Markets Galore in the Port of the World

Guest Post by: Junior Finance Major and Chinese Minor Robert Barrett. He is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient who participated in a Foster Exchange at Hong Kong University in Fall Quarter 2018.

The word “Hong Kong” translates to “fragrant harbor”, a result of the warehouses that stored incense before it was exported to Britain. Since then, Hong Kong has been the port of the world, a title that is most evident when exploring Hong Kong’s incredible array of markets. While there are many modern malls, the dry and wet markets across the territory are the bustling heart of this world city.

During my semester in Hong Kong, I lived in Sai Ying Pun. Just west of Central, Sai Ying Pun is a lively district with a mix of local flair and international character. I would often walk through the district on my way to school, passing the many dried fish stores on my street, past storefronts and wet markets full of people haggling over fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats.

The wet markets themselves are massive government run buildings, which serve as institutional farmers markets. Each floor has a different specialty; usually fruits and vegetables on one floor and meats and fish on the next floor up. These public markets can also host community services, like libraries and government offices, and even some restaurants.

But the more modern indoor markets are far from the only markets in Hong Kong. The most iconic representation of the local character is in the many street markets. In Kowloon, you can find a market for anything: clothing markets, electronics markets, flower markets, and there’s even a bird market on Yuen Po Street.

Living in Hong Kong was an incredible, hectic, exhausting, and exhilarating experience, and I feel overjoyed to have spent 4 months studying abroad in the city.