Art of Negotiation
While shoppers everywhere continue to think that the best bargains are to be had at street markets they are set to continue flourishing. Ladies market has been a Hong Kong staple for several decades. This one km stretch on Tung Choi Street with over 100 stalls is stuffed full of clothing, accessories and souvenirs for all age groups and its popularity is supported by the crowds that throng the area looking for elusive bargains. Although clothing, cosmetics, bags, lingerie, costume jewellery, home furnishings, travel goods and trinkets for women may predominate, it does not mean that everyone else can’t get whatever they are looking for. The market is known for fakes and if buying a big brand name to impress folks at home seems like a good idea, then this is the place to be. Most goods don’t have prices marked, leaving room for bargaining. As most of the items are available in several stalls, shoppers can really drive a hard bargain.
Open every day of the year except on the first day of the Chinese New Year, Ladies Market has no set opening hours. However all stalls are generally in operation by noon. The street is supposed to be closed to traffic from 4 pm till midnight on all days but on Sundays and holidays. Anyway hardly any vehicles go down the street after 10 am as it is taken over by pedestrian by this time.
Other than buying or trying to buy cheap goods or junk what can one do in Ladies Market? Browsing is big as is bargaining and this is one of the best places to people watch. Trying out local snacks is another interesting pastime although Ladies Market does not have great eating places. Tasting a bowl of won ton noodles as a snack from one of the food stalls lining the street may add to the local food experience. Whatever it is, it is definitely a great place to shop and to absorb a bit of Hong Kong culture.
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Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.