Temple Street Market is set in the back streets of Kowloon and is Hong Kong’s most notorious night market, famous for its vibrant atmosphere, local flavour, multitude of stalls and goods, and frantic activity. Unfortunately Temple Street market has become a victim of its own success and is so heavily promoted as a tourist destination that it has lost the atmosphere and vibes that made it so famous and enjoyable.
You should still spend an hour one evening during your time in Hong Kong walking through the Temple Street market. Just be prepared for a reality that is a little less salubrious that its highly promoted reputation.
The market is in a suburb in Hong Kong’s Kowloon district and runs from Jordan Road north for five blocks and finishes at Kansu Street. The street itself is flanked by rows of stalls on either side and shops set behind the stalls. The stalls crowd the street and the space between the stalls is roughly four people wide. Walking along Temple Street through the stalls slows to a snails pace when the street is crowded on a busy night.
Attractions of Temple Street Market
Shops & Stalls – The goods on sale range from clothes and electronics to antiques, paintings and binoculars that are all of questionable quality. Everything is over priced and the stall keepers are not too keen to bargain because they know that if you don’t buy, some one else behind you will. A contrast to the Silk Market where they don’t let you out of their clutches till you buy something.
Don’t try buying Chinese/Hong Kong movies there. A lot of shops behind the stalls sell music and movies but the only Chinese movies they have are extremely pornographic.
Food - The food is a little over priced but very good and one of the best attractions for the Temple Street market. Every one of the intersections down the five blocks that make up the market is dominated by restaurants, snacks and full of tables and chairs for eating. Sea food dominates and you can also find most types of delicious Canton dishes.
Fortune Tellers – The stalls finish near the northern end of the market and this is where you find all types of fortune tells that will tell your fortune from the bumps on your head, your hand, the dates of your birth and many other exotic and amazing ways. Most of them speak enough English to give foreign tourists a good show.
Minority Arts & Jewellery – Many of China’s 56 ethnic minorities display their hand crafted arts and jewellery on the street. They are probably not genuine some of them look amazing and make great gifts to take back home.
Walking – The Temple Street Market is walking distance from Tsim Sha Tsui and you can walk there from the Star Ferry port and water front in around 15 to 20 minutes. Walk down Nathan Road until you hit Jordan Road then turn left
MTR – Catch the MTR on the Tsuen Wan and get of at the Jordan station. Take the A exit onto Jordan Road and turn right. Temple street will be a couple blocks down Jordan road to your right.
Tips for Visiting the Temple Street Market
Go North – Start at the southern end of the market at Jordan Road and walk north. This will take you pass the stalls and you will finish at the quieter end of the market where the minority arts and jewellery and fortune tellers are.
Take the Side Streets – If you can, walk from Tsim Sha Tsui up to the Temple Street market taking side streets on the west side of Nathan Road. That will give you an excellent view of Hong Kong’s more interesting suburbs.