’ll be able to try a wide variety of classic, Chinese snacks. Make sure to try the fish balls in chili sauce, congee, and fresh-squeezed juice.
-Get a Foot Massage: The shops behind the market stalls are also part of the scene. Many of them are massage parlors that offer cheap foot treatments. After walking all day, an affordable foot massage may be just what you need.
-Visit Goldfish Market: It’s technically separate from the Ladies Market but is close enough to walk to. This is where you can find colorful goldfish, snakes, spiders, and other unique animals for sale.
-People Watch: There’s no doubt that the people watching on Women’s Street is prime. There are tons of tourists, locals, and hawkers roaming the area. Grab a spot at a food vendor and watch as people argue over prices, get lost in the crowds, and find souvenirs that make their eyes light up.
-Take Photos: Photographers absolutely love the Ladies Market. It’s colorful, bustling, and is full of people interacting with their environment. Spend a few hours roaming the area with your camera and you’ll be bound to get some pretty amazing shots by the end of the day.
-Fa Yuen Street: This nearby market is known for selling sneakers and sports supplies. Small electronics and watches are also in stock here. It’s close enough to the Ladies Market so that the men can sneak off while their wives shop for clothing and accessories.
Tips For Visiting Women's Street
-All prices are negotiable so never buy anything at full price.
-Most products are 20%-10% overpriced so make sure to bargain accordingly.
-If you can’t reach an agreement with the stall owner, look elsewhere as there are bound to be more stalls selling what you want.
-While bargaining, always be nice, respectful, and cheerful. You do not want to offend the locals.
-The vendors often appear aggressive. Don’t take this personally, it is just the name of the game.
-Many of the items in the market are fakes. If it doesn’t bother you, it’s no worry, but just be aware that you probably aren’t getting the real thing.
-Wear a money belt or keep your backpack on your front. There are often thieves amongst the crowds at these markets. Many of them prey on tourists who may not be paying attention.
-Have plenty of cash with you. Majority of the stalls will only deal with cash and not cards.