There are numerous places to shop in Hong Kong – from huge shopping malls to street markets. But if you’re looking for a distinctive souvenir for a loved one back home – or a very special gift from you to you – drop by one of these 10 boutiques.
For the photo lovers: AO The Bookstore
Dedicated to showcasing the crafts of the likes of Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, AO The Bookstore, the only retailer dedicated to photography in Hong Kong, attracts shutterbugs from around the world.
This is where enthusiasts come to browse works by Japanese masters, search for erotic arts or peruse limited editions. Besides the bookshop, AO’s HQ located in Chai Wan is also home to the AO Vertical Art Space, a “vertical flow” gallery from the 3rd to the 13th floor of the Asia One Tower.
Interested in getting a grasp of the local photography scene? This is the place to be!
Where: Asia One Tower, 8 Fung Yip Street
Tel: +852 2976 0913
Nearest station: Chai Wan
For the “macho” men: Ed1tus
Men of all stripes unite! ED1TUS is that rare concept store dedicated to all things masculine.
Occupying a refurbished warehouse space in a derelict building, this emporium oozes virility. Founded by Jino Khidhr and David Wakely, previously a menswear buyer with specialty stores Lane Crawford, this lifestyle concept showroom stacks carefully curated offerings like Mauro Grifoni, Drumohr, Cire Trudon and FPM Luggage. Other items solely targeted at men include home decor, body lotions, creams, wine, and cigars.
Befitting its focus, catering is the responsibility of the Butcher’s Club, Hong Kong’s steak specialist. What else would you expect from a space reserved for alpha males?
Where: 16F Shui Ki Industrial Building, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen
Tel: +852 9760 0437
Nearest station: Central
For the leather fetishists: Fungus Workshop
Fungus Workshop is a rare gem of a leather shop, as much about unique aesthetics and connoisseur craftsmanship as about serious leather fetishism.
Conceived by fashion designer duo Baldwin Pui and Hoiming Fung, whose unique tastes in leather bags have captured the attention of British department store chain Harvey Nichols, Fungus operates as a workshop-cum-shop, hosting regular classes for aspiring shoe- and bag-makers.
Even if you have no interest in the classes, drop by and see how these craftsmen create leather goods – it makes for an interesting insight.
Where: G/F, 4 Po Hing Fong
Tel: +852 2779 9003
Nearest station: Sheung Wan
For the sports freaks: Lantau Base Camp
There’s more to Hong Kong than just shopping, eating and drinking, and the Lantau Base Camp is the ideal spot for those seeking physical challenges – be it a marathon or the MacLehose 100km Trailwalker.
Opened by two fitness fanatics, Lantau Base Camp is more than a store. A true fitness community, it creates events as challenging as they are fun, ranging from a 14km Valentine’s Day race to the Skirt Chaser, a running competition where women enjoy an eight-minute lead, or the Stairmaster, the toughest short-course set of races around.
Where: Shop J, Sea View Building, 1 Ngan Wan Rd, Mui Wo, Lantau Island
Tel: +852 5463 6060
Getting there: Central Ferry to Mui Wo (Pier 6, Eastern)
For the creatives: Fotanian
Not a shop as such, Fotanian took flight when a vibrant agglomeration of artists moved into industrial buildings abandoned by manufacturers that moved to China. With more than 100 studios distributed in a dozen buildings, Fotanian is located in the area of Fo Tan, the epicentre of Hong Kong’s burgeoning art scene.
You are as likely to meet a famous painter as you are an emerging cartoonist. Many studios also serve as primary residence for artists, thus creating a real community vibe among the residents.
Studios are not always open to the public, but events are held regularly, culminating in the annual Open Studios festival held in the spring, where you can expect to see a mix of local art, mostly available for purchase.
Where: 15 Wong Chuk Yeung Street, Fo Tan
Nearest station: Fo Tan
For those who go crazy for colorful stripes: RWB 300
Your memory is not playing tricks on you: red, white and blue is not a part of Hong Kong’s flag. It is a color combination strongly associated with the carriage bag made of nylon canvas in stripes of these colors that has been popular in Hong Kong for generations.
Invented in the 1960s and loved for its sturdiness and versatility, the widely used bag became synonymous with the industrious city life of the decade and the people’s resilient spirits.
Since 2000, Hong Kong artist Stanley Wong has been incorporating the ubiquitous red-white-blue fabric into his photography, poster designs and installation art. Through deconstructing and restyling, he’s come up with a series of original houseware, fashion products and accessories, all found at RWB 300. If you wanted to take home an authentic Hong Kong souvenir, then this is the place for you.
Where: 192 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2392 5330
Nearest station: Prince Edward Station
For the herbs enthusiasts: Herboland
Located quite incongruously next to a stunning beach and a power station, Herboland is Hong Kong’s largest organic grower of herbs. The small entrance leads to the growing fields past a few rabbits. The grounds are relatively modest in size, but the diversity of herbs on offer is surprisingly wide: you can get around 40 varieties!
You can also buy seasonal vegetables and potted plants and even taste tea concoctions prepared with herbs in the small café on-site.
If you are interested in going organic and learning how to garden or make soap, Herboland organizes classes frequently.
Where: L.O.T.287 D.D.4 Hung Shing Yeh beach, Lamma Island
Tel: +852 9094 6206
Getting there: Central Ferry to Lamma Island (Pier 4)
For the fans of handcrafted jewelery: LoSo Shop
Set in the picturesque Lo So Shing Village, home to a traditional fishing community, you can’t miss the LoSo Shop, a somewhat derelict blue house covered in artisan bags for sale.
Owned by Violet Chammi, LoSo Shop sells her own collection of quirky jewelery entirely designed, handmade and packaged by herself, under the brand MoonFolks. You’ll also find other products designed by Hong Kong artists and various handpicked, rare vintage items from around the globe.
With the addition of LoSo Kitchen opened nearby, be ready to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life and enjoy a homemade meal in harmonious surroundings.
Where: 21 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
Tel: +852 2982 8623
Nearest station: Central Ferry to Lamma Island (Pier 4)
For the bookworms: Eslite
A Taiwanese cultural phenomenon eclipsing even the behemoth that is Amazon, Eslite might just be the blueprint for bookshops seeking to survive the onslaught of online sales and ebooks.
Occupying three floors of a shopping mall, Eslite is as much an entertainment destination as it is a bookshop. Eslite also holds exhibitions, events, and performing arts while housing an eclectic mix of cool lifestyle stores.
Lose a few hours browsing the shelves through the mixture of Chinese and English books. There’s a coffee shop, a wine bar and various restaurants, in case you need a refreshment in-between browsing sessions.
Where: 8F – 10F Hysan Place, Hennessy Road
Tel: +852 3419 6789
Nearest station: Causeway Bay
For the audio aficionados: Audio Space
Why bother with big brands like Bang & Olufsen and Bose, when their price range can get you much higher-grade AV toys?
Welcome to the underexplored and underexposed world of Hong Kong’s AV design and engineering industry. Hong Kong, with one of the biggest AV manufacturers, China, on its doorstep, is throwing up some amazing high-end AV products.
Among various brands, Audio Space is by far the most internationally recognized, steadily gaining respect and reputation for its top high-end tube amplifiers. Check out the Mini-Galaxy 1, a diminutive two-chassis integrated tube amplifier loaded with useful features as well as a beautifully understated two-tone gray exterior.
Where: 1F, 151 Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po
Nearest station: Sham Shui Po
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