Hong Kong’s shopping scene has long been more than just glitzy malls and department stores. Open-air night markets like the one on Temple Street has long drawn both locals and tourists in search of bargains and a little fun.
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui near the Jordan and Yau Ma Tei subway stops, Temple Street transforms into a circus of bargain ware after dark. There are so many stalls you will need at least half and hour to an hour to walk through, if you don’t stop. You can get kitschy trinkets, clothes, DVDs, and toys, and even those kinds of DVDs and toys. (This is one of the few places in the world where you can walk around outdoors and see someone haggling over $5 for a toy usually sold in curtained shops.) And of course, there are the requisite Mao souvenirs, for irony, of course.
Other than shopping, you can also listen to Cantopop sung by people at makeshift karaoke stands, or visit one of the 20 or 30 fortune tellers. Or eat at one of the many street hawker stands or restaurants.
As much as I love Cantonese food, I was craving Indian curry, something I had not eaten in months. And Tsim Sha Tsui, with its dense Indian population, was bound to have good curry. Jacob and I stopped in Manakamana, an Indian and Nepalese restaurant on Jordan Street two blocks from Nathan Road. I suspected the owners were Nepalese who served a mostly Indian menu to appeal to local tastes. We chowed down on thick and hearty aloo matar, lamb kadhai, and crisp butter naan. All delicious, by the way.
For dinner entertainment we had an endless stream of Nepalese music videos. For a country of its size, Nepal has a huge music video industry. (We watched a ton while staying at a hostel in Chung King Mansions two years ago. I think Pico Iyer also talks about this in Video Nights in Kathmandu.) Almost all the videos take place in beautiful mountain landscapes and involve a young boy and girl falling in love, but they’re still fun to watch nonetheless. And they make for a good way to end a night on Temple Street, where many cultures and forms of entertainment mishmash at the nightly market.
G/F 165 Temple Street