The history of the last century for both Hong Kong and China is mapped out in its streets for those who know where to look. Learn more on this tour.
Lonely Planet Experiences: Around Kowloon in 8 Markets
- Wind your way through one of the world’s most densely populated neighbourhoods as you explore Hong Kong’s bustling markets with a local by your side.
- Stop to smell the sweet aromas from the flower market stalls.
- Shop for bargains at the city’s favourite street market.
- Discover how a shopping mall has totally transformed vibrant Kowloon.
- Learn to shop for electronics, sneakers, jewelry, and computers like the locals do and maybe pick up some bargains too!
- Each Lonely Planet Experience comes with six-months free access to Lonely Planet’s Guides App which includes over 8,000 destinations guides and unbeatable discounts to Lonely Planet Guidebooks
- People Ages 6+
Kowloon City Market Tour
Before online shopping, megamalls, supermarkets, and eBay, retail trade was solely done at markets. Join this Hong Kong tour to get the lowdown on all the city’s glorious market action, from gorgeous ferns at the Flower Market, and bargain clothing and handbags at the Ladies’ Market to the latest model gadgets and sportswear in Mong Kok. You can’t visit the city without experiencing its extensive and thrilling shopping scene!
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this city adventure hand-picked by the world’s leading travel publisher. Lonely Planet Experiences powered by Urban Adventures bring stories to life in the best-loved cities around the globe.
Local Impact: How you will help the local community by joining this tour:
During the tour, you visit a local street market where vendors get to operate their businesses without having to pay the city’s otherwise exorbitant rent.
After the Second World War and the Chinese Civil War in the 50s and 60s, Hong Kong was full of the poor and many refugees. To make a living, many families relied on illegally hawking goods on roads meant for cars.
At the beginning of the ’70s when Hong Kong went from a developing to a developed economy, the government at the time introduced a licensing system that would phase out these street markets by two generations.
In fact, the number of licensed street vendors has shrunk from tens of thousands in the early 70s to thousands today, and there is a market disappearing every few years.
One market you visit on the tour is widely considered by locals as the best in the city, and your visit will help it continue to thrive.
Inclusions: Local English speaking guide.
Exclusions: Items of personal nature, tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Duration: 3 hours
- Meeting point: Prince Edward MTR station Exit A (Intersection of Nathan Road and Playing Field Road).
- Find the exact meeting point with what3words: ///hubcaps.curl.snooping
- Starting time: 2.00 PM
- Ending point: Mong Kok MTR station
Hong Kong is packed full of fascinating markets, and you’ll discover the best of them on this Kowloon market tour, as we get up close and personal with where Hong Kong locals have shopped for over 100 years, and continue to do so, despite the development rising up around them.
We kick this Hong Kong markets tour off on a fragrant note at the Flower Market, a vibrant and colourful street market consisting of more than 50 shops. A jungle of exotic blossoms, luck-bringing houseplants, and sweet scents, it’s the perfect introduction to the markets in Kowloon.
Next, it’s onto the nearby Bird Garden, a charming Chinese-style garden with songbird selling stalls, traditional Chinese courtyards, and a ‘bird park,’ where the city’s elderly gentlemen like to bring their birds to socialize with one another. Soak up the peaceful surroundings and listen to the charming sound of thousands of birds – it’s easy to forget about the crazy city streets that lie just outside the moon gates!
As we travel along this Hong Kong city tour, we’ll continue to help you orient yourself, understanding whereabouts in the city you are, where Kowloon ends and the New Territories begin, and how we get to mainland China from here. We’ll also point out a mountain that is a true Hong Kong landmark and local symbol, to ensure you’re thinking just like a local.
You will also see the largest remaining cluster of Tong Lau buildings in the city; Cantonese tenement architecture imbued with Western design features designed for both commercial and residential use. Its clever design makes it nice and easy for citizens to navigate the city come rain or shine. Unfortunately, nearly all of the city’s Tong Laus have been torn down. Your guide will share with you why this one got to stay and where its future lies.
Our next stop will be at the famed Goldfish Street, where you will learn why fish are the most popular pets in the city, admire exotic fish and tortoises and appreciate the beauty of some very impressive works of aqua-scaping, the latest big thing amongst local hobbyists.
At the city’s most popular market, it’s time to practice your bargaining skills with vendors who sell bargain-priced clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, and smartphone cases. If you’re not up for bargaining, it’s still loads of fun to experience the atmosphere of the market.
It’s set deep within the neighbourhood of Mong Kok, one of the world’s most densely populated neighbourhoods; 130,000 people per square kilometre! Take a minute to digest that before we head over to an impressive commercial development that comprises a 15-story-high shopping mall, a gigantic skyscraper of an office tower and a posh hotel.
