HONG KONG DIARIES 4: Harbor City, Prince Edward, and Mongkok
Almost all of my friends are going abroad to celebrate Christmas and that makes me pretty jealous-I wonder how it feels like to celebrate Christmas in another place? Geez, I guess it's awesome to experience winter and see how other cultures deal with the holidays. Hope that happens soon! :D
Hong Kong, perhaps, is the top holiday destination for most Pinoys as it's quite near and it's a friggin' shopping capital. (Because we Pinoys love shopping!) Are you hitting HK this month whether on your own, with friends, or with the fambam? Check out my last travel post on my recent trip to Hong Kong this year. This time, I'll take you around Harbor City, Prince Edward, and Mongkok.
If you recall, I stayed in Hong Kong Island particularly in Causeway Bay. For my last day in the country, I visited Kowloon, the place where I stayed during my first- ever visit. My goal was to find the famed Laduree Macarons and visit Mongkok.
I wanted to ride the cab because to be honest, I was half-hearted about traveling in the MTR- I don't have much time left so I can't afford to get lost and I completely forgot how to travel with it lol! In the end, I settled for the MTR because I remembered how pricey taxi fares are in there. Good thing I did because it's pretty easy to figure out and there were English- speaking guides and English instructions unlike the train system in Japan.
TIP: Actually, you can travel all over Hong Kong by just riding the MTR-there are connecting trains that will take you to the main stops in Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and New Territories so save money by riding the MTR!
More shopping tips when you click READ MORE!
I got down Tsim Sha Tsui, the only station in Kowloon I remembered. I wanted to hit Harbor City because the flagship branch of Laduree is there. Dang, I had no idea how to get there. I had a map, but I suck at reading maps. :p
Fast- forward. After a 5-minute walk, I finally reached my destination. Yay! Thank God for instincts. :D
So here's Harbor City-it's a huge high- end paradise.(Just my thing!) Almost all of the world's finest garment, leathergoods, and beauty brands can be found here. I think its counterpart in Causeway Bay is Lane Crawford. :)
Harbor City got its name from its actual location, which is right beside Kowloon's harbor side.
TIP: In a hurry and can't afford to travel by land? Then take the ferry! It should get you across all the islands in 10-15 minutes flat, albeit fare's a lil' pricey.
Alright so here we are in Laduree. Laduree is a French brand of pastries, tea, and afternoon snacks, and they're made famous by their Macarons. :)
I bought a box of 6 for myself and a box of 12 for my family. :) It's pretty pricey though, but it's sooooo worth it! These are the freshest macarons I've tasted to date and all I can hope for is for them to open a branch in Manila. :)
TIP: Laduree's best- selling Macaron flavors are Salted Caramel, Rose, Pistachio, and Coconut.
Here are Laduree's fresh and exquisite jams and compotes.
While here are their fine tea selections.
Operation Laduree is successful! :D
Went around for a little in Harbor City and here are some luxury brands that you can find in here:
Balmain- couldn't help but drool at the tops!
After grabbing the Laduree Macarons, I hit the MTR again and went to Prince Edward, the location of Pha Yuen market.
Pha Yuen market is like Tutuban. It's a bargain hunter's paradise and a place to visit for those who are looking for very unique fashion finds, as I was told.
Prince Edward is significantly different than Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay-it's quieter, not as crowded, and people are more laid-back. It's the place to go to if you're looking forward to purchasing wholesale souvenirs. Price for items here could be as low as 20HKD.
Prince Edward is more of an industrial area as there are a couple of factories spread throughout the district. There are also wet markets here.
I wasn't able to hit Pha Yuen market as I got pretty dizzy while exploring the area-I remembered that I forgot to have lunch so I went back to Tsim Sha Tsui again to eat in my most favorite restaurant in HK, Tsui Wah.
I finished eating lunch at 2pm and I had to be at the hotel at 5pm to catch the airport shuttle service so I had to make a choice between Pha Yuen and Mongkok. I went for the latter as it's the most notable bargain shopping area in Hong Kong. There's always a next time for Pha Yuen market anyway!
If Pha Yuen is Tutuban, Mongkok is Divisoria (or to some extent, Greenhills). Mongkok New Town Mall is a towering structure of bargain finds from clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, beauty products, and more-reminds me of St. Francis Square in Ortigas.
Union is one of their local footwear brands. Seems like it's a pretty popular bargain brand as it has a lot of branches around Mongkok. During my visit, they had this buy-2-take-1 sale on all items, and price starts at 100HKD. Footwear designs are pretty decent and they even have replicas of high- end shoe styles by Giuseppe Zanotti, Dolce and Gabbana, and YSL!
For even cheaper footwear, go inside Mongkok New Town Mall and opt for the unbranded ones. Prices start at 70HKD.
If you don't have enough luggage space, look for these $10-per-piece stalls for tiny souvenirs or fillers for your existing ones.
If there's one thing that you shouldn't miss out on in Mongkok, it would be the clothes. The place is overflowing with trendy clothes! However, I kinda' had a boo-boo with one of the items I got: I went to this shop called Amazing that sells clothes and accessories and I fell in love with one of their items, this fancy top adorned with huge faux pearls on the neckline. I got it for 198HKD and thought that it was so unique and cheap, but when I roamed around, I saw the exact same thing (except that it's unbranded) in one of the clothes stalls and guess what? It's only 50HKD. For a moment, I've completely forgotten that I was in the manufacturing capital of the world. :p
TIP: Saw something nice, but feel that it's a lil' pricey? Go around because you will definitely find the exact item, but at a cheaper cost. Always go for the unbranded stalls.
So that's my last post for Hong Kong. Been to HK? Please share your personal experiences and shopping tips! :)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.