Friday, 6 August 2010

shopping areas


A funny thing about shopping Hong Kong: the shops can be very focused on just one thing. Yes, there are some department stores, and "home goods" stores, but a lot of shops sell only one thing, like this scale shop I saw earlier this week. The entire shop just sells scales, analogue and digital. I was so surprised, I had to snap a photo; a whole shop of just scales!?

And another thing I find a bit odd, where you find one shop selling one thing, you inevitably see a whole row of them. For example, here's a street (below) in the area called the flower market. The whole street (and the one parallel to it and each side street) is lined with flower shops. There are probably a hundred small flower retailers here, all in the same area. I wish I could go there to buy flowers every week, but the flower market is in Mong Kok, across the harbour from us. In my Western thinking I wonder, wouldn't it be better to have one or two flower shops in each part of Hong Kong? But at least you know where to get your flowers, it's in Mong Kog, of course! (Small amusing anecdote: there are two shops on those streets which do not sell flowers. One is a bakery [num, num] for sustenance when browsing all these flower joints. The other sells motorcycle helmets. I do not joke.)


I visited the Western Market recently ("Western" because it is on the west side of central Hong Kong). The first floor is all fabric shops, row after row of fabrics. I really liked visiting there earlier in my holiday and I bought a few half yards of fabric to use in my food photos (you can see them in this post about nut butters if you're curious!). But I have heard that the Western Market with its ten fabric stalls is not the main place to go for fabric. I don't know where it is yet (maybe my mother remembers?) but I do know that when I find it, there will be dozens of fabric sellers there.

6 comments:

Leslie said...

All the fabric you've ever wanted, said her Mom, is at Sham Shui Po. It's a little bit east but mostly south of that subway station. Order from the samples; prompt delivery!

sarah said...

Ah, see! I knew Mum would know. :-) Thanks, Dad!

AnnaMcC said...

I cannot even begin to imagine all of the sewing projects that fabric market would inspire. I cannot wait to see it in person - something I hope will happen soon!

Beth said...

The comparison that comes to mind is the Automall near us, where all the car dealerships are grouped together in one place. If you want to buy a car, that's the place to go. Are the flower markets in Hong Kong also specialists, each selling a different kind of flower, or are they generalists, all selling the same flowers?

sarah said...

Anna, I do indeed hope you can visit, too. :) How fun would that be! I don't plan on becoming a big sewing queen, though, I'm leaving that to Mum. I didn't even hem the pieces I bought before, just used them draped over a box for staging purposes.

Beth, you are right, it's a bit like that. But not totally, since all the shops seem to sell very similar things. There were only a few with a specialism, such as one orchid shop. I think it would make more sense to have specialists, too.

Kevin, Sonya, Claire & Max said...

This was a funny post. good job with the pics. oh and I dont worry about taking my camera to the beach - I dont even keep a lens can on it! I lost the cap in Italy and have never replaced it. It is a great camera though.