Are you a shopping freak? A carnival festivity lover? A foodoholic? If the answers to these questions are yes then you definitely cannot afford to miss this place. I am talking about the Temple Street Night Market in the city of festivity and celebration, Hong Kong. It is geographically located in the vicinity of Jordon and Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong. This place has a different but interesting history. This whole of the market area is believed to have settled around a Banyan tree and has been named after a tin hau temple.
Peolpe do not come here to discover the beauty of the sky- scraper or the elite and posh restaurants. This is not what this place is known for. This place is known for the night market which or basically the flea- markets which are found here. It starts operating 2:00 p.m. Onwards and goes on until mid- night.There are endless number of stalls, one after the other. The beauty of this place lies in it’s down to earth aura, with stalls of clothes, food, gift items shining all around you in the beautiful lights put everywhere in the market. Most of the times the Temple Night Street Market is referred to as ‘Men’s market’. This place is also supposed to be in contrast with the Ladies’ market in Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
As the title ‘Men’s market’ suggests; most of the things which are sold here are best- suited for men. All kinds of T- shirts, Shirts, Jeanswear, shoes, pants and many more. The best part about these merchandise is that they are of the immediate fashion going on in the market and are sold at the cheapest of the cheap rates. Just like the other popular South- East Asian markets; bargaining is a delight to be availed. Being titled as ‘Men’s market’ does not mean only the male products will be sold here. Here we will find all sorts of gift items, old video tapes and the best part is the availibility and the visibilty of the antique products.
Besides market there are two things which heavily attract the tourists. The first is the Cantonese Opera and the other one is the fortune telling section. The Cantonese Opera operates everyday just near the temple but Wednesday; usually from 8:00p.m.- 11:00p.m. It is a delight to watch them perform. Not all of them are the epitome of the Opera world. It includes all kins of artist, from the learners to the amateurs. Some of the artists have even gone to become famous Opera artists worldwide. Their performance is fairly out of their passion and love towards the art of Opera. This also helps them to showcase their talent and at the utmost level it is also a means of their living.
Another sight of attraction here is the section of the fortune tellers which is found just beside the Cantonese Opera. It is a long line of people telling fortunes, most of them in their local language and some in English as well. They do not limit their art of telling fortune through the hands but they also use ears, eyes and chinese astrology to do the same. Fortune telling has been an old traditional practise in Hong Kong. The most fascinating method of fortune telling is the Bird method. In this the bird is put forth a certain pack of cards and out of these cards, the one that the bird picks up, becomes the fortune of the customer.
Now coming to the most important aspect of travelling, as said and considered by many, the section of food. Besides offering so many great offers and sights of attraction, the Temple Street Night Market does not fail to provide the best of the delicacies. The food items available here are one of their kind. Obviously Hong Kong being an island city has a lot to offer when it comes to the sea- food section. Food is another centre of attraction here. The food stalls are called ‘dai pai dong’ here. Besides these, the proper restaurants and cafes are also found here.
The sellers are very dedicated to their work. Their dedication exceeds all the limits when it comes to serving fresh food; which they staunchly believe in. They prefer selling fresh food to this extent that if possible they would serve them while they(food) are still swimming. One can get a great many varieties of fish and shellfish. Noodles is another popular food which can be preferred by the localites anywhere and anytime, be it before the dinner or after it and it can even be taken as mid- night snacks as this market runs until midnight. Besides the myriad varieties of fish that they sell and the noodles; other popular things which could be found are Chilli Crab, Deep- fried squids, hot pot rice and Roast pigeons.
The Temple Street Night Market is a symbol of public life in Hong Kong. It reflects the cultuire of this beautiful island city. It shows how it has managed to preserve it’s ancient traditional cultures and has cherished them all. This place have even been featured in great movies like Gangster, The Prince of Temple Street, Queen of Temple Street, The God of Cookery, Stephen Chow and many more. In the year 2003, the Temple Street festival was inaugurated for the first time.
The nearest MTR stations to the Temple Street Night Market are Jordon and Yau Ma Tei. This place is a complete package of what a tpourist wants. It has everything. It is a shopping hub, it has endless varieties of food one would want and then it provides good entertainment also. One who is very fond of travelling and knowing about the cultural traditions of different place has to visit the Temple Night Street Market once in a lifetime.