Night markets are so popular in Asia. Visitors love to stroll, shop and eat in the open-air markets. The concept of the night market traces its roots back to the Chinese Tang dynasty and during the Song Dynasty, night markets played a central role in Chinese nightlife.
I have visited several night markets when I travel, it seems to be part of the package (things to do) especially in Asia. For example, I have recently visited the night market in Vietnam Hanoi and spotted a few unusual Vietnamese traits. Interestingly, I also happened to visit the westerner night market which took place in Palm Spring California USA. I was too shock to have visited the western Night market which only happens every Thursday, once a week. The experience is quite different from those that I have visited in Asia. The whole Palm Spring town comes to life and seems that everyone in the town participates in the Night Market, from farmers, police force, yoga guru, artist singers, guitarist, painter, etc.
Now, let’s come back to today’s topic and talk about Night market in Hong Kong – Temple Street Night Market. I stayed in West Hotel which is very near to Temple Street Night Market, within walking distance, 10 mins. After my one day tour to HK Lantau Island for Big Buddha Tian Tan and Tai-O Fishing Village, I went back to the hotel to take a shower and then came out again for the night stroll in Temple Street.
Temple Street also is known as “Men Street” Night Market is one of the well-known street markets in Hong Kong. However, there is one thing to note, the market only starts at nights so do visit when the sky turns dark, say 7 pm onwards. By then the traders have already laid out their stuff for visitors to look at, touch and choose from. The popular things that sold here are little trinkets, souvenirs, toys, fake branded goods, antique, watches, paintings, tee-shirts, clothing etc.
Temple Street Tai Pai Dong
Eating is another thing to do in Temple Street, there are a number of “Tai Pai Dong” here. Tai Pai Dong is open-air street stalls that served cooked food, the setting is usually very basic, simple tables and plastic chairs. It is a very casual vibe where people are allowed to smoke and drink since it is outdoor eatery. Tai Pai Dong usually serves seafood such as crabs, lobster, fish, and other meat dishes too.
The seafood is usually still alive, you got to choose what you want and the chef will make the dish according to how you want them to be cooked, eg spicy or garlic and shallop or steam.
Street food is something you cannot miss while traveling in Hong Kong and can be found easily in the night market. Just to name a few of the iconic Hong Kong Street food are the curry fish ball, stinky tofu, deep fried pig intestine, imitation shark fins soup and many more. Usually, there is no seat for you. You ordered and take away and eat while you stroll on the street.
Other Night Market in Hong Kong
If you are really into night markets, you may want to visit Ladies Market in Mongkok, which has over 100 stalls selling a large variety of goods. Don’t be alarmed by the name, the markets do sell things for men too, eg men clothing and electronics, homeware, toys and many more.
Not enough? Then visit Fa Yuen street market & Sneaker Street.
In the Hong Kong culture, dessert serves as the perfect ending of a meal. Hong Kong is also a heaven for dessert and there are many shops solely devoted to traditional desserts called Tong Sui shop. Some of the must eat while in Hong Kong are Mango Sago Pomelo, Mango Shaved Ice, Black Sesame Paste with tofu bean curd and tang yuan. We ended up in the dessert shops in Temple Street for some traditional desserts. You will be surprised how crowded the dessert shop is, office workers, young people or couples having dessert at very late timing. I wonder why they are not obese? Another question to be asked, why they stay up late outside and not going home yet? The only answer I can think of is Hong Kong housing is so small that they would rather stay up late outside and just go back for sleep.
Giant Mango Shaved Ice
Black Sesame Paste with tofu bean curd and tang yuan
How to go there?
Temple street is located in the areas of Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon, HK.
To be honest, Temple Street Night Market Hong Kong is pretty much similar to the night market I have visited in Vietnam, Chiang Mai, Singapore, and Malaysia. Even the things sold are pretty much the same. It does not interest me to look at the thing at all but I do enjoy watching people eating in the Dai Pai Dong, open-air street stalls. As for myself, I love the night stroll with Hong Kong street food and some desserts in the Tong Sui Shop.