Hong Kong's Mong Kok district offers intense shopping options in a city famous for bargains. In the heart of Kowloon, the area just north of Hong Kong proper, Mong Kok pulses with getting and spending. Glamorous Langham Place shopping mall rises above jade emporiums and traditional street markets. After dark, traffic is shut out and racks of goods choke the pavements. Ladies' wear street gives way to electronics; the next is sporting goods. A small lane specializes in tropical fish.
A Guide to the District
A short taxi ride from Hong Kong island's ferry terminal, Mong Kok also spans twin stops between two metro lines. The metro exits deliver visitors to a complex, intense maze of shopping streets and eateries catering to students from nearby city universities. Packed lanes feature immaculate Italian designers on the same sidewalk with stalls selling used transformers. Sketchy by-the-hour hotels line the shopping streets, while three legitimate hotels are often fully booked, so advance reservations are essential.
A Luxury Option in Mong Kok
Langham Place Hotel dominates Mong Kok like a cool contemporary empress. Her dome tops highest point in a cluster of high-rises, a beacon over this lofty, elegant full service hotel. The Langham Place has several on-site restaurants featuring gourmet chefs. The amiable and informative staff will steer guests across the vast marble lobby into the adjoining Langham Place Shopping Mall, a dizzying multi-level emporium of high-end boutiques and food courts. The hotel's website offers discounts with advance reservations.
A Mid-Range Choice
The Stanford Hotel hugs a quiet end of Soy Street, near the eastern metro connecting Mon Kok to the mainland rail terminus. Only a short stroll from the chaotic night markets, the Stanford projects an efficient but reserved personality, a touch of British flavor. Small rooms are well-equipped, many with panoramic vistas of the district. It has a full-service restaurant, a cafe lounge, and a breakfast buffet.
A Small Hotel in Mong Kok's Busy Center
Just west of the Stanford, the Acesite Hotel is a few footsteps closer to the markets,. An unpromising, narrow street entry under a small canopy belies the pleasant second-story lobby. Catering to business travelers as well as shopping devotees, this small hotel occupies a modern mid-rise complex of basic, comfortable rooms and suites sequestered from the intense market life. The Acesite has no restaurant or cafe, but family-run eateries line its Soy Street block.
- hongkongs skyline image by photosite from Fotolia.com