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Hong Kong. What to buy ?

Classic, cutting-edge, everyday and offbeat: the selection of goods being sold by the second in Hong Kong is befitting of a city that’s been a crossroads of global trade for over 150 years. Here’s where you can find what you want -or just lose yourself looking for it.

As if it needed another feather in its shopping hat, Hong Kong is a fantastic city for reasonably priced optical goods. So, up there with silk slippers, chopsticks and tailor-made Egyptian cotton shirts, why not add a set of designer frames to your shopping list, or perhaps something more street casual and funky? It’s also good value and relatively fast in Hong Kong to get your lenses grinded or to place an order for new contact lenses.

For the visitor, Hong Kong’s lack of sales tax and import duty means bargains await on everything from desktop computers to music players. And, as with all shopping in Hong Kong, the experience can run the gamut from crowded street markets to plush malls. Needless to say, goods that come with warranties from recognised brand name manufacturers ensure top performance.

Cosmetics, skin care and hair salons

Navigating Hong Kong’s beauty products aisles presents shoppers with an almost equal level of choice. Cosmetic and skincare shops abound, ranging from famous international brand names to emerging organic and herbal pioneers. The shopping experience is no less varied and just about every budget is catered to, with swanky department stores at one end of the scale and cluttered bargain shops at the other. Most people get their locks snipped before a vacation, but when heading to a city that touts some of the favourite salons of Asia’s A-list, you might opt to wait and go home with a new style instead. Look for something special, look around, or just come and look at other people forking out cash to look good. Shopping is a serious sport in Hong Kong. Come and join the team!

Given that many Hong Kong folk have a plethora of watches for different occasions, it’s no surprise that the city has a vast supply of timepieces covering the entire spectrum, from the gimmicky to the masterpiece. Whether you want to spend a few dollars on something fun and funky, or pick up a bejewelled number for the cost of a family car, you certainly don’t need to leave Hong Kong with a bare wrist.

Jewellery

With more jewellery stores per square kilometre than any other city in the world, Hong Kong’s obsession with ‘bling’ would make even the most audacious gangsta rapper gasp. It’s not just for show though, part of the reason behind this density of precious and semi-precious stones is the Chinese belief that they ward off bad luck, which also explains the local love affair with jade. This makes Asia’s world city one of the world’s largest jewellery exporters, and a tremendous place to do some shopping for value-for-money pearls, opals, gold ornaments, funky fashion jewellery, traditional jade amulets and bank-vault-worthy pieces.