Hong Kong Local Street Markets
A binding part of a vibrant community that have made Hong Kong such a unique and vibrant city with a pulsing heart. As Hong Kong modernizes and redevelops communities time after time some things stay. Over the years the city has build indoor markets for what they call “wet markets”. One can purchase live meat and fish. The freshest fruits and vegetables with a feel of times gone past. These are not the new modern supermarkets where everything is neatly packaged in aisle after aisle.
The street is the market and the market is the street. Local street markets have a unique feel of the old world. Retail costs are one of the highest in the world so every inch has to be put to use. This mean things like doors waste space. Some retailers store fronts are like accordions and intricate work that is shuttered up each night.
Local street markets have gone through some changes over the last few years due to safety issue as one of my favorite local street markets Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok was hit by deadly fires in consecutive years. The look and feel is very much the same but electrical standards and distance between retailers and walking space up the middle of the street have widened. Many of these local street markets are pedestrian traffic only while some do blend in with local traffic especially on the Hong Kong Island. On the Island local street markets are narrow corridors and often up steep stairways.
Tourist and Photographer Tips
Local street markets are part of an active community and one needs to respect their privacy. Some markets such as Mong Kok wet market are better experienced with minimal time getting in the face of the locals. They work long hours and they are not a tourist attraction. Capturing the spirit of the market is best done from a distance. While there why not buy some fruit for yourself. If you can’t finish it all there are others who will be happy to eat it.