Hong Kong 2012: Mong Kok’s many markets, and fireworks at Victoria Harbour

Date: 1st July 2012

Today I shifted over to Mong Kok in Kowloon to begin the second phase of my Hong Kong sight-seeing. I had booked a dorm bed at Ah Shan Hostel/Dragon Inn which cost me HK$148 (Rs. 980/$19/€14) a night. Finding my hostel wasn’t that hard. As soon as I disembarked from Mong Kok Station, I took Exit D2 and the second building named Sincere House housed Ah Shan Hostel.

Elevator Hong Kong
There are four elevators in total for this building
Ah Shan hostel Dragon Inn Hong Kong
The hostel is on the 14th floor
View from Ah Shan hostel Sincere house
This looked a residential/commercial kinda building. Space in Hong Kong being a luxury, even apartment rooms are turned into commercial spaces.

The dorm room wasn’t all that great, considering it was super cramped inside with barely any space to walk (photo of the bed I got is at the end of this post). Fiona was the hostel owner and she spoke fluent English, proving to be quite helpful.

Fiona Dragon hostel Hong Kong
That’s Fiona behind the reception desk

After securing my luggage in the room, I stepped out again.

Mobile repair shop Mongkok Hong Kong
It was quite a sunny Sunday
Fa Yuen street Mongkok Hong Kong
The main reason I stayed at Mong Kok is because of the many popular markets within walking distance
Ladies market Mong Kok Hong Kong
This side of Fa Yuen street was a general market

Fruits market Fa Yuen street Mong Kok Hong Kong

Indonesian maids Sunday Mong Kok Hong Kong
This being a Sunday, the maids had their day off. Kowloon sees a huge congregation of mostly Indonesian maids. Hong Kong island is where the Filipino maids meet up.
Goldfish street Mong Kok Hong Kong
This is one end of Tung Choi Street, also nicknamed “Goldfish street”
Aquarium store Tung Choi Street Mong Kok Hong Kong
And this is why
Fish in plastic bags Hong Kong
Lots of small fish on display
Goldfish plastic bags Mong Kok Hong Kong
Tortoises turtles for sale Hong Kong
Even baby turtles and tortoises
Cats for sale pet store Mong Kok Hong Kong
And cats
Aquarium pet supply stores Hong Kong
In fact, this place is great if you want anything and everything to do with pet supplies. Not so great if you are an animal rights activist.

Aquarium store Mong Kok Hong Kong

Pedestrian overbridge Mong Kok Hong Kong
I walked around some more
Pedestrian overbridge Kowloon Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a city full of pedestrian overbridges. They need them. With roads being narrow due to lack of space, pedestrian overbridges help with the flow of human traffic without obstructing vehicular traffic below.
Maids resting dancing Kowloon Hong Kong
The walkways are also where the maids congregate. It was interesting to see them make a picnic spot of such public spaces, meet up with their fellow country(wo)men and enjoy their weekly day off.
Pedestrian overbridge maids Sunday Hong Kong
Although I did feel sorry for the plight of these maids, I realize “that’s life” for some people in this world. I appreciate the fact the authorities allow them to ‘take over’ public spaces like this. I didn’t see them make a mess of the place or anything. They clean up well before leaving.
Sunday markets Mong Kok Kowloon Hong Kong
The markets below were busy as ever
Marching band Nathan road Kowloon Hong Kong
Back on Nathan Road, a marching band was playing tunes as part of the celebrations commemorating the 15th year since the hand over of Hong Kong to China. Although, they were playing “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga.
Shoe street Hong Kong
At the other end of Fa Yuen street is “Shoe street” – for obvious reasons!
Shoe shops Fa Yuen street Hong Kong
You get all the popular brands here. Adidas and Nike alone have multiple outlets here. Although I didn’t find prices here shockingly low or anything.
Mongkok computer centre Hong Kong
I went inside Mongkok Computer Centre looking for a brand of wireless adapters
Shops Mongkok Computer Centre Hong Kong
It’s not a huge IT mall or anything, but you get the usual gamut of computing parts and mobile stores
TP-Link routers security cameras Mong Kok
I found the TP Link model my brother wanted, but decided to buy after checking out a few more IT malls
Inside Mongkok Computer Centre Hong Kong
Most affordable malls and shopping complexes are like this: cramped for space
Mong Kok street market
Stepped out for some fresh air 🙂
Mong Kok Little India restaurant
A new Indian restaurant was being advertised
Chinese chalk powder writing Hong Kong
I didn’t understand a word, just clicked. A political message perhaps?
Sino centre Hong Kong
This is Sino Centre. I didn’t know what was in store, but I still went in to check it out.
K-pop music store Hong Kong
Downstairs were stores choc full of K-pop merchandise. This store had quite an impressive collection, including the very latest releases! Not just CDs – DVD boxsets, posters, other merchandise and much more.
AKB48 magazine Sino Centre Hong Kong
The upper floors were all Japanese pop culture
Japanese import toys Hong Kong
Stores dedicated to Japanese import toys, figurines, games…
eUS games Sino centre Hong Kong
Western video game franchises…
Animuse Sino Centre Hong Kong
…and of course anime!
Getter Alliance anime shop Hong Kong
Quite the place if you love Far East pop-culture. I feel Sino Centre is one place I would visit everytime I’m in Hong Kong.
Manga bookshop Hong Kong
That’s a LOT of manga!
Perfect Denki shop Hong Kong
This was quite a popular store
Anime toy store Hong Kong
There were just too many things I wanted to buy
Alley in Hong Kong
But this nerd decided to walk to the Flower Market next
Flower market street Hong Kong
The flower market is located on Prince Edward road
Mongkok flower market Hong Kong
It’s full of shops selling anything and everything related to gardening

Flower market plants Hong KongFlower pots Mong Kok Hong Kong

Flower market Hong Kong

Lotus flower market Hong Kong
My mom would have loved this place
Lemon mint plant flower market Hong Kong
But for obvious travel restrictions, I couldn’t buy any seeds from here
Garden decor flower market Hong Kong
Pretty much a one-stop destination for all your gardening needs in Hong Kong

Bouquets flower market Hong KongFlower market Mong Kok Hong Kong

Mong Kok stadium Hong Kong
It’s right next to (or behind) Mong Kok Stadium
Not for sale flowers Hong Kong
It was time for me to leave this place
Hong Kong overbridge elevator
I headed back to Mong Kok’s MTR station
Mong Kok street market Hong Kong
The sun was setting, but the markets were still busy
Neon signs minibus Mong Kok Hong Kong
These pink top buses are among the many minibuses that ply all over Hong Kong
Nathan road closed Hong Kong
They had closed Nathan Road to traffic
Nathan road open to public Hong Kong
People had to walk all the way to Victoria Bay for tonight’s fireworks as Tsim Tsa Tsui station was closed as well

Hong Kong subway closedThe fireworks show was in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China. Considering how grand fireworks displays are in Hong Kong, especially during the New Year, I was expecting quite a show by the bay..

Victoria Bay at night panorama
I walked all the way to Victoria Harbour
Crowds gathering for fireworks Hong Kong
It was getting very crowded very quick
Hong Kong fireworks crowd Victoria bay
It was pretty packed by 8pm
Fireworks begin Hong Kong
And it began with quite a bang

China reunification anniversary fireworks Hong Kong

Victoria Bay at night fireworks

Reunification with China celebration fireworks Hong Kong
They had laser lights too

Colourful fireworks Hong KongColorful fireworks Hong KongChina reunification ceremony fireworks Hong Kong

Hong Kong fireworks night sky
Things would whimper at intervals before going great guns again

Fireworks Hong Kong harbourFireworks Hong Kong bayFireworks close-up Hong KongRed fireworks explosion Hong Kong

Green fireworks Hong Kong China
There were a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd
Victoria harbour fireworks Hong Kong
It was quite a show!
Girl covering ears Hong Kong fireworks
Although it was bit loud for some

But photos of fireworks are one thing, here’s an HD video!

The whole thing lasted around 15 minutes. The crowds slowly dispersed, but knowing the MTR stations would be crowded just as badly, I decided to walk instead.

Crowds after fireworks Hong Kong night
It was going to be a long walk back
Super Nail Kowloon street night Hong Kong
I took the small roads instead of walking on Nathan Road
Chocolate checkered store Hong Kong
Stopping along to way to take a few photos of course

Tai Ping Koon restaurant Hong Kong

The Mira Tsim Tsa Tsui Hong Kong
The malls were closing for the day
Hong Kong police motorcycles
Hong Kong traffic police had opened Nathan Road to vehicular traffic

I don’t remember what I did for dinner or where I had it from – but yeah, this was the end to another day of walking around a lot!

Ah Shan Dragon Hostel dorm bed Hong Kong
It’s not much, but this was the room. The bed was a bit small even for my 5′ 6″ body. Oh well, you get what you pay for.

Tomorrow, Macau!

Previous posts in this series:

Hong Kong 2012: Tsim Sha Tsui, Chungking Mansion, Avenue Of Stars, and Kowloon Park

Hong Kong 2012: Gurudwara, and walking around Wan Chai

Hong Kong 2012: Views from Victoria Peak, day to night

Hong Kong 2012: Getting there

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  • Daniel


    Indeed the bed doesn’t look like 5* but if it was just meant as a safe&dry place for crashing into after a day out set back few quids & the establishment was clean, who cares 🙂
    (The pic with the checkered wall&the guys passing by, I think, by chance, makes for a nice setup)


  • javani


    Re: Trip to Sino Centre

    hi i love your trip to sino centre, pls. i want to visit it also, may know how to get in touch with ms. fiona of Ah Shan Hostel/Dragon Inn, does she have an email ? and i like the room you stayed i hope 4 person could fit inside. Can i ask a favor too, if possible show me the map on how to get to sino centre, pls. ? how far is it from the airport ? thank you and hope for your favorable reply.

    sincerely; javani


    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Hey Javani,
    You may email Ah Shan Hostel at 1406@ahshanhostel.com. Sino Centre is very easy to get to. From the airport, it’s quite far, but if coming straight from the airport, get off at Kowloon station and get to Mong Kok station. Sino Centre is on the main road right in between Mongkok and Jordan stations.


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