A visit to the Temple Street Night Market is one of those quintessential Hong Kong experiences. Once known as “the poor man’s nightclub," for over a century this five-block string of stalls, vendors and fortune tellers has been entertaining locals and visitors alike.
With its gaudy banners and bare light bulbs illuminating the faces of Chinese characters and their colorful wares, Temple Street makes for wonderful theater. Enjoy the sight of locals playing Chinese chess and the sounds of spirited haggling. The market is worth visiting for the atmosphere alone, even if you aren’t looking to buy anything.
The market is sometimes called the men’s market for its assortment of male clothing. There's also a large range of electronic goods and accessories as well as watches, jade, antiques and much more, all at negotiable prices. If you are looking for bargain souvenirs, this is the place to shop.
Add an element of mysticism to your visit and get your fortune told at one of many stalls that populate the street. Take your pick from tarot readers, Chinese astrologists, palmists or even a small caged bird who will select a fortune card from a pack.
For a break from the haggling, stop by one of the Cantonese Opera tents. Opera troupes and clubs have been gathering in Temple Street for decades to practice and socialize, so feel free to sit and soak up the distinctive strains of Chinese opera.
When hunger strikes, order up a claypot rice or noodle dishes from one of the many food stalls. While you’re in the area, visit the nearby bird and flower markets, or pay your respects at the Tin Hau Temple, the temple which gave the street its name. Another of Hong Kong’s popular market streets is the Ladies’ Market, open during the day and only a short distance to the north.
Temple Street Markets usually open in the late afternoon and stay open every night until late. Access the markets from the MTR stations at Yau Ma Tei or Jordan.