Temple Street Night Market
Temple Street Night Market is a market found on Temple Street in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon. It’s known as a night market because it opens later in the day (around 5pm) and stays open late into the night.
The Temple Street Night Market is also known as the “Men’s Market” because the market used to sell items that were mainly for men. The Ladies’ Market in Mongkok had items that were mainly for women so a Men’s Market was made on Temple Street that sold items for men. Nowadays items for sale at the Temple Street Night Market are not as gender specific as they used to be. Some of the things you’ll find at the market include t-shirts, pants, electronics, toys, electronic accessories, dress clothing, ties, coins, and all sorts of souvenirs. These items are cheaper than you’d find them in a real store at a mall.
You’ll want arrive at the Temple Street Night Market when it’s dark outside. If you arrive while the sun is still up, you might walk down Temple Street and just see a normal road. You may not even notice any kind of market at all. People start setting up on the street around 4pm-5pm, so get there later in the day to experience the whole night market as it’s intended to be seen.
As you’re walking towards the night market, keep an eye out for a large Chinese Pai Lau (Chinese gate) with the name Temple Street Night Market on it. This gate indicates where the night market starts and is a good spot for a picture. If you miss the Pai Lau, just keep walking through the night market and you’ll see it when you walk to the end of the street.
From my experience I’ve noticed that if two shops in the market have the same item for sale, the price is usually the same. Once in a while you may find a $10-$30 HKD (approx $1.30-$3.60 USD) difference for the same item at different shops. But really $10 HKD isn’t that much of a difference anyways. So it’s up to you if you want to shop around before buying something.
The problem with street markets is that it can get crowded very easily because of the small walkway between shops. So you may be better off buying what you want when you see it since a small difference in price won’t make too much of a difference. Especially since the items at the market are usually cheaper than they are in licensed stores anyways. The alternative could have you squeezing by people in a crowded market while you waste time backtracking to find a shop you saw with the cheapest price. And you may not even find the shop again depending if you can remember where it is.
My recommendation is to look at 2 or 3 shops close to one another that sell the item you want. Then buy the item from the cheapest of the 2 or 3 shops you looked at. Chances are the price will be about the same everywhere else anyways, and you won’t be walking up and down the market all night.
The Temple Street Pai Lau (Chinese Gate)
You can try to bargain with the shop owners if you like. A little bit of bargaining is ok. Don’t try to rip them off though. Just know that I’ve seen some of the shop owners yell at people to get out of their shop because the customer bargained too low of a price. What worked for me was asking if they would give me a deal if I bought more than 1 item from them. They always gave some kind of discount if I bought more than 1 item at their shop.
Something else to consider is that a lot of the shop owners speak limited English. They’ll show you the price on a calculator, but if you have any specific questions about what you’re buying, they may not understand you. The best thing to do is just point at what you want. Most smart phones these days have translation apps, so you could bring one with you if you have one.
Fortune tellers and people performing Chinese Opera can be seen at the Yau Ma Tei end of the Temple Street Night Market. It might be interesting to see this for yourself. Fortune tellers speak Cantonese and Mandarin, and others are known to speak other languages like English, French, and Japanese. You just have to ask around. The people performing Chinese Opera will be asking for tips, so be prepared if you decide to watch for a long time.
The closest MTR station to the Temple Street Night Market is the Jordan MTR Station. From here it’s just a couple blocks away. Also, the TsimShaTsui MTR station is only 1 stop away from the Jordan MTR Station. If you like shopping for expensive brand name items, TsimShaTsui is the place for you.
The Jade Market and a Tin Hau Temple are located very close to the Temple Street Night Market. If you arrive at Temple Street before the night market has started, you could easily walk to the Jade Market and take a look around, then visit the Tin Hau Temple. Once it’s dark outside you can make your way back to the night market and enjoy the shopping on Temple Street.