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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  1. 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)


  2. 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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