It was what inner Kowloon needed, and since it opened its doors over a decade ago, the city’s centre of gravity has been pulled much closer to ‘Kowloon-side,’ away from the Skyscraper chic of Hong Kong Island.
Last but certainly not least, we will be heading to street markets that specialize in one category of products. Whether it’s sneakers, cameras, jewelry or computers, you will learn from your guide how to avoid the tourist traps and find the originals at an affordable price.
And by this point, if you are feeling a bit shopped out, a street full of bars selling anything from European wine to local craft beer is just a stone’s throw away, waiting for you.
This is a market tour that shows you the real local culture of Hong Kong and the fascinatingly diverse markets of Kowloon, and we’re sure you’ll leave with a head full of excitement and perhaps even a few unique souvenirs and treasures of your own!
Dress Standard: Comfortable shoes.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional Information: When warning signal on typhoon, rainstorm or thunderstorm is being hoisted by the Hong Kong Observatory, please contact Hong Kong Urban Adventures to discuss arrangements.
Child Policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.
Ms. JANE M. from Australia travelled on 08 May 2019:
Danny was an excellent guide and provided a great mix of stories, places to see and insights I’m sure I would not have got on a bigger less personalised tour. This is my first Urban A tour but I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Ms. Melissa S. from Australia travelled on 25 Oct 2018:
I really enjoyed this tour – gave me an opportunity to see parts of Hong Kong I don’t think I would have been otherwise. And our guide was fantastic – full of fun and interesting Hong Kong facts!
Ms. Karen F. from North Ireland travelled on 11 Jan 2018:
Danny was our guide and as with all my previous Urban Adventure experiences he was excellent. Very friendly, informative and patient with all the questions. It was a good opportunity to see markets I would not usually have experienced. I was happy with all aspects of the Tour except the Jade market I was expecting a real market for locals and it was just a tourist market selling knock off Jade.
Mrs. helen c. from Australia travelled on 22 Jun 2017:
A most enjoyable experience, pity about the weather! Danny was a great guide
Ms. gillian n. from United Kingdom travelled on 17 Oct 2016:
Danny was an amazing guide really informative and very interesting, we loved his tour !
Ms. Alouise D. from Canada travelled on 10 Apr 2016:
The tour was really interesting and a lot of fun. I wish there was more time to learn about some of the other markets. I liked how the tour focused on other aspects of Kowloon, and not just the markets (although that was the main focus). I wish we had more egg tarts, because those were delcious.
Ms. Michele K. from Hong Kong travelled on 13 Nov 2015:
Danny was so good I booked 2 tours with him and recommended my friend do the same.
Mr. Barton C. from USA travelled on 19 Aug 2015:
Danny (our tour guide) went above and beyond all expectations. I can’t express how great of a guide he was. Over the course of our five day stay in Hong Kong, we went to four of Danny’s urban adventures. Every one he came clearly prepared to share all sorts of exciting, intriguing, and interesting information about Hong Kong. It aided us in enjoying Hong Kong even more, and helped us appreciate the culture and history of Hong Kong a lot more as well. Danny is a patient, enthusiastic, and extremely knowledgeable guide, and we were sad to have to leave him at the end of our last trip with him.
Mr. Leo L. from USA travelled on 23 Feb 2015:
Dany knows Hong Kong and loves to share. He listens to the group and goes as makes sense. Loved his style and how much he fit into the short time! THANKS!
Mrs. Christina S. from travelled on 19 Mar 2014:
We had a great time with Danny! He infused historical knowledge about Hong Kong throughout our tour, and he paused to point out local specialties like egg tarts and pear tea! The markets were diverse and captivating. Thanks, Danny!
Ms. Hilary B. from United Kingdom travelled on 03 Jan 2014:
A really great tour. Our guide was really enthusiastic and we saw much more that we would have done on our own in a short space of time.
Mr. Timothy D. from travelled on 28 Dec 2013:
Thanks Danni (I hope that’s the correct spelling).
Mr. Ali S. from Canada travelled on 15 Jul 2013:
The tour was lots of fun; I got to see so many new places and learn about the city. My tour guide Jennifer was also fabulous.
Mr. Donald R C. from Canada travelled on 06 Nov 2012:
Urban Adventures tours have always given great value for money, and this experience again confirmed that. Danny was personable and very informative on two different tours I did with him. Thanks!
Ms. Olivia M. from Australia travelled on 09 Oct 2012:
Danny was fantastic – only wish I was in Hong Kong longer to do another Urbane adventure. I would recommend the experience to anyone. We saw and experienced so much – can’t wait to try another tour.