When in Rome…
is quite the same with when in Hong Kong…
I always believe that one of the surest things that will draw you closer to the culture of a new place is FOOD. Since we were in Hong Kong, mein Mann and I decided we better shop for food as the locals do. I mean, as the ordinary Hong Kong citizen do. When we talk about Hong Kong we might as well think of luxury brands, right? Of course, it is undeniably one of the places where there is a huge Louis Vuitton shop at almost every corner. But, this was not what we’re for – we wanted to go local.
Hong Kong is full of fascinating markets that are colorful and lively making them one of the must-see places when you happen to visit. These local markets give one the glimpse of shopping, Hong Kong style. This is perhaps the reason they are frequented by photographers and bloggers in awe of how chaotically pleasing the places can be.
Our quest to go local is one of the main reasons we chose to stay in Kowloon, specifically, along Nathan Road. It gives you access to almost everything that’s quite a far cry from what one can see around Central or the Hong Kong Island.
For the entire ten days that we stayed there, we basically have three dining choices: munch the food he brought in from Europe, eat at our favorite German restaurant, and get a bite at any local food stall in the area.
Because we were walking distance away from the Temple Street Night Market, it became part of our nightly stroll. One day, we came too early. Since the stalls were not yet set along the street, we decided to follow where the crowd was going. We arrived in a place where there seems to be a wholesale feeding frenzy.
What we loved more about it was the fact that we were one of the very few tourists there! This is not a tourist attraction but a daily market for local and international fruits. It was an excellent venue to watch local vendors and customers in their natural, local element.
Reclamation Street houses many stores selling fruits and some veggies which are cheaper than those found in supermarkets.We enjoyed walking around entire block, (actually, it extends two or three blocks) and see the whole range of fruits, meat and fish they sell. Most fruits are seasonal and labels told us they were from Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.
It was also great to see fruits and veggies that are fresh yet sold at a decent price. It must indeed be a great place to get good quality fruits at reasonable prices.
This is not a touristy place, but if you expect to see the authentic markets for seafood, fruit & veggies and exotic Chinese food, then this place is a must-see. Be prepared for the foul smell of the fish market. But, now I know why they call this a seafood hunter’s paradise.
This market was first started in 1913 and thus has historical relevance and tie to Hong Kong’s past. However, its not the most visitor-friendly area to visit in the territory.
Some of the buildings in the market area are of historical architecture and style. The market survives today as a wholesale center for fruit and is not particularly looking like a typical visitor-friendly Hong Kong scene. Looking up, this is what you can see:
If you are on for the discovery of everyday people’s life around here, the market is a great avenue to see it.
We went back to our hotel with a medium-sized plastic bag full of grapes. I was stunned how cheap it can be here. Back home, you can get a kilo of grapes for the same price we’ve paid.
Do you also like to go local when traveling?
How do you discover a new place’s culture